The Davy Jones Locker Tec team have made yet another wreck discovery north of Koh Tao. DJL owner Tim Lawrence who headed the dive team has taken time out to give us his first impressions of the dive and the wreck that was discovered.
New Wreck Discovery
“When I became a tech diving instructor it was my dream to find a shipwreck nobody else had dived. The thought of swimming around a shipwreck looking at subjects nobody else had seen since the loss, unravelling the story of the sinking and the human story was thrilling to me.
It felt that unlocking the story of the loss was like decoding the human history of the sea. That feeling has stayed with me and to this day remains the motivating force behind my wreck expeditions. It was with this thought on the 9th May 2016 that we set out to look for a new mark. The idea was after diving the HTMS Pangan we would look at a mark given to me by a fisherman some 10 years earlier. The wreck had eluded us on previous visits as the seconds were off on the original mark but after speaking to my captain and him contacting his friends we had a new mark close to the old one so off we went.
The feeling of apprehension when you arrive at the target and watch the sounder, waiting for the return as the GPS zeros in is always the same no matter what the target. On this occasion we were lucky, with a clear blip on the sounder and clean shot by Ed. With a mindful eye on the sea state we quickly jumped into our gear. I was diving using a heavily modifed Inspiration Vision, breathing an 18/45 trimix at 55 meters. Narcosis would not be an issue.
Diving the Wreck
As we descended a shadow appeared at the bottom of the line, we were right on top of the wreck. We quickly tied the shot in and reeled off at 49 metres, reaching what appeared to be the stern. Next, we dropped over the side and descended 55 metres to the sand. Unfortunately we couldn’t make out the propellers due to fishing nets obstructing our vision. After returning to the top of the wreck and traversing the side of what appeared to be the bridge we then dropped down to the gunwale at 52 metres. Swimming along the gunwale towards the bow we passed 2 distinctive cargo holds, the cargo was covered in silt. My dive buddys Ed and Matt were diving using open circuit so time constraints stopped us from looking any further .
Returning to the top of the bridge the line was running out along the length of the wreck site. This gave us a clear idea of the direction the wreckage was lying. It could be very useful for discovering more about the wreck. For instance, the name of the boat, what the cargo was and what caused the sinking? For the time being these questions will have to wait until the next time we return…”