Wreck Diving in Brunei
Many tec courses around the world often have something in common – sandy bottoms and limited sights. With Ponitec you will not only learn technical diving but live the history of the wrecks situated at different depth scattered alongside Bruneian’s shore. Learn more about our wrecks here in Brunei or join us for your next staggering tec dive.
Research by local divers from the local BSAC dive club suggested that this is the Baiei Maru, a Japanese oil tanker that sank in Brunei Bay after hitting a mine of Japanese make on the 28th October 1944 at 7:30am. It sank the same day at 10:55pm. Three crew members died in the explosion.
Owner: Nitto Kisen K.K. Tokyo
Date of Completion: March 1944
Location Built Hitachi, Sakurajima
Gross Tonnage: 2,858 tons
Type of Ship: Wartime Standard Type 2Tm Oil Tanker, Steam Turbine
Speed Cruising: 9.5 knots, Top Speed 11.5 knots
Bottom Depth: 60m
Highest Point: 50m
This wreck is located just halfway between Muara, Brunei and Pulau Kuraman of Malaysia in a deep seabed trench that begins at 50m that levels off at 130m. It was first discovered by the Brunei Shell Petroleum (BSP) survey vessel, MV Kajib during a high resolution multi-beam bathymetry survey of the trench that was done to further investigate geomorphology and to provide the Brunei Hydrographic Office and UKHO with updated seabed survey information. On the right is the image taken during the survey of a shipwreck of previously unknown origin. This wreck has only been dived on by only a few and only as recently as June 2008. There is still much to be discovered about this shipwreck.
The Pacific Boxer lies at a depth of 63m and stands upright at an angle of approximately 5 degrees upwards to the bow. The mast is intact and rises nearly to 40m which provides a good reference point well above the bottom silty layer. The top of the superstructure sits at about 51m. Only dived on a few times by local divers, it is one of the less frequently visited shipwrecks due to its depth. A slick of escaping fuel oil was present on the dives in 1993 and also in 2004.
The vessel sank during anchor handling after two collisions with the stern anchor flukes of the barge, Mantorek at 7:05am on the 30th July 1982.
Owner: Swire Pacific
Date of Completion: Unknown
Location Built: Imamura, Kure, Japan
Yard No: Unknown
Gross Tonnage: 388 tons
Type of Ship: Anchor handling tug
Highest Point: 42m
Bottom Depth: 63m
The Petani Mistral sank after being swept onto a leg of a local oil rig, the Trident-12 at 9:45pm on the 3rd February 1995.
Date of Completion: 1989
Location Built: Promet Shipyard, Singapore
Yard No: 1111
Gross Tonnage: 832 tons
Type of Ship: Tug / Supply Ship
Bottom Depth: 47m
Highest Point: 35m
The vessel sits upright in 47m with the mast rising above 30m. However, both the main mast and the fore mast have fallen off recently in September 2004. The wreck was first dived on by the Panaga Dive Club divers on the 17th September 1995 on a trip led by Jim Beavis. The superstructure is covered in nets and is host to many schools of fishes making it one of the most attractive technical wrecks to dive on. Most doors and points of penetrations are covered in nets. When penetrating the bridge, there is often as many fish found inside the wreck as outside. Many ring-tailed cardinals and yellow-fin groupers can be found on the wreck.
The Southern Glory sank in heavy weather when its cargo shifted. Originally called the Karoon, it was purchased by R.W. Miller, and renamed the ‘Eliza Miller.’ During late 1968 and early 1969, it was shortened to become a bulk carrier on the Miller “60 milers” coal shipping run. Before all its conversion work was completed, it was renamed ‘Lisa Miller’ after Roderick W. Miller’s eldest daughter) in 1969. In 1979, it was sold to the Southern Navigation Co of Kuching, Malaysia, and renamed the Southern Cross. In 1980, it was again sold to the Sing Brun Shipping & Trading Co of Singapore, and again sold in 1988 to Kuala Lumpur Shipping Co of Singapore.
The Southern Glory is a big ship weighing over 5,000 tons and lies in 63m on its port side. Another one of the technical wrecks, it is rarely dived on by local divers due to its depth. It is 54 nautical miles offshore from Kuala Belait.
Owner: Perkapalan Sinwen Marine Sendirian Berhad
Date of Completion: August 1951
Location Built: New South Wales, Australia by NSW Government Dockyard
Yard No: 40
Gross Tonnage: 2427 tons
Type of Ship: Cargo ship originally named Karoon owned by Union Steamship Co of New Zealand
Speed: 10 knots, twin diesel engine
Bottom Depth: 63m
Highest Point: 53m
The ship was hit by a torpedo from American submarine USS Pargo SS-264, approximately 35 km NNE of Cape Baram, North West off the coast of Borneo at 4:11 pm on the 26th Nov 1944.
Owner: Iino Kaiun K.K., Tokyo
Date of Completion: 10th November 1943
Location Built: Nagasaki, Japan by Mitsubishi
Yard No: 919
Gross Tonnage: 5,227 tons
Type of Ship: 1TM Wartime Standard Tanker, Steam Turbine
Speed: 11 knots
Bottom Depth: 53m
Highest Point: 45m
The story after is based on conjecture done through research. The ship may have been broken in two by the torpedo hit. After diving on it, local divers surmised that the ship took a torpedo in the stern, just under the starboard lifeboat. This opened a 10 square meter hole in the ship’s side and, almost instantly, the engine room was full of a fatal extra 1,000 tons of seawater. This huge weight would have broken the ship’s back resulting in the sunken stern, leaving the forward section afloat. The stern sank here in Brunei waters, while the remainder of the ship may have been towed to Miri, however, the tanker’s draft of 7m or so would not allow it within 3 km of the beach. The wreck was likely grounded by the Japanese while they decided on its fate. On the 28th November 1944, the American air force bombed the Miri Roads (offshore anchorage) and sank the Atago Maru, another shipwreck in Malaysian waters. Perhaps, after the bombing, the Japanese decided to tow it out of harm’s way to Singapore as the bows contained precious fuel. The bow has currently been discovered to lie 150 miles east of Singapore while the stern lies here in Brunei waters. The two parts of the wreck lie just over 1,000km apart!