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adventure wreck diving in Kuching

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For the more advanced diver, Kuching is the perfect place to satisfy an underwater adventurer’s itch with plenty of shipwrecks. Right before Christmas in 1941, just weeks after the Pearl Harbor bombing, the Imperial Japanese Navy set sail for Kuching as part of their plan to take control of Borneo. As Borneo stood on the main sea routes between Java, Sumatra, Malaya and Celebes, it became vital for the Japanese to secure this territory. The Netherlands received news of the invasion and deployed their submarine division from North Kalimantan to intercept the Japanese fleet, which they finally found assembling off the coast of Santubong. According to historical records, a total of five ships were sunk but only three have since been discovered including the Katori Maru, Hiyoshi Maru and Sagiri.

 

Today, all three wrecks serve as an underwater home to a wide variety of pelagic fish species and offer unique diving opportunities not found anywhere else. During a full-day adventure, divers can be picked up at their hotel and experience two boat dives and light snacks on board before returning to shore in the afternoon and transferring back to their hotel.

 

Katori Maru – Troopship (max. depth 21 metres, multi-level):

On a clear day, the structure of Katori Maru can be seen from the surface and offers a multi-level dive as the deck is around 12 metres deep from the surface. The main hull of the wreck is still intact, sitting upright on the seabed and stretching for 150 metres in length to 18 metres wide. Jacks and barracudas can be seen patrolling the outer part of the wrecks while snappers and groupers prefer to be at the bottom. Schools of fusilier will gush forth and back as divers swim through the hull with swarms of chromis playing around the edges and batfish so friendly that they will actually accompany divers throughout the whole dive.

 

Water visibility ranges from 8 – 20 metres with an average water temperature of 31ºC.

 

Hiyoshi Maru – Troopship (max. depth 22 metres, single profile):

Not far from Katori Maru lies the wreck of Hiyoshi Maru, which unlike the previous, is broken into pieces and spread over a wide area. There are plenty of nudibranchs in this wreck along with their natural predator, the grouper. Small schools of barracudas can be seen above the wreck while sea bass swim against the moving current, waiting for easy food. Not only spiny lobsters are found under the broken parts of the wreck, but also nurse sharks that come here to rest.

 

Water visibility ranges from 8 – 20 metres with an average water temperature of 31ºC.

 

Sagiri – Destroyer (max. depth 32 metres, single profile):

About six nautical miles away from the other wrecks, Sagiri sits upright on its hull all by itself. The structure is still intact for the most part and diving here is very interesting as parts of an engine, signal lights, wooden pail and smaller debris can still be found. Due to its depth and light filtering effect of the water, the visibility here isn’t very good requiring divers to have an advanced certification and a minimum of 50 logged dives in order to dive.

 

Water visibility ranges from 8 – 10 metres with an average water temperature of 31ºC.

 

Read full itinerary here:

kuching adventure wreck diving: group experience

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