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The wreck of the steamship Suddhadib (aka. the Hardeep wreck) is arguably one of the most exciting dive sites around Pattaya.
Bombed and sunk in an aerial attack on June 1st, 1945, the Suddhadib now lies on her starboard side at a depth of 25-30m, 300m north of the island Ko Chuang. The 2 large cargo holes as well as the boiler room located in the center of the ship are all easily penetrable and the cabins at the bow and stern offer grounds for exploration to more experienced wreck divers.
The HTMS Chang was sunk on 22.11.2012 to form an artificial reef near Ko Chang. Measuring exactly 100m in length, it is Thailand’s largest ship wreck to date (for recreational dives) and will help drive traffic of excited wreck divers to this awesome dive region. The ship was under services of the US Navy during the Second World War and was commissioned by the Thai Navy in 1962. As an amphibious landing ship the Chang was able to hold large numbers of tanks and vehicles in her hull which makes for a very spacious penetration.
The intriguing structures and gun turrets at the stern of the ship invite for plenty of exploration and the massive mast leads up to an observation platform exactly 5m below the water surface – a perfect hangout for a safety stop.
WRECK DIVE VIDEO
one month after sinking
WRECK DIVE VIDEO
years after sinking
WHALE SHARK VIDEO
animation & video
2011 saw the allocation of 2 decommissioned Thai Navy ships further down south in the Gulf of Thailand, the HTMS Sattakut (742) being one of them. (Her sister ship, the HTMS Prab, lies near Chumphon). Just a close and convenient distance from the western shores of Ko Tao’s Sairee Beach, the HTMS Sattakut now delights divers all year around in one of Thailand’s premier diving destinations.
The HTMS Phetra (764) is the sister ship of Pattaya’s HTMS Mattaphon (761) as both ships are built to the same design and both were sunk within three days from one another. With the Thai Navy heavily modifying the original American layouts, the two ships differ however in a number of details, a large elevated platform at the stern as opposed to just a slim catwalk being one of them.
With an overall length of only 36m, there is plenty of time to go into detail with the wreck even on the first dive.
On January 30th, 2003, the HTMS Khram (732) was the first of 2 amphibian landing ships to be sunk off the coast of Pattaya to form an artificial reef, located just 300m east of the island Ko Phai. Today the Khram amazes with lush hard and soft coral growth and an abundance of fishes that inhabit the wreck. Even without penetrating the inside, recreational divers can live the excitement only a wreck can offer while certified wreck divers are offered ample opportunity to explore the inside of the hull.
VIDEO (TURTLE ENCOUNTER)
turtle dive at the Khram
Built in Norway in 1948, the former RNoMS Norfrost served as a food supply ship with huge cooling and freezing compartments in its hull. It was sold to the Thai Navy in 1956 and sunk to form an artificial reef on 19.3.2014 near Ko Phi Phi Leh.
The Harruby once served as dive boat across the Andaman seas and was sunk at Bay 1 of Phuket’s Ko Racha Yai on 28.11.2009. The ship was a donation of the Racha Resort to the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources (DMCR). The wreck is an easily accessible spot in a predominantly sandy area and is perfect as a wreck diver beginner’s training ground as all the areas of the ship are wide open to all sides. The dive site is also filled with clusters and loose arrangements of concrete reef cubes as well as a second wreck, a smaller wooden Thai fishing boat.
On 17 December 2013, Ko Chang witnessed the sinking of its second Thai Navy ship to create an artificial reef: the T11. The PGM type coastal patrol ship measures about 30m in length and she now lies with a slight port side tilt at 15-16m depth near Hin Raab. Given her depth and location, the T11 is a perfect wreck for beginners. Of course it can not rival the excitement of the Chang Wreck nearby but it is an excellent dive site to complement one’s trip to Ko Chang.
In September 2014 the wreck was subject to a demolition exercise of the Thai Navy which exploded the entire midship section. Of course diving the wreck has changed drastically and it is now advised to pay particular attention to sharp metal edges created by the blast.
WRECK DIVE VIDEO
before the explosion
WRECK DIVE VIDEO
after the explosion
The 19th of May 2011 was a most memorable day in the history of Chumphon diving as the HTMS Prab (741) was sunk to form an artificial reef just south of the island of Ko Ngam Noi. She is the sister ship of the HTMS Sattakut which lies off Ko Tao with a slight design change at the bow. The upper decks and forward part of the hull can easily be penetrated, but the rear hull and individual cabins were permanently closed to divers before her sinking.
animation & video
The ship was built in Japan and laid to sea as the Rokko Maru in 1969. In 1990 she was sold to Songserm Travel Center and then operated in Thailand as the King Cruiser. On the 4th of May 1997, the car ferry hit the tip of Anemone Reef and sank to a depth of around 33m within 2.5 hours. She is now the most visited wreck out of Phuket and Ko Phi Phi alike. Within her 20 years on the sea bed, most of the spacious deck planes have since collapsed onto the main deck.The creation of the King Cruiser 3D ship model in her condition before the sinking is finished – the adaptation of this 3D model to the condition of the wreck will require a few more survey dives until completed.
Like the HTMS Khram, the HTMS Kut (731) was purpose sunk to create an artificial reef on September 17th, 2006. Both wrecks share the same design with minor differences. Although the Khram features a richer growth of coral (attributed to the longer time under water), the advantage of the Kut is its easy accessibility just minutes away from Pattaya’s Bali Hai pier.
The Sea Chart was on its way from Burma to Vietnam with a cargo of 1200 tons of teakwood logs in August 2009 and sank in the rough seas off the coast of Khao Lak. The 84m long vessel now lays on her port side at a depth of about 38m about 2 hours out to sea from Khao Lak’s Tap Lamu Pier.
The cargo is still contained in the hull and has partly fallen out onto the sea bed. It is argued that even after years in the water, the logs are still good for commercial use since teak wood is preserved with its natural saturation of oils.
The HTMS Mataphon (761) was sunk on 20.10.2012 south-east of Ko Larn near Had Nuen beach. The amphibious landing ship was originally in service for the US Navy during World War 2 and was soon after transfered to the Thai Navy. She was employed until shortly before her sinking and she is the sister ship of the HTMS Phetra which was sunk just three days afterwards near Ko Man Nok, Rayong.
[the production of the HTMS Mattaphon 3D wreck model is almost completed, pending one more survey dive at the site]
Located in the channel between Ko Khram and Sattahib, the dive site of the Bremen is usually subject to strong currents and trips out there need to be carefully planned. The ship sank late 1920 after a fire and explosion in the engine room and its wreck was later subject to demolition exercises of the Thai Navy which left most of its center portion in shambles. Penetration of the stern and the bow sections that are still standing is not recommended because of the frail condition of the wreck, but nevertheless diving the Bremen makes for an interesting and exclusive wreck dive.
The Premchai Wreck is a purpose sunk tin dredger which found its current location in 2001. A lot of these tin dredgers have roamed the coasts of Khao Lak in the past until the business of dredging tin from the bottom of the sea was no longer profitable. Next to the Premchai which was originally built in the Netherlands, a lot of these tin dredgers were sunk along the coast from Khao Lak up to Ranong. (The nearby Boonsung Wreck being one in the collection, albeit sunk during an accident in 1984). Maximum dive depth is at 22m while the wreck’s top is at around 14m. Although not perfect in terms of visibility, the Premchai is an awesome dive site and is accessible within a short commute from the Tap Lamu pier.
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