PADI Sold For $700 Million USD02/04/2017
UWC Wreck Dive Trip Brunei17/04/2017
Wreck Diving Brunei,
holds Mystique & Tradition
Rich Wreck History & Untold Stories
Brunei’s lesser-known attractions are lying underwater on the seabed of Brunei Bay. This is a wreck divers paradise and exploring shipwrecks is what we are all about! A few months back we had the opportunity to do some explorer diving during the monsoon season her in Thailand which lead to our technical team and friends at Explorer Diving taking a reccy trip to check out what's on offer over in Brunei.
What's to Dive and Explore In Brunei?
Brunei offers 30 shipwrecks potentially and many reef areas which are pleasure to dive in both condition of wreck and corals. This is largely due to the dive location been off the main tourist dive map of South East Asia and the result of limited fishing allowing for growth and fish stock to flourish! The best part we liked the most is
that the local diving environment is largely unexplored!!! What is common diving ground however is such as the regular shipwrecks and coral dive sites in Brunei are richly covered in a plethora of colourful hard and soft coral not found in many places around the world anymore; large Gorgonian Fans and wide Table Corals, to name a few.
Shipwrecks dating back to WWII; many of which are easily accessible by speedboat (about 30min ETA). Some of the most popular Brunei wreck dives are; The Oil Rig Wreck, which is made up of a number of decommissioned oil rigs that were sunk back in the 90’s, Dolphin88, A commercial vessel which was travelling through Brunei Darussalam’s waters towards Lawas sank off Pelong Rocks due to bad weather and oh course the American Wreck, also known as the USS Salute. She was on WWII mine-sweeping operations of Brunei Bay, Borneo, on 7 June 1945 when she struck a mine began to sink.
The Big Four!
The American Wreck is one of the Four Big Wreck dives in Brunei, the other three are the cement wreck, the Blue Water Wreck and the Australian Wreck. and this is just the tip of the iceberg for wreck diving enthusiasts who are looking for adventures in the area.
For the uninitiated, these are four large shipwrecks that sit at the bottom of the sea just off the north coast of Borneo. They are probably – no, definitely – the best diveable wrecks in and around Malaysia.
The Australian Wreck
The Australian Wreck as it is named, well, it is not Australian at all. Formerly the ship was a 1909 Dutchbuilt steamer called the SS De Klerk. Scuttled by the Dutch off Peninsular Malaysia in 1942. Some years later, it was re-floated by occupying Japanese and used again! That said, sank once again in 1944 when she hit a Japanese mine.
The wreck lies on a 33m deep sandy bottom, is mostly intact but tilted onto the port side. This is also a whopping 85m long hull so there is plenty of ship to explore. For those certified to do so, the Australian wreck is the best – meaning easiest and safest – to penetrate, along with the Cement Wreck.
Divers without a wreck speciality rating will enjoy swimming through her open upper decks and dipping down into her large cargo holds; while qualified Wreck Divers can explore all the way along two or three of her lower decks.
The American Wreck
The American Wreck, well, at least it is American! Formerly the USS Salute 470 and was built in 1943 as a minesweeper. This 75m ship saw lots of action in WWII, but sank after hitting a mine in 1945. Due t the nature of her sinking, as you can expect bare the most scars of all the wrecks here, with the bow collapsed lying spread out along the seabed, virtually separate from her slightly more intact stern. Penetration dives into this wreck is not advisable, but divers will enjoy exploring around both sections. Various small arms ammunition canbe found here along with many interesting military artifacts. The Salute’s still-intact gun turret and barrels make an imposing backdrop for a picture. More so than the Australian Wreck, the Salute also has some good coral and other marine life on and around her.
Wreck Diving Brunei - An Explorers Paradise!
The Cement Wreck
The Cement Wreck was a 92-m freighter owned by the Japanese – formaly known as the MV Tung Hwang. The fact is that it did not see any action in the war, but sank much later, in 1980, when she hit a sandbank with a cargo of cement destined for the Sultan’s new palace. A beautiful wreck to dive that sits bolt upright at 32 metres. As a result, her superstructure sticks up much higher, with her bridge gantry topping out at eight metres. This make for fantastic long multi level dive profiles. This makes it a wreck dive perfect for underwater photographers with its long dive profiles and a prolific range of marine life living in, on and around it. It is absolutely swarming with aquatic life of all kinds!
Blue Water Wreck
Blue Water Wreck is a large Filipino trawler that sank in 1981 after succumbing to fire damage. This 80m wreck is the furthest away and these deepest dive of the Brunei ‘Big Four’ wrecks. The highest point is at 24 metres Tilted on her port side she rests into the deep blue of 35 metres. Her name comes from the clear waters in which she lies; and indeed, visibility on the Blue Water is generally better than elsewhere in Brunei Bay. Taking around 60min to reach makes her the less visited of the wrecks but its worth the trip to see the range of marine life swimming around her, including some larger pelagic fish!
Here's a Selection Of Underwater Photography
Wreck Diving Brunei, Thanks To Our Friends Pony Divers
Have You Been Wreck Diving In Brunei?
Comment and Let us Know Your Experience!