Exploring a shipwreck is one of the most popular reasons for getting into scuba diving and remains one of the most exciting types of dive available. The abundance of sea life and colours alone, particularly when you wreck dive, are astonishing and the stories behind each wreck are often just as fascinating. To be swimming amongst the fish and be a part of this amazing underwater world is an experience that you never forget, but a shipwreck is something that most people only see in movies.
Pattaya has four wrecks within recreational diving limits which are often visited by Seafari Dive Center. They are famous amongst those diving Thailand for their history and individuality. Two of them are traditional wrecks, known as the “Hardeep” and the “Petchburi Bremen”.
The Petchburi is an 88.5-metre freighter from the turn of the last century. She sank after an explosion in her engine room. She ran aground, took on water and came to rest 20m down.
The Hardeep is a 68.1-metre-long cargo ship and is a genuine war wreck, sunk by British bombers during World War II while she was under the control of the Japanese. The ship remains surprisingly intact, considering its history and age.
The modern shipwrecks are the Khram and the more recent Kut. Both World War II-era troop transports, these ships were both prepared and specially sunk by the Royal Thai Navy in 2003 and 2006 to create artifical reefs and provide interest for divers in the region. They have both been very successful in both of these roles.
The Royal Thai Navy is currently undergoing an extensive programme of modernisation, replacing many of its American-built vintage vessels such as the Khram and Kut. Rather than just scrapping the obsolete ships, though, they have been selecting locations to scuttle them to encourage more wreck diving. Pattaya was lucky enough to get the HTMSMataphon in October 2012, with others rumored to be following.
New or experienced, people from all backgrounds want to go wreck diving especially around Pattaya – due to its range of natural reefs, shipwrecks and all the luxuries of the West. Whatever standards you are accustomed to, or desiring for your break, Pattaya has something to make your holiday a delightful adventure.