A DECOMMISSIONED Boeing 767 is being transported along Ireland's Wild Atlantic Way to create the ultimate "glamping" venue. In the process, it left many onlookers scratching their heads, as it appeared to float on the water.
The aircraft — which will be the centrepiece accommodation at an alternative transport themed glamping village in Enniscrone — was transferred from the runway at Shannon Airport to Knockberg Point.
From there, workers spent six hours loading the 48 metre hull onto a barge to sail north by sea.
The barge was towed by a powerful tug out of the Shannon estuary and into the Atlantic Ocean for its 36-hour journey to Enniscrone, Co Sligo.
At 50 tonnes, hoisting the plane onto the barge required the skills of various Shannon Airport employees including engineers, operations experts, private contractors and even security.
Australian Broadcasting Corporation ...
Businessman David McGowan wants to use the jet as a point of attraction for his new "Quirky Nights Glamping" venture in the popular seaside resort Co Sligo.
"We pulled out all the stops to assist, with safety and minimising disruption to airport customers our key priority," explained Deirdre Whitney, property manager at Shannon Airport.
"I certainly never thought I would see the day when an aircraft would be put on a barge and set sail out the estuary.
"It will have a new lease of life which will boost not only the local economy in Enniscrone, but right along the Wild Atlantic Way," she said.
Whitney added: "David McGowan's enthusiasm was infectious and we were delighted to be on hand to support him every step of the way with this unique project.
"We wish him and his crew a bon voyage and every success with this venture."
McGowan paid $31,311 for the 30-year-old aircraft which will act as a "non-traditional" mode of housing for guests — along with other vehicles such as buses, taxis and trains.
Speaking to Today FM in Ireland, McGowan said: "I have a 15 acre site there of marshy field and I was wondering what I could do with it.
"Whatever I was going to do with it, it had to be to do with tourism because we're on the Wild Atlantic Way.
"I looked at different types of accommodation and unusual places to stay. I saw that glamping was a modern type of camping that was spreading throughout Europe. I got the idea that I might like a plane.
"There are so many planes that have been decommissioned that have gone out of service. I rang around the three different airports, Dublin, Cork and Shannon and only Shannon got back to me and said they had one but that it was no good to me.
"They said it was too big. 'I said 'You hold that til I get down there'. When I got down there I said 'Right, I'm thinking of putting this in my back garden'."
This story originally appeared in The Sun