Pattaya, Thailand has always been regarded as a great dive training ground due to the diversity of dive sites but now this has been sealed. September 17th 2006 at 10:30am the Royal Thai Navy (RTN) laid the HTMS Kut (Former USS LSM-333) to rest at 30 meters of depth off of Koh (island) Sak in Pattaya. The laying to rest was a further celebration of the King’s 60th accession to the throne and to lay a second artificial diving reef in Pattaya. The HTMS is often incorrectly referred to as the RTN Kood.
The HTMS Kut is a de-commissioned warship now dilapidated beyond repair, has been in use for more than 60 years. It now lies just slightly North of Koh Sak in around 25 – 30 meters of water. These are ideal depths for Air, Enriched Air (Nitrox) and Technical scuba diving.
The recent sinking allows dive operators in Pattaya to have a wreck that is nearer and more accessible than those laid so far. The Hardeep is a fantastic diveable wreck in Samesan (hardeep wreck samesan pattaya mooring buoy project). The HTMS Khram Pattaya dive wreck, an almost identical shop to the Kut was sunk by the Royal Thai Navy just off of Koh Phai in January 2003. The Kram is a wonderful dive but twice as far from the Pattaya Bali High pier than the new HTMS Kut.
The HTMS Kut sinking:
Full plans for the Navy ship wreck are held. Holding the plans is especially useful for wreck dive penetrations. This allows the diver to know the layout and what to expect prior to the dive. It can assist with gas planning, planned bottom time, deco bottle staging, and can save a lot of time and make the dive much more interesting. Mermaids Technical Director steve burton is a leading authority on Shipwreck diving in Thailand. Steve actively researches, hunts for, locates, dives and reports on vessels that are attached to the Thai sea bottom. Thai Wreck Diver.com is an excellent resource on ships wrecks in the area and operated and updated solely by Steve.
For further information on the new HTMS Kut, other wreck dives in Pattaya or ship wreck exploration trips simply contact us here at Mermaids CDC.