Wreck Diving

Historical Background of the Coron Bay Shipwrecks

On the morning of 24 September 1944 at 0550, 96 Grumman F6F Hellcat fighters and 24 Curtiss SB2C Helldiver dive bombers took off from their American Navy Carrier Ships towards Coron/Palawan, to attack the remains of the Japanese Navys “Manila Fleet”. The Ships were hiding inside the secluded and sleepy waters of Coron Bay. During their fierce attack the Americans sunk most of these Ships in shortest time , only one ship, the “Kamoi”, managed to escape heavily damaged to Hongkong.

Nowadays these heavily with coral covered Shipwrecks create a “Worldclass Scuba Dive Destination”, where Divers from all over the World can gaze at the amazingly rich marine life.

If there is no other arrangement, we can offer up to 3 dives during our daytrips to the shipwrecks in Coron Bay. We usually start at 8am from our “Easydiving Coron” Diveshop located at the “Westown Bayview Resort” and arrive back there at around 5pm. In average it will take a 1,5hour boatride to reach the first Wreck-divesite.

MORAZAN MARU

Length: 95 meters

Depth: 12 to 25 meters

Recommended Certification Level: Open Water, Wreck Diver for Penetration

Nitrox recommended

Freighter and Passenger Ship, built 1908 in England, served the route between Honduras and New Orleans. It was Captured by the Japanese Navy in Shanghai 1941. They used it then as an “Auxiliary Cargo Vessel”.

The” Morazán Maru” is lying on her starboard side at a depth of 25m and is therefore one of the most popular wrecks because it is not too deep and quite easy to dive there.

The wreck can be easily penetrated at the four big cargo holds. In the engine room you can see 2 huge boilers from the steam engine, which used to drive the ship. Unfortunately the engine got salvaged in the 1960s.

The ship is covered with lots of soft an hard coral and plenty of marine life can be found on the wreck, such as Groupers, Lionfish , small Barracuda, Turtles, different kinds of Nudibranchs …

Visibility can be up to 15m and there is usually a mild current.

OLYMPIA MARU WRECK (FORMER SANGAT WRECK)

Length: 128 meters

Depth: 18 to 31 meters

Recommended Certification Level: Open Water, Deep Diver, Wreck Diver for Penetration

Nitrox recommended

This presumably European built Freight Ship is sitting upright at a depth of 31m. It is easy to penetrate through its big Cargo Holds. The Bridge Section is destroyed due to bomb-hits. Inside the engine room you can still see 2 boilers left, the engine was salvaged already. The Bow and Stern Masts are still intact and you can find interesting macro life on them. This wreck is also relatively easy to dive on.

The ship is covered with lots of black coral bushes where you can find ghostpipe - fish and seahorses. Since there is always some current it has much fish life around the wreck, such as Groupers, Lionfish, Batfish, Turtles, Stingrays, different kinds of Nudibranchs …

Depending on the Conditions the Visibility is between 3 and 15m and some medium strong current can occur.

KOGYO MARU WRECK

Length: 135 meters

Depth: 22 to 34 meters

Recommended Certification Level: Advanced Open Water, Deep Diver , Wreck Diver for Penetration

Nitrox recommended

This “Auxiliary Cargo Ship” of the Japanese Navy is lying on her starboard side at 34m and was loaded with construction material.

Inside the Cargo Holds you can still find a Tractor, a big Mitsubishi Diesel Engine, lots of hardened cement bags and rolls of fence wire.

Inside the engine room you will see 2 big boilers, the engine was salvaged already.

The wreck has a good coverage of soft and hard coral and black coral bushes. There is a lot of marine life around the wreck such as big Groupers, Lionfish, Batfish, Barracuda, Stingray, different kinds of Nudibranchs…

Depending on the Conditions Visibility can range from 3 to 15m and there can be medium strong current.

IRAKO MARU WRECK

Length: 145 meters

Depth: 28 to 42 meters

Recommended Certification Level: Advanced Open Water, Deep Diver, Wreck Diver
for Penetration , and a minimum of 50 logged Dives is required !

Nitrox recommended

The “Irako” sits at 42m depth in upright position and was used as a “Provision Vessel” to refrigerate food, by the Japanese Navy. Its Position is just a short 10min. boat ride away from the “Kogyo Maru” Wreck.

This Wreck dive is recommended definitely only for very experienced divers with more than 50 logged dives, since it is known by the local Divemasters as a “Triple D Wreck”, DEEP, DARK and DANGEROUS. But for experienced Wreck Divers it is the most beautiful and interesting Wreck in Coron. Because of its depth the engine is not salvaged and still inside the engine room .You can also dive through the kitchen compartment and find a workshop with machineries still in place. Theres abundant fish life around the wreck such as schools of Mackerel, Snappers, big Groupers, many big Lionfish, Scorpionfish, Batfish, Stingrays, different kinds of Nudibranchs …

The visibility is from 3-15m depending on conditions, sometimes strong current.

AKITSUSHIMA

Length: 114 meters

Depth: 22 to 36 meters

Recommended Certification Level: Advanced Open Water with a minimum of 25 logged dives, Wreck Diver for Penetration

Nitrox recommended

The “Akitsushima” is lying at the sandy bottom on her portside in a depth of 36m. Due to the heavy bombardment she ship was split in two and the Bridge Section is destroyed. The ship was used by the Japanese Army as a “Seaplane Tender” and is probably the most famous of the Coron Bay Shipwrecks. Because of the depth and occasional strong currents this dive is recommended only for experienced Advanced Divers with at least 25 logged dives.

There are a lot of interesting points to find at this wreck, such as a big crane which was used to lift the unfortunately missing seaplane, some 25mm machine guns, two 12, 7cm twin-gun turrets, still some live ammunition and gas masks, 4 big Diesel Engines and a big radio tower.

Unfortunately most of the valuable material like the steam engine and the 12, 7cm twin guns were salvaged a long time ago.

Because of a special coating for navy-ships on the hull, there are not so many corals on this Wreck.

You can dive through 3 deck levels and find a very rich marine life such as schools of Barracuda, Mackerel, Sweetlips and Batfish, Lionfish, also Stingrays, Turtles and different kinds of Nudibranchs …

The visibility is from 3-15m depending on conditions, sometimes strong currents can occur.

OKIKAWA MARU (FORMER TAIEI MARU)

OKIKAWA MARU (FORMER TAIEI MARU)

Length: 160 meters

Depth: 10 to 26 meters

Recommended Certification Level: Advanced Open Water with experience, Wreck Diver for Penetration

Nitrox recommended

This Ship was used by the Japanese Navy as an “Oil Tanker”, it is sitting in upright position at a depth of 26m. This is the longest of all Coron Bay Wrecks and because of occasional very strong currents it is recommended only for experienced divers.

The Bow Section of this ship is completely ripped off because of a huge explosion caused by the heavy bombardment of the American Airplanes.

The wreck is nicely covered with hard and soft corals and can be seen, sometimes under good conditions, even from the surface.

There is a very rich and diverse marine life to find around the wreck with a lot of macro-stuff, which makes it a Heaven for UW-Photographers. You can see Snappers, Batfish, Groupers, Seahorse, different kinds of Nudibranch …

The visibility is from 3-15m depending on conditions, sometimes very strong currents can occur, so if that’s the case it is better to cancel the dive and try at another day with better conditions.

EAST SANGAT WRECK

Length: 35 meters

Depth: 3 to 18 meters

Recommended Certification Level: Snorkeler, Discover Scuba Divers, Open Water Diver

This small Japanese “Submarine Chaser” with the original Japanese Name “Teru Kaze Maru” lies upright along a slope ranging from 3 to 18m depth at the East side of Sangat Island. It is a perfect dive site for Beginners and UW – Photographers.

Because of its shallow depth it is completely salvaged of all valuable things inside and outside.

The wreck is covered nicely with mostly hard corals and you will find plenty of marine life on and around it, such as Mandarin Fish, Groupers and Crocodile Fish, Nudibranchs …

The visibility is usually 5 to 15m and there is mostly none or only very mild current.

LUSONG GUN BOAT

Length: 30 meters

Depth: 0 to 14 meters

Recommended Certification Level: Snorkeler, Discover Scuba Divers, Open Water Diver

The “Lusong Gun Boat” was also a Japanese “Submarine Chaser”, which rests on a coral slope in a depth of 0 to 14m , facing with its Bow down the slope, the stern is out of the water during low tide. This makes it also a perfect site for Snorkelers, Beginners and UW- Photographers.

It is covered in hard corals and you can see a big variety of tropical Reef Fishes on it.

The visibility ranges from 5 to 15m and sometimes there can be some current, mostly it is calm.

SKELETON WRECK

Length: 25 meters

Depth: 5 to 25 meters

Recommended Certification Level: Snorkeler, Discover Scuba Diver, Open Water Diver

This Wreck lies with its bow up and stern down on a sandy slope at a depth range of 5 to 25m on the coast of Coron Island, it was most probably a Japanese “Gunboat”.

All valuable materials were salvaged a long time ago so only the skeleton of the hull remained, that’s where the name “Skeleton Wreck” comes from. The wreck is beautifully covered with hard coral and you can find a big variety of tropical fish life on it. There are also some nice coral gardens surrounding this divesite.

This is again a perfect divesite for Beginners and UW – Photographers.

The visibility ranges from 5 to 15m and sometimes there can be some current, mostly it is calm.

NANSHIN MARU WRECK (BLACK ISLAND WRECK)

Length: 45 meters

Depth: 21 to 32 meters

Recommended Certification Level: Advanced Open Water, Deep Diver , Wreck Diver for Penetration

Nitrox recommended

This wreck is probably an American “Civilian Oil Tanker” most likely sunk by a Typhoon after WWII and was not part of the Japanese Fleet sunk by the American Forces. It sits in upright position on sandy bottom at 32m of depth near “Black Island”. It was accidently named the “Nanshin Maru” Wreck.

The wreck has a good coverage of hard and soft corals and you can see lots of marine life there , such as Batfish , Groupers, Emperor Fish, lionfish and also lots of Macro Stuff and Nudibranchs. Because of the mostly very good visibility you can sometimes also see some Whitetip Sharks or Eagle Rays.

The visibility is usually between 10 and sometimes up to 30m depending on the conditions and there is normally no current.

Since the wreck is only reachable in a 2, 5 to 3 hours boat ride from Coron Town it is not so frequently visited by the Dive shops of Coron.

Usually the Shops dive it on a Daytrip or on the Transit during a “Apo Reef” Safari.

KYOKUZAN MARU WRECK

Length: 135 meters

Depth: 22 to 42 meters

Recommended Certification Level: Advanced Open Water, Deep Diver , Wreck Diver for Penetration

Nitrox recommended

This very long Japanese Freighter sits upright on sandy bottom at 42m at the Northeast of ”Busuanga Island”.

The upper parts of the wreck start at 22m, it is more or less intact and you can find Japanese Cars and Trucks inside its Cargo Holds.

The wreck is beautifully covered with coral and there is lots of marine life to find.

The visibility ranges between 10 and 30m depending on the conditions and there is usually only mild current.

Due to it's distance from Coron Town this wreck can only be reached by a one hour jeepney ride to the north end of Busuanga and then transferring to a rented dive boat. This will be a very early (6am) starting Daytrip with 2 dives at the Kyokuzan Maru.