A Brief Account of Coron Wreck Dive Sites
A bit about Irako
The mighty Irako was a Japanese ship that weighed 9723 tons. 149.6 metres in length and 19 metres in width, Irako was a ship that Japanese used for refrigerate. She had two steam powered geared turbines, 8300 ship, and drove twin propellers. Irako could sail at a maximum speed of 17.5 knots. Irako could carry supplies for 25, 000 sea men for over two weeks.
Irako is considered to be the best wreck dive site in Philippines, by a lot of wreck divers in the world. Even today, under the deep sea, Irako stands quite intact. Irako suffered bombings mainly in her bridge-section which caused her to go to rest beneath the sea. At present Irako lies at the mouth of the Coron Bay, at N 11° 58. 059' and E 120° 02. 412'. Irako stands upright except the bridge area.
What can you see in and around Irako?
Irako boasts a good visibility. Once near her, wreck divers can come across schools of yellow fin, and tuna fish. Lion fish and scorpion fish also play around the wreck of Irako. It is also the homeground to sea turtles, and sea snakes.
If you are diving between 10 am to 2 pm, on a bright and sunny day, you could see the solar beams entering the vessel, creating an effect like in a cathedral. Two giant boilers in the middle of the ship, is also a great attraction for the divers. Once you pass the boilers, you can see the damage area of the ship that occurred due to bombings.
You could also venture into the Transmission room, starboard side, work station, and kitchen room.
Okikawa Maru Wreck
A bit about Okikawa Maru
The Okikawa Maru was a Japanese oil tanker, which was about 170 metres in length. It is the largest in terms of length, width and volume among all the other Coron wrecks. At present the Okikawa Maru lies at N 12° 1.128' and E 119° 58. 176'.
What can you see in and around Okikawa Maru?
Okikawa Maru, is now covered with beautiful bunch of coral reefs. Besides, a number of marine species can be seen in and around the age old tanker. Divers argue that if it is not the Irako, it is Okikawa Maru which is the most beautiful ship lying at the sea bed near Coron. You can play around with the shoals of colourful fish, in and around the wrecks of Okikawa Maru. At the bow of the hulk, you can see snappers and bat fish among many other species.
A bit about Akitsushima
Akitshushima was the only seaplane maintenance ship that went under water in Coron Bay. The bombardment split the huge vessel of 118 metres long and 15.7 metres width in two in the front of the engine room. Akitsushima was powered by four engines run by diesel. The engines drove twin propellers that could let the war ship sail at a maximum speed of 19 knots. The war vessel now lies on her port side, at N 11° 59. 218' and E 119° 58. 417', between Culion and Busuanga Islands.
Akitsushima, the mighty Japanese war ship, was armed with ten 25mm anti-aircraft guns; four 5 inch (50 cal) guns and one huge Kanwanishi flying boat. After it was hit, the flying boat disappeared and was not to be seen again. The crane used for lifting up the war vessel is in one piece.
What can you see in and around Akitsushima?
There is a lot more to see in and around Akitsushima than just a variety of marine species like – snappers, groupers, batfishes, shrimps, and yellow fin tuna, because it was a sea plane maintenance carrier. You can see the crane, which is still intact and now attracts schools of barracudas and giant batfish.
At the front of the boat tracks of the huge Akitsushima, one can see the mounting of a 3-barreled AA gun. The engine room, with the giant engines at rest, is a great attraction of the Akitsushima.
Kogyo Maru Wreck
A bit about Kogyo Maru
Once a Japanese ship that would carry construction materials, now Kogyo Maru lies on her starboard side at 34 metres. She was carrying materials with which the Japanese planned to build a runway for the war effort in the Pacific. 129 metres in length and 18 metres in widh, Kogyo Maru weighed 6353 tons. Powered by two oil fuelled steam turbines, now, the vessel sleeps at N 11° 58. 782' and E 120° 02. 413'.
What can you see in and around Kogyo Maru?
You can see a number of things while you are at Kogyo Maru. You can swim through into all the 6 holds, and also through the engine room and the bridge area. The second hold of the vessel has toppled cement bags that Kogyo Maru was carrying with her. Move a little forward and you get to see a small bulldozer. There are also an air compressor and a tractor. Even the metal wheels are intact of the tractor. As you keep on swimming, you come to the vast and dumped engine room.
Once done with the mighty machines you can look around for the beautiful corals. Barracudas and other species of colourful fishes are likely to pass by you. You can also see giant puffer fishes, banner fishes, razor fishes and trevallies.
A bit about Lusong
Lusong is a gunboat or a submarine hunter, which was 35 metres in length. It is presently located at N 11° 58. 260' and E 120° 01. 447', at the eastern side of the Lusong Island. The stern breaks the water surface at the time of low tide.
What can you see in and around Lusong?
Lusong gunboat wreck is now a great place for snorkelling. It is now covered with beautiful hard corals and thus attracting a variety of marine fishes. Lusong is a favourite place for wreck photographers.
Olympia Maru Wreck
A bit about Olympia Maru
The Japanese Freighter which was 122 metres in length and 17 metres in width sank down in the deep sea and rests there in an upright position in about 30 metres of water. A ship of 5612 tons, it is now located near Sangat Island in Coron Bay, at N 11° 58. 291' and E 120° 03. 707'.
What can you see in and around Olympia Maru?
Easy penetration at the cargo rooms of the Olympia Maru is possible, and there are quite a few things to look around there.
Shoals of banana fish, giant bat fish and puffer fish can be seen around the stern, mast and the bow. The marine life is more diverse here. Crocodile fish and scorpion fish can also be found here. Divers often get to see interesting things around Olympia Maru.
Morazaan Maru Wreck
A bit about Morazaan Maru
A Japanese ship of about 140 metres now lies on the sea bed near Coron. It is a recent re-examination of this ship that has ascertained it as Morazaan Maru. Earlier, it was mistaken as Olympia Maru.
What can you see in and around Morazaan Maru?
Morazaan Maru is now a hard coral mantle. This is a wonderful sight for the divers. There is easy penetration in the huge cargo compartments and the engine room. Keeping your eyes open would reveal a number of things in this wreck.
Scorpion fishes frequent the wreck of Morazaan Maru. Apart from them, sweet lips, sea snakes, giant groupers and turtles can also be spotted near this wreck.
Sangat Sub Chaser
A bit about the Sangat Sub Chaser
The Sangat Sub Chaser is now reposed on the eastern side of Sangat Island.
What can you see in and around Sangat Sub Chaser?
The Sangat Sub Chaser is a wonderful wreck diving site for amateurs and beginners. A dive photographer would love to be here for obvious reasons. Sangat Sub Chaser site is a popular dive site for enjoying snorkelling too.
Nanshin Maru Wreck
A bit about Nanshin Maru
Nanshin Maru is known as “Black Island Wreck” was 50 metres long. It sits upright on the sandy bed of the sea. Nanshin Maru was a small tanker that would carry diesel, lube oil, gasoline etc.
What can you see in and around Nanshin Maru?
Scorpion fish, lion fish, trumpet fish, bat fish and groupers are common at the Nanshin Maru wreck. It is a lovely wreck spot for the diver photographers to go on shooting. It is a wreck that even beginners can try diving into.
Nanshin Maru is located about 3.5 hours from Coron. For the long distance of this wreck from Coron, Nanshin Maru is only covered when divers request for it. It is a day’s dive and you have to depart early in the morning in order to explore the wreck.
Kyoguzan Maru Wreck
A bit about Kyoguzan Maru
Kyoguzan Maru which stretched approximately from 160 to 180 metres, weighed about 5000 tons. The ship is still almost intact.
What can you see in and around Kyoguzan Maru?
Kyoguzan offers good visibility, and has ideal diving conditions, which is a piece of good news for the beginners. The ship still has the Japanese staff cars and trucks in the cargo room. Kyoguzan is a charming wreck site for the divers.
Kyoguzan wreck is also located a bit far from Coron, but on special requests by the divers, the wreck dive to this beautiful wreck can be arranged.