6 Dec 2004

Every Bikini Islander in the Marshalls gets return from Dive Programme

6:45 am on 6 December 2004

Every man, woman and child in Bikini - all 3,470 0f them - has received $29 from this years Bikini Atoll Dive Programmme.

It's the fourth year that the islanders, displaced since 1946 by American nuclear weapons tests, have benefited from international scuba divers coming to Bikini in the Marshall Islands to explore the fleet of World War II vessels lying on the lagoon bottom.

The Bikinians have lived in exile since the first U.S. nuclear tests rocked their island in 1946.

Those tests sent more than a dozen warships and submarines to the bottom of Bikini's lagoon.

Today, they are sought-after dive attractions that bring divers from as far away as Europe