refrigeration ship, 147 m. long & 9,570 tons
displacement, Location: At the mouth of Coron Bay Probably
the best wreck dive in the Philippines. The Irako is quite
intact and because of the good visibility you know you are
on a big shipwreck. Big groupers, schools of tuna and
yellow fin, lion fish and scorpion fish live around this
wreck. Two sea turtles live in the crumpled and folded
metal of the superstructure. There is a beautiful deep
penetration through the engine room for trained,
experienced and properly equipped divers.
Irako usually has the best visibility of all the wrecks in
No longer valid:
dive is best made at deck level while breathing 32% Nitrox
for a 50% increase in allowable bottom time. Penetration
of the interior would require 30% or 28% Nitrox depending
on which deck level you wish to swim through.
43 meters on the bottom, deck level at 28 to 35 meters.
Recommended certification level: Advanced Open Water Diver,
Deep Diver Specialty, Wreck Diver Specialty.
tanker, 160 m long. Location: Busuanga Island , 2 miles
south of Conception. In length, width, and volume the
largest of the Coron wrecks. At this depth you may be able
to make an hour-long dive. If the Irako isn't the best
wreck dive in the Philippines then the Okikawa Maru
certainly is! This wreck is totally covered with beautiful
corals and offers a large variety of marine-life. The deck
is between 10m and 16m and is good for wreck dive
are many penetration possibilities for advanced wreck
divers including penetrating up the propeller shaft from
the outside of the ship all the way into the engine room.
Strong tidal currents often affect this wreck. Diving in
strong currents lets you see the most fish. At the bow you
can see the resident three legged turtle and a school of
snappers holding position into a slight current. Large
fish shelter out of the current behind crumpled metal and
inside of the deck houses .There is also a large resident
grouper near the bottom.
This dive is best when made while breathing 36% or 38%
Nitrox for a 75% increase in allowable bottom time.
in excess of one hour are common on the Okikawa Maru. Max
depth: 26 meters on the bottom, 10 to 16 meters on the
deck. Recommended certification level:
1. Diving outside the deck without a current. Open Water
2. Diving with a current. Advanced Open Water Diver
3. Diving with a strong current. Experienced Advanced Open
4. Penetration dive. Wreck Diver Specialty
Seaplane Tender 150 m long. Gross Tonnage: 4,650 Location:
Between Culion & Busuanga Islands, near Manglet Island.
The Akitsushima is a very big warship that lies on her
port side. She was hit near the stern where the flying
boat rested on the metal tracks and sank immediately. The
ship was almost torn into two pieces. The flying boat
half of the metal on the starboard side and half of the
metal on the bottom of the ship kept the stern from
separating from the rest of the ship. The internal damage
is impressive. The crane used for lifting the seaplane out
of the water is intact. The crane is lying on the sandy
bottom and attracts schools of giant batfish and
barracudas. One mounting of a 3-barreled AA (antiaircraft)
gun is still present at the front of the flying boat
tracks. This is a fascinating dive where you can see giant
groupers, schools of barracuda hiding under the bow, and
yellow fin tuna.
Due to depth and metal hazards within, no swim-through's
are allowed without wreck diver certification. Wreck
divers can make an impressive penetration into the engine
room to see the four engines.
This dive is best made while breathing 31% or 32% Nitrox
for a 50% increase in allowable bottom time.
Max depth: 36
or 38 meters, average depth about 26 to 28 meters.
Recommended certification level: Advanced Open water Diver.
For penetration: PADI Wreck Diver specialty.
Japanese freighter carrying construction materials for
building a runway for the Japanese war effort in the
Pacific. Kogyo Maru was built in 1938 and is 158 m long
with a displacement of 6,353 tons. Lying on her
starboard side in 36 meters of water, the Kogyo Maru
offers swim through's into all six holds and through the
engine room and bridge area.
Kogyo Maru's second
hold contains an incline of cement bags which tumbled as
the ship sank. A small bulldozer draws your attention as
you swim into the hold. Complete but encrusted, you can
imagine the operator sitting in the seat and working the
control levers to carve a runway out of a tropical
island. Engrossed in the bull dover you might fail to
look up the incline of cement sacks and so miss the
tractor and air compressor perched above it. Take the
time to swim up and look at both pieces and see how many
of the engine parts you can identify. It's complete.
Check out the metal wheels on the tractor. Coming out of
the hold swim up the front mast, now horizontal, and on
your left side. At the top of the mast look at the
crow's nest and imagine what a lookout would experience
when perched 30 meters above the water in a Japanese
winter storm. Swim back over the deck to the bridge and
engine room below it. Enter both from the stern side for
easier access. Swim through the cavernous engine room
and look at the hardware then out through the bridge. If
air is low go up to the port side of the bridge and look
at the soft corals growing there and the fish life
living on this artificial coral reef at 22 meters. If
you have enough air continue below deck level to the
stern looking at all of the deck hardware for moving
cargo and working the ship. Pass around the stern and
then go forward over the port side to return to the
mooring line. You pass over hard and soft corals
covering the side of the ship. On this dive keep your
head and eyes moving like a fighter pilot's to see the
school of barracuda which will swim by. If you only look
at the Kogyo Maru you will miss the barracuda.
This dive is best when made while breathing 31% or 32%
Nitrox for a 50% increase in allowable bottom time. If
you dive the Kogyo Maru with a 100 cubic foot tank of
Nitrox 32 you have enough gas mixture and a long enough.
No Decompression Limit to cover the whole ship on one
Max depth: 34 m, average 24-26m Recommended
certification level: Advanced Open Water Diver, Wreck
A Japanese Freighter sitting upright with a length of
122 meters. Location: Coron Bay . A very good dive spot
with a variety of marine life. Large shoals of banana
fish, giant bat fish and giant puffer fish, especially
around the mast, bow and stern. Easy penetration at the
cargo rooms. It offers a good opportunity to discover
No longer valid:
This dive is best
when made while breathing 36% Nitrox for a 75% increase
in allowable bottom time.
Max depth: 28-30 meters, deck level 18-24 meters.
Recommended certification level: Advanced Open Water
Diver, Wreck Diver Specialty.
small gunboat or submarine hunter 40 meters long.
on the coral reef on the east side of Tangat Island .
This dive site is good for wreck diving beginners and
is also a lovely dive between deeper wreck sites. The
wreck starts at only 3 meters down so even snorkelers can
see the shape and explore the bow of the ship.
No longer valid:
is best when made while breathing 36% or 38% Nitrox for a
75% increase in allowable bottom time.
Max depth: 22
metres / length: 20 metres. Recommended certification
level: Skin Diver, Open Water Diver.
ISLAND WRECK This
wreck was also a gunboat or submarine hunter. The stern
breaks the surface at low tide.
In front of the east side of Lusong Island. This wreck is
great for snorkeling. It is nicely covered with hard
corals and offers a nice variety of fish life.
good opportunities for wreck diving photographers. The
dive is good as a "dive between dives." Max
depth: 11 meters.
certification level: Skin Diver, Open Water Diver
This wreck is the keel, ribs and stringers of a
steel-hulled boat about 25 meters long.
Northwest corner of Coron Island.
This wreck was beached with the bow a dozen meters from
Coron Island. The stern points directly away from the
freighter approximately 160-180 meters long.
Location: Northeast of Busuanga Island. Due to it's
distance from Coron, this wreck is dived by a one hour
jeepney ride to the north end of Busuanga and transferring
to a rented dive boat. This is done as an all-day trip for
two dives on the Kyokuzan Maru.
is a beautiful wreck dive experience. More or less intact,
this huge sunken ship usually offers good visibility of
about 20 meters and ideal diving conditions. Japanese
staff cars and trucks can be found in the cargo rooms.
No longer valid:
This dive is best when made while breathing 36% Nitrox for
a 75% increase in allowable bottom time.
Max depth: 40
meters on the bottom. The deck level lies between 22 and
28 meters. Recommended certification level: Advanced Open
Water Diver, Wreck Diver Specialty, Deep Diver Specialty.
A Philippines Fishing
The east side of Malajon Island.
The wreck is just off the beach, in front of a stranded
vessel on the shore.
to the dive site: 3-5 hrs. by banca.
Experience grade: Experienced
Recommended certification level: Advanced Open Water Diver,
Wreck Diver Specialty
calm with little current but this area, out in the South
China Sea, does not have protection like Coron Bay, so
conditions can get rough with fierce currents. You would
not normally make this journey during bad weather
Visibility can reach to 65 ft./19 m. Average depth: 65
ft./19 m. Maximum depth: 104 ft./31 m.
(TANGAT WRECK) -
Location: West of the southwest end of Tangat Island.
Access: 1 hr west by banca
Conditions: Normally calm, with light currents that can
become very strong at spring tides. Visibility: 25 to 50
Average depth: 24 m. or 80 ft.
Maximum depth: 30 m. or 100 ft.
freighter 122 m. or 400 ft. long, 5000 gross tons, this
was sunk on 24 September 1944 by US aircraft. It sits
almost upright with perhaps a 15 degrees list to port,
pointing 170 degrees (compass bearing) in 100 ft of
water; the main deck is at 60-80 ft. The site provides a
good introduction to wreck diving for novices, with easy
penetration of the cargo holds and a good variety of
fish life. There are several large puffer fish, lots of
large lionfish and scorpion fish, a lone bumper head
parrotfish, schools of batfish, snappers and sweepers,
six-ban dad angelfish and innumerable sponges. In good
visibility this is an excellent wreck for photographers.
An Oil Tanker of the Imperial Japanese Navy.
on 9 October 1944 by US aircraft. The Taiei Maru is, 170 m
(557ft) long and have 10,045 gross tons. It sits almost
level, with a slight list to port, pointing 330 degrees (compass
bearing), with the bow broken off in 26m. (86ft.) of water.
The main deck is at 16m (53ft). A good wreck for
penetration and wreck-diving courses, the Taiei Maru has
everything. It is well covered with good corals,
particularly very large lettuce corals, sponges and shoals
of fish including fusiliers, snappers and batfish, plus
the ubiquitous lionfish and scorpionfish.
inland from the centre of the northwest face of Coron
Island. 45 min south-southeast by banca to a cove of
limestone cliffs midway between Limaa Point and Balolo
Point on the northwest face of Coron Island. In the
centre of the cove the cliffs have a gap at sea level.
You climb through this gap for 10 ft, turn right and
climb easily up sharp limestone pinnacles for 25 ft,
traverse to the right 13 ft then turn left to descend
continuing across two small channels to the entrance of
the lake. The climb is not difficult but the rock is
sharp, so you will need to wear bootees or sandals, and
a head for heights is useful. It is a bit difficult
carrying all your equipment, including cylinder and
weight belt, so some people would do this as two
The short climb is worth it for the scenery alone. Calm
lake surrounded by high walls, sheltered on all sides.
Visibility varies with the mixing of hot and cold water,
being 100 ft near the surface by hazy where the water
mixes. This is a unique dive. The turquoise freshwater
lake, surrounded by spectacular limestone pinnacles, is
served by a hot spring. As you move out from the walls and
descend, the water gets hotter and hotter. At 100 ft ,
temperature is 40 degrees centigrade and deeper down would
even be higher. There is little to see in the very hot
water, but when you get back to the walls of the lake, a
lone habituated barracuda, nearly 40 inches long will be
waiting to be hand-fed.
There is obviously interaction between fresh and salt
water around the seaward side, as you can find seawater
species there. As well as the barracuda there is a shoal
of golden rabbit fish, some snappers, catfish, several
species of shrimp and shellfish.
craziest dive site in the Philippines."
This spectacular dive starts with some challenging
mountain climbing in full diving equipment over sharp
limestone cliffs. We do wear tennis shoes or sandals and
carry our fins strapped to our tank. We use 53 cubic foot
tanks for this dive as they are more than 4 kilograms
lighter than the usual aluminium 80. The climb only takes
10-15 minutes and the exertion is worth it. The scenery
around the lake is spectacular and the under water terrain
has been likened to flying over the surface of the moon.
The top 4 meters is warm fresh water. Below 4 meters the
water is salt. There are dynamic changes of water
temperature in the lake with temperatures ranging from 28
to 40 Degrees Celsius. Recommended certification level:
Open Water Diver
a beautiful dive spot. It starts 6 meters deep at a hole
in the bottom of the sea next to the sheer rock wall of
Coron Island. You enter a tunnel and descend to 12
meters. If you take the time to look, you see the
antenna of juvenile lobsters waving from holes in the
tunnel above and out from under the rocks below and
cowry shells clinging to the ceiling of the tunnel. Then
you pass out of the tunnel and see a shaft of daylight
penetrates the interior of a cave. The roof of the cave
has collapsed sending down a full sized tree. The
skeletal trunk and main branches of the tree rest on top
of the sand mound in the middle of the cave. You follow
the light and surface inside a big under- ground cathedral.
You pass over the sand dune and continue ahead and left
to another passage that leads to a chamber with an air
pocket above ocean level. Back through the tunnel into
the open sea and you dive among beautiful corals with 20
to 30 meter visibility.
dive you should not miss!
Maximum depth: 10 meters inside
the cave. Recommended certification level: Advanced Open
Water Diver, Cavern Diver Specialty.
Cathedral Cave MUST ONLY BE ATTEMPTED in calm weather
with slight waves. It would be physically dangerous to
attempt to enter the tunnel in the surge generated from
National Marine Sanctuary is making a come-back and is as
good as if not better than the Tubbataha Reefs, albeit a
much smaller park. Excellent coral growth, schools of
jacks and barracudas as well as lots of white tip and grey
reef sharks and turtles.