HMS Krarm’ sunk for environmental salvation: Man-made reef
The HTMS Kram is a World War II medium size landing ship was sunk off of Koh Phai, Pattaya, Thailand for the purposes of a man made reef for divers and enthusiasts. The Khram was sunk just 300 meters off the coast of Bamboo Island (Koh Phai) on January 30th 2003 forming Thailand’s first underwater conservation park of this type. There are many marine national parks in Thailand but none with a WWII ship wreck to line its attractions. The aging vessel, acquired by the Thai Navy in 1962, saw the last light of day amidst naval ceremonies as it slowly sank beneath the water.
Pattaya City and Navy officials worked closely on the project since General Chavalit Yongchaiyuth; Minister of Defence signed the documents approving the sinking of the ship nearly a year ago, on February 26, 2002. On January 30 of 2003 the Royal Thai Navy (RTN) and Pattaya City management began organizing the sinking ceremony for the HMS Krarm. It’s designated resting place,
The shipwreck dive sites in Pattaya are superb for training.
Perfect for safe and easy wreck penetration, advanced penetration and just a relaxing dive trip.
“The Royal Thai Navy safeguards the area via regular boat patrols to ensure it stays a safe haven for marine life in Thailand” said the vice admiral.
The HMS Khram was received from Seattle, Washington in the USA under a naval assistance project and arrived in Thailand September 11, 1962. The vessel is classed as a medium sized landing vessel; 61.5 meters long, 10.35 meters wide.
The war ship was active in World War II before arriving in Thailand. The ageing vessel became increasingly un-seaworthy and the rising cost of constant repair prompted the decision by the Ministry of Defense to lay the vessel to rest for the benefit of the environment and shipwreck scuba diving in Pattaya.
The war vessel now lies on the seabed, 300 meters off Bamboo Island at latitude 12 degrees 55 minutes north (of the equator) and longitude 100 degrees 41 minutes 26 seconds east (of Greenwich).
Computer generated image courtesy of Mr. Alex Beuchel, a student of Mermaids Dive Center.
Above, the computer generated graphic gives a very good representation of the way the Kram wreck lays at the bottom of the ocean at 30 meters. The Khram has allowed Pattaya to remain as the most diverse scuba diver training ground in Thailand. We have so much diversity of dive sites in Pattaya and now with this shipwreck to add to the wreck penetration possibilities we are made up. The wreck can be penetrated in many areas and was made safe for diving activities prior to the sinking in 2003.
The Kram wreck makes diving in Pattaya much more interesting but is also the dive site that many dive interns here learn their wreck and advanced wreck specialties. As it lays in semi-deep waters it is perfect for cross training such as advanced wreck diver along with a Nitrox blend for example. All in all – we are very lucky to have this new and superb dive- able wreck in Pattaya, Thailand.
* The internship scuba dive wreck specialty is taken on both the Khram and the Hardeep shipwrecks in Pattaya.