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MALAYSIA

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Labuan ~ Dive Wrecks


Labuan Town War Monuments Sights & Visits Activities Marine Park Dive Wrecks Labuan Map

American Wreck Australian Wreck Cement Wreck Blue Water Wreck


Wreak diving enthusiasts can dive on four wreaks of the islands of Labuan, each one having a different character. These wreaks are suitable for both beginners and the more serious divers



Four shipwrecks has been identified: two from World War II and two from the 1980's. These ships lie in 100 to 115 feet of water with the top portions at 25 to 75 feet. Visibility varies greatly from season to season and is anywhere from 20 feet to 70 feet. These wreaks are named 'Cement wreak', 'American Wreak', 'Australian Wreak', and 'Blue Water Wreak'. The type of diving on these wreaks ranges from novice to serious penetrations into the hulls.


The 'Cement Wreak' is the most suited for novice divers. For the Blue Water Wreak', one must be an advanced diver with deeper diving experience logged. To penetrate into the above two wreaks or to dive the 'American' or 'Australian' wreak. one must be certified in a wreak diver specially or have logged experience in wreak diving.


American Wreck
The wreak lies south-east of Rusukan Kecil Island, 1.4 km away from the Australian wreak and about 24 km from Labuan. A US Navy Minesweeper, formerly the USS Salute, built in Seattle, Washington, in 1943.

It was first put into service in Hawaii in 1944 escorting convoys between Pearl Harbor and several ports in the Far East. Later it was involved in intense action, providing protection for anti-aircraft vessels and submarines, as well as minesweeping operations in the Phillippines. After several operations in the Brunei Bay, the ship struck a mine in 1945 and nine US sailors lost their lives when she sunk.


Australian Wreck
This wreak lies south-west of Rusukan Besar Island about 23 km from Labuan and is anything but Australian. It is the wreak of a cargo and passenger steamer originally named SS De Klerk, built in the Dutch West Indies. During World War II the Dutch scuttled the ship to prevent it from falling into Japanese hands. But the Japanese salvaged the ship and renamed it the 'Imbari Maru'. In 1940 while on a voyage to Manila it struck a mine off Labuan and sank. 339 passengers lost their lives, mostly workers and prisoners of war.

The wreak lies on the sea bed under 21 metres of water. Experienced divers will enjoy exploring the interior of the wreak. Others will appreciate the variety of marine life around it, including soft corals, lion fish and the seldom seen frog fish. It is a good subject for underwater photography.


Cement Wreck
The 'Tung Hwuang' is a freighter that sank while transporting cement to Brunet for the Sultans new palace. It hit the Semerang Bank and sunk as it tried to reach Labuan for repairs. Fortunately no lives were lost. The wreak now lies east of Kuraman Island and just 21 km from Labuan. 

Sunk in 30 metres of water, It sits on the seabed in an upright position. It is the easiest wreak to navigate, making it ideal for training in wreak diving. Divers can swim around the cargo hold and docks. There is a wide variety of marine life to be found here including barracuda, turtles, lion fish and reef fish. Soft and hard corals grow on the surface of the wreak, which makes it the best Labuan wreak for underwater photography and has been dubbed the worlds most colourful and photogenic wreck. 


Blue Water Wreck
This wreak lies northeast of Kuraman Island and is 34 km from Labuan. It gets its name from the very clear blue waters it lies in. Of all the wreaks this one has the best visibility. The wreak is the 'Mabini Padre', a large Philippines trawler, which caught fire and sunk in 1981. It is an interesting site for divers as it is completely intact. It also supports a wealth of marine life like soft corals, grouper and bat fish.


 

 

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