BIG PINE KEY (CBSMiami/FKNB) – Conservation-minded divers enjoyed music piped beneath the sea this weekend in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.

The Lower Keys Underwater Music Festival, primarily spotlighting coral reef protection and eco-conscious diving, took place Saturday at Looe (pronounced “Lou”) Key Reef, located about 6 miles south of Big Pine Key.

The four-hour musical event was staged by local radio station 104.1 FM. Divers, snorkelers and even a few mermaids swam among Looe Key’s marine life and coral formations while listening to water-themed music broadcast by the station.

The music was transmitted underwater through waterproof speakers suspended beneath boats above the reef. The oceanic playlist included melodies like the Beatles’ “Octopus’ Garden,” Jimmy Buffett’s “Fins” and the theme from “The Little Mermaid.”

The broadcast featured diver-awareness messages about ways to minimize environmental impacts on the world’s coral reefs and a public service announcement asking listeners to comply with protective actions to prevent coronavirus spread.

A fun-loving mermaid also shared the prevailing COVID-19 health safety message, “Wear a Mask.”

Organizers described the listening experience as “particularly ethereal” since sound travels more than four times faster in water than in air.

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