Recently, I got the chance to dive one of Koh Tao’s seldom dived wrecks when I joined a Davy Jones’ Locker Tec Daytrip to the Torpedo Wreck.
The Torpedo Wreck lies about three hours north of Koh Tao. This is an excellent wreck for novice and intermediate level technical divers with depths ranging from 40 to 50 metres. Well within the range of DSAT Tec 45 and DSAT Tec 50 divers.
The Torpedo Wreck gets its name from its misidentified cargo. When it was first discovered, it looked like it was carrying torpedoes. However, its true cargo is two holds of huge teak logs, which after several years submerged, could be confused as torpedoes.
The wreck is a Japanese 70 metre long two hold freighter which was swamped in heavy seas in the mid 1970’s, whilst carrying a cargo of teak. She now sits almost upright leaning slightly to starboard on a flat sandy bottom at around 50 metres.
We were very lucky on our chosen dive day. The weather was perfect, blue sky and calm sea conditions with only mild current. The visibility on the wreck was 8 to 10 metres, with visibility above 25 metres depth, rising to 30 metres and more.
We split into two teams: Dave Polley and I, Tim Lawrence and Robbie. Our shot onto the wreck was nearly perfect, landing within a couple of metres of starboard near the bridge.
Our team’s job was to tie onto the wreck and then go and explore with any remaining bottom time. Tying on was easy, so we still had nearly 20 minutes bottom time to explore the wreck. We travelled out along the open holds examining the teak cargo, then over the bow and down to the sand where we hit our maximum depth of 50 metres. We then swam back to the bridge looking for penetration points and marine life. Before we knew it, our time on the wreck was up and it was time to ascend and begin our deco stops.
We ascended up to 21 metres where we gas switched and made our first stop. Then as we ascended up to our next stop, I noticed a familiar grey and white spotted shape looming out of the azure water. Incredibly, a whale shark had come to visit us and keep us company throughout our deco stops. This turned out to be one of the longest and most intimate encounters I’ve ever had with a whale shark. She stayed with us for the entire 25 minutes we were in the water, following us right up to the surface.
Most whale shark encounters involve the magnificent creature, you, two dozen other divers and a curtain of bubbles obscuring the best of the view. However, on this occasion, we had her all to ourselves. No other divers, no pushy cameras and videographers and no bubbles to take away from the moment; a memory that will last forever.
On our second dive, we penetrated inside the bridge. We swam through the crew quarters and descended down onto the sand at the stern to see if we could find the ships propellers. Unfortunately, over time, the rear of the ship had sunk into the sand. Finally we untied, having to leave a stuck shackle and chain on the wreck for the next visitors to tie into. After making our stops, we ascended back to the surface; a truly memorable day out.
There is no permanent mooring line on this wreck, and there can be fishing net entanglement hazards. So you need to make the trip with an experienced tec guide who knows the location of the wreck and is able to place a shot line on her. If you are new to tec diving and are looking to gain knowledge, DJL’s Tec Daytrips are the perfect opportunity to get that experience as they are lead by our expert tec team Tim Lawrence and Dave Polley.
We are happy to run Tec Daytrips to some of the less dived wrecks within a day’s sail of Koh Tao. If you are already a tec diver or are considering starting technical training drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and you can come along on our next trip.