Shipwrecks in and around Pattaya, Thailand
What Wrecks are there in Pattaya to Dive?
Pattaya bay in Thailand and surrounding area boasts a whole host of shipwrecks with good penetration possibilities if you are wreck diver trained. The most famous dive-able ship wreck being the Hardeep which was wrecked during world war 2. Pattaya also has the Bremen, the recently sunk Kram (Khram) and the HTMS Khood and many other Pattaya wrecks including Chinese pottery wrecked ships. Most divers locally are under no doubt that there are many more sunken vessels that have yet to be found and dived.
The Hardeep Shipwreck (Samesan)
The Hardeep boat was sunk by Allied bombers in the latter part of World War 2. It was an Indonesian cargo-ship which had been commandeered by the Japanese army to run supplies to Thailand where they were building the railway linking the country to Burma.
The Hardeep shipwreck, Samesan, is 64-metres long and lies on her starboard side, just a few hundred metres from the coral island Koh Chuang, where the skipper made a vain effort to beach her.
Her hull is largely intact and there is access to the engine room where you can see the huge crankshaft. There are still some fire bricks in place near the boilers.
Time has taken it’s toll on the superstructure and penetration is becoming risky, but it is possible to swim along the deck, through the remains of the superstructure from end to end, this makes a great dive.
The remnants of the funnel are resting on the seafloor, one end lying in 28 meters of water. The foremast rests nearby. A short swim, following the line of the funnel, will bring you to an unexploded 1000lb bomb sitting upright in the sand. Please do not bring bombs back to the boat!
Although the Hardeep is well illuminated by natural light, it is handy to carry a torch for examining dark corners as well as for enjoying the marine life in it true colors. There’s certainly a lot to be explored just inside. It seems to me that every time I dive this wreck there’s more to see. Certainly a must for any shipwreck enthusiast.
After nearly 60 years nature has worked her magic on the ship wreck and it is home to angelfish, batfish, groupers, stingrays, barracuda, wrasse, butterfly fish, crabs, and nudibranchs. Surprising things happen here too. Only a few months back we had the pleasure of having a whale shark visit us on the ship-wreck. I wasn’t scuba diving that day – I just got to hear the stories and see the photos. There is a family of rather large marble rays living on the wreck also.
The Petchburi Bremen Shipwreck
The Petchburi Bremen, is a 110-metre, freighter severely damaged by a fire and an explosion in her engine room in the mid-1930s.
Some of the cargo was salvaged and the ship was then scuttled. She rests upright on a sandy bottom, her center section twisted and broken up, not only by the explosion, but also by demolition practice carried out by the Royal Thai Navy. (The ship wreck is no longer used for this purpose).
The Bremen wreck is in three main broken parts. The forward and stern sections are relatively intact, but the center part is a tangle of steelwork.
But it’s still an interesting wreck to dive. Part of the superstructure has been separated from the rest of the wreck and lies nearby. The skipper’s private bathroom – complete with bath, lavatory and very attractive ceramic floor tiles, can be explored by experienced scuba divers.
Penetrating the main hull sections is not advised due to the man-made damage and the deterioration of the steel over the years.
Nature has claimed the Bremen and many types of coral and sea whips grow on the sides and decks of the wrecked ship. Blue-ringed and six-banded angelfish, batfish, moray eels, rays, barracuda, and numerous smaller reef fish inhabit the wreck.
There is also a giant, but shy, grouper, reported to be the size of a pick-up truck who has made his home on the Bremen, so bring your camera or video with you. There has recently been a family of large marble rays making it home also.
Because of her position between two islands, strong currents can be encountered on the Bremen as well as sizeable waves at certain times of the year. This dive is not for novices.
Mermaids Dive Center Pattaya Thailand operate wreck diving trips daily all year around. Mermaids run the PADI Wreck Diving Course any time that you wish to train – we can begin any day.