Navy Gun Boats (www.DiveSriLanka.com)
A rare dive to a twin site with two ships side by side
Depth: 18 Meters
By Dharshana Jayawardena on the 07/09/2013
The second: Smaller gun boat
07/09/2013 - Never have we dived to a site with two ships within easy finning distance.
We are in the Trincomalee Harbour. It is around 345 PM. The day is over cast and even the sheltered bay is slightly choppy. The ride from Sober Island where we are based to the dive site in two Navy boats take about 20 minutes. En route we are briefed that these are two decommissioned Navy Gun Boats that were sunk after being badly damaged by Limpet sea mines placed by the LTTE in the 1990's. The boats were of Chinese origin and built in the 1960's.
Eager to experience two ships at once for the first time in our lives, we hardly waste time gearing up and soon plunge into the dark blue water made slightly foreboding by the dark skies.
We quickly sink into the the ocean and arrive at one of the ships. Almost as if by design, Its keel is wedged between two large rocks and the ship is slightly listing to the starboard side. The hull is cracked badly and providing quite a large swim through. We were warned however that there were large Moray Eels who could be aggressive.
We then proceeded to swim to the smaller of the boats. It took only a few fin strokes before the derelict hull lying on its port side materialized from the gloom into a quite a discernible ship shape. Only thing missing was one half of the ship on the stern side. The from half from amidships were well intact and the bridge area along with the funnel was clearly visible.
It took us only a few minutes to do one complete circuit around the small wreck. We quickly hopped back to the larger ship and explored it in more detail. It was a good place to end the dive, being shallower than the smaller ship and one could ascend slowly over the rocks observing marine life almost all the way up to the safety stop.
A two in one is a rare occurrence and thus this is a unique dive site. On a day of good visibility this site would be a wonderful place to be.
(This dive site is only accessible through the Sober Island Resort within the Trincomalee Naval Bay. The one of a kind resort is owned and run by the Sri Lankan Navy. Click here for more information)
Ship 1 - large crack in the hull
Ship 2 - Divers swim by
Ship 1: Divers hover over the hull
Diver at the funnel of the Ship 2
Ship 1 - wedged nicely in between two rocks
At the bow of the Ship 2
Photo Credits: (c) www.DiveSriLanka.com by Dharshana Jayawardena