With the increasing number of technical divers around Koh Tao the need to maintain a permanent line on the Unicorn shipwreck has arisen. We at Davy Jones’ Locker usually like to shot and tie-in each time we visit the Unicorn as it teaches the student these valuable skills. However the changing face of technical diving has meant that there are higher volumes of beginner tech divers with a need to hold up their profiles to 40 and 45 metres respectively.
To facilitate this, making it easier for all the instructors to run the shallower courses on the Unicorn, a permanent line was placed on it by Kris, a technical diving instructor from Davy Jones’ Locker, a few weeks ago. The permanent line was run from 3 metres under the surface to the top of the mast and from there to the bow of the ship. This enables the instructor to maintain a shallower profile with his students. This is necessary because often when you shot the Unicorn wreck the line ends up at 48 metres and has to be lifted in to the top of the wreck so that it can be tied-in. In the past it has meant that the instructor has had to run a decompression profile for a deeper dive.
Unfortunately, fishermen have not always been pleased with such arrangements. They frequently cut the buoys of the mooring lines that we set up. So when the last line was cut, a team of experienced tech divers, Tim Lawrence and Kris Harrison, returned to re-set the permanent line from 3 metres under the surface to the top of the mast and then to the bow.
This task was complicated due to poor visibility around full moon which was approximately 1 metre. Despite this we shot the wreck. Then lifted the shot-line in to the shallower part and tied in to the forward mast. Then we located the original mooring line and ran out the bow line to the bow. Following this, we set a permanent distance-line along the length of the wreck at 45 metres. We returned to the mast and untied the shot-line which had already been prepped with a lift bag for recovery. We ascended the shot, straightening out the original mooring line which was still secured to the mast. Completing our decompression profile and gas switches we refixed a permanent buoy to this line at 3 metres. Finally, we entered the boat, recovered our shot and returned to Koh Tao.
Completing this task should make it easier for shallower tech courses to be run in the future – until the next fisherman cuts it. While completing this exercise, we also cut some of the ancillary lines which strewn the unicorn wreck, waiting to entangle unwary divers. This task is constantly required on the Unicorn because local fishermen are constantly snagging it with lines. The job is made easier when all the schools join in, helping to make the wreck safer to dive. Davy Jones’ Locker Technical Dive Team.