Wreck Diving in Phi Phi Island
Wreck Diving enthusiasts visiting Phi Phi Island will not be disappointed with 2 excellent and very different options to choose from. Since 1997 Phi Phi Island could only boast a single wreck for divers visiting the Island, this all changed in March 2013 with the Royal Thai Navy sinking the 47 mtr Ked Kreaw close to the Island of Phi Phi Leh.
The King Cruiser
The King Cruiser ferry was heading back to Phuket from Phi Phi Island on the 4th May 1997, the huge catamaran had mysteriously strayed off course and suddenly struck the submerged Anemone reef, the accident tore a large hole in the hull and she started to take on water, in just over 2 hours she slipped beneath the surface and was lost to all but a privileged few, DIVERS!!!!.
Why she was so far of course on a calm clear day and nobody had noticed has remained a mystery, She now sits upright and proud at a maximum depth of 30 meters with the top of the wreck at 14 meters and has provided the local diving community with an awesome artificial reef covered in marine life. All 561 passengers and crew were rescued safely by fishing boats that were in the area and responded to the Captains call for help.
As you descend down the buoy line towards the bow of the boat, you get a true feel for the size of this huge catamaran ferry which is over 85 meters in length and 25 meters wide. In the 17 years the King Cruiser has been underwater a huge amount of marine life has moved in and now call’s this home.
The first fish that await Divers descending onto the wreck are massive schools of Yellow Tail Snapper and Barracuda, sometimes so thick in numbers they can block out the light from the surface. Once on the wreck divers need to practice good diving skills to avoid the huge lionfish that patrol the mid decks and camouflaged scorpion fish resting, waiting for their next meal. Entering the wreck safely is now only possible in a few areas due to the collapse of the main super structure.
The King Cruiser is one of the most popular choices for our students making the PADI or SSI Advanced Diver Course. Instructors and Divemaster will brief their divers on the areas that are safe and where is not allowed to enter. A 5 meter safety stop on the way up buoy line above the wreck gives an amazing view of the whole ship and its mass of marine life. The trip to the King Cruiser wreck is normally followed by a 2nd Dive on the nearby set of pinnacles known as Shark Point Phuket, which is regarded as one of the best dives on the West Coast of Thailand.
The Kled Kaeo Wreck
Wreck Diving in Phi Phi Island was handed a massive boost in March 19th 2013 with the planned sinking of the Kled Kaeo just of the Island of Phi Phi Leh, giving divers a great second option for Wreck Diving around the Phi Phi Island’s. The 382 ton 47 meter Kled Kaeo was built in 1948 for the Norwegian Royal Navy, being launched initially as the RnoMS Norfrost. Eight years later it was acquired and renamed by the Royal Thai Navy and used as a transport supply shop.
The sinking was part of the Thai Navy and the Coastal & Marine Resources department plant to sink old Thai Navy ships around Thailand to create artificial reef’s and new Dive site’s to promote tourism.
Sitting at a maximum depth of 26 meters and rising to 14 meters at the shallowest part the Kled Kaeo is a perfect wreck dive for beginners and experienced divers alike. Less than a month had passed and the sunken ship was already covered in marine life with 3 large school’s of fish circling above, Lionfish had quickly moved in and set up home around the main deck, Scorpion fish, a Turtle and an Octopus had also been seen in our first few dives.
Perfectly located within the Phi Phi national park and only a 5 minutes away in our Zodiac speedboat, the Kled Kaeo is perfect for the Advanced Course Wreck dive With a single tank Dive trip scheduled everyday at 2:30 pm, it is easy for you to add this to your Fun diving trip schedule whilst on the Island.
For more information on Scuba Diving in Phi Phi Island please visit our website
Wikipedia page on Sinking ships for Wreck Diving