Connect with us

Thai Life

Phuket Lifestyle – wreck diving in Khao Lak

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published

 on 

PHUKET: The descent line disappeared below us after we splashed in above the Sea Charter, one of the few diveable wrecks off the coast of Khao Lak.

There is a long moment between leaving the sunny surface of the Andaman Sea and the first hint of the ship’s shadow blackening the blue water below us. In that moment I found myself clearing my ears again and going back over the dive briefing, reviewing all the details of the wreck that Markus Hippel, the manager at Sea Bees Khao Lak, had gone over last night.

The wreck is a cargo ship about 80 meters long, lying on its starboard side with its cargo of teak wood still on board. The ship had departed with the cargo from Burma in August 2009, heading for Vietnam, but was caught in bad weather and ended up on the sandy sea floor 38 meters from the surface, not far from the recreational depth dive limit of 40 meters.

The real question I kept asking myself as I followed the line down was: what is the wreck like now? It’s the question every diver asks before a wreck appears. Even a wreck as young as this one was bound to have started to break apart and become a haven for sea life.

Markus had explained that Khao Lak wasn’t known for it’s wreck diving, being in fact the premier jump-off location for liveaboards heading out to the Similan Islands.

“People are coming to dive the Similan Islands because they are one of the 10 best dive sites in the world,” he said in a light German accent.

He went on to explain that many of the divers that booked with Sea Bees got on board with one of the two liveaboard trips they offered. However, tomorrow we would be taking a day trip out in the beautiful teak hulled Runaway to do a little wreck diving.

The nervousness of diving with Nitrox, instead of compressed air, which I hadn’t done in some time, was mostly calmed by Andrea Filippazzi, an Italian dive instructor new to the Sea Bees team, and it totally dissipated once the wreck came into view. With the wreck in front of me I knew the extra bottom time given by the Nitrox wasn’t to be taken for granted.

We swam down past the wreck’s silty hull to the vertical lying deck, with Andrea confidently leading the way. The wreck is shallow enough that there wasn’t an eerie stillness to it. In fact, it was bustling with life. We dipped into the bowels of the hull, keeping our heads down to avoid the myriad of sharp oyster shells already cemented to the ship. Long beautiful timbers of teak passed below us and then we were out into the open water again.

Snagged fishing nets hung around the wreck’s tower like shredded sails. Slowly we worked against the mild current towards the stern of the ship to see the enormous propeller still above the sand.

After 32 minutes of bottom time and our safety stop completed, I was ecstatic to have just been aboard the Sea Charter. A pleasant drowsiness set in after we had a delicious German style lunch. I closed my eyes and started diving the Sea Charter again, wondering what it would have been like to slide past the broken glass of the ship’s tower window and find what mysteries lurked inside.

— Isaac Stone Simonelli

 

Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forums
🔔 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join YouTube for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram

image

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Thailand22 mins ago

Royal Thai Police say bitterleaf can’t cure Covid

Coronavirus (Covid-19)41 mins ago

Tuesday Covid Update: 18,901 new cases, provincial totals

Thailand1 hour ago

Air Asia technician arrested for allegedly stealing electronics

Welcome back to Thailand!

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in Thailand - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages!

Pattaya1 hour ago

“Pattaya Move On” reopening likely to be postponed as Covid cases surge

Thailand2 hours ago

3 metre long python caught near family’s house in Phuket

Thailand3 hours ago

Government says not to buy Favipiravir/Avigan online, says it might be fake

image
Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Phuket3 hours ago

Phuket bans alcohol sales at restaurants, issues order amid rise of Covid cases

Best of3 hours ago

Top 5 Mexican restaurants in Pattaya

Thailand4 hours ago

Good Morning Thailand | New restrictions, new Red Line train in Bangkok, Covid latest

Thailand4 hours ago

Ministry of Public Health says Pfizer vaccine will be allocated correctly, others disagree

Cambodia4 hours ago

Rollout of Covid-19 vaccination for teenagers gets underway in Cambodia

Phuket5 hours ago

Man goes missing off Freedom Beach, Phuket

Phuket5 hours ago

Phuket tourism sector calls for island to be “green-listed” for foreign tourists – VIDEO

Best of5 hours ago

Phuket’s best day trips and tours

Business5 hours ago

What is so important about the Sandbox?

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism5 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism5 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism5 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8

Trending