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Scuba Diving in Coron, Palawan, the Philippines
Dive Site: Kogyo Maru
Location: Coron, Palawan, Philippines (11°58'N; 120°02'E)
Description: 6,352 ton auxillary cargo ship
Length: 158 metres (520 feet)
Depth: 22 - 36 metres (72 - 118 feet)
Visibility: 10 - 15 metres (30 - 50 feet)
It is likely that this freighter was a war prize captured by the Japanese. She is 129 metres long and lies on her side in 36 metres of water so appropriate care should be taken in view of the consequential problems. The forward holds contain materials for the construction of an airstrip - cement in bags and what appears to be hexagonal metal reinforcing mat though it feels like stone and cracking off a small piece revealed a hollow inner consistent with the original metal having oxidised away to leave just a rust shell. There is also a bulldozer in one hold.
Swim through possibilities are superb on this wreck but as always a guide is essential. The shallow side of the hull is a veritable coral garden inhabited by a great variety of fish including the inevitable nasties such as scorpions. We also found several different species of anemone inhabitants and shoals of some quite large species. The hull makes a great second dive.
Martin Frankcom, BSAC Advanced Instructor
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