Underwater sculpture to be unveiled this week

Sculptor and scuba diver Thomas McDonald along with students from The Riviera Beach Maritime Academy on Tuesday will unveil their design of a concrete mermaid statute that they hope to skin off the coast of Palm Beach County.

Three cement hammerhead shark sculptures by Thomas McDonald were lowered into the water of the Lake Worth Lagoon at Phil Foster Park in Riviera Beach Friday, June 19, 2015. McDonald worked with Palm Beach County's Department of Environmental Resources Management to launch this project. Phil Foster Park's snorkel reef was chosen for the underwater sculpture park project because of its proximity to the Gulf Stream. It is hoped that the clarity of the water will attract a great deal of sea life. The sculptures weigh about 1500 pounds each. (Bruce R. Bennett / The Palm Beach Post)

Three cement hammerhead shark sculptures by Thomas McDonald were lowered into the water of the Lake Worth Lagoon at Phil Foster Park in Riviera Beach Friday, June 19, 2015. McDonald worked with Palm Beach County’s Department of Environmental Resources Management to launch this project. Phil Foster Park’s snorkel reef was chosen for the underwater sculpture park project because of its proximity to the Gulf Stream. It is hoped that the clarity of the water will attract a great deal of sea life. The sculptures weigh about 1500 pounds each. (Bruce R. Bennett / The Palm Beach Post)

McDonald has said that he wants to sink the mermaid, dubbed Andrea, in an area near a statue of Neptune on the Breakers Reef. The statue of Neptune was put there in 1986, and county officials said it is showing signs of wear.

The face of the mermaid statute was modeled after Palm Beach County Andrea Torrente, who is battling breast cancer, McDonald has said.

Last year, McDonald donated three 1,500-pound shark sculptures that were submerged at Phil Foster Park.