Wreck diving in Sabah | Kota Kinabalu has its own local wreck dive!
What a great day for scuba diving in Kota Kinabalu yesterday… On the 17th November 2016 we gained our very own local wreck diving site with the sinking of a 1966 103 foot long patrol boat. With great assistance from Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun, Sabah and Labuan Region director First Admiral Mohd Zubil Mat Som of Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) and a local dive operator.
They have now created not only a future great wreck diving spot to enjoyed and encourage more diving tourism to Sabah. But also an artificial reef system allowing and protecting our great marine life that Sabah has to offer. The wreck lies in just 20m of warm tropical water making idea to the PADI Open Water Diver – What are we waiting for wreck diving!
Let’s look at some of the facts and figures surrounding this new Kota Kinabalu wreck diving spot…
The ship was manufactured and finished in the UK by Vosper Thornycroft in Porchester, England on 22nd June 1966. She is known by two names, when it was commission back in January 1967 it was called KD Renchong and was operated by the Malaysia Navy. Only in 2006 was she handed to the Malaysian Maritime and renamed KD Kurama. This Vosper 103 foot Type Patrol Boat flew under pennant/flag #38 Malaysia but had various numbers during her time – 1966/P3151 1972/P38 2006/3139
This wreck diving site is going to be an interesting site to dive as it is of reasonable size, her length is 31.25m with a beam of 6.02m and had a draught of 1.98m. Originally she displaced 96 tons or 123 tons fully laden. Originally she was equipped with four guns – 2x 7.62mm Machine Guns and 2x 1-40/70 Breda-Bofors 564
During this period of manufacture, Vosper would have installed either 2x GM Detroit Diesel 16V71 TI Diesel Engines @ 2500 HP or 2x Bristol-Siddeley or Maybach MD655/18 Diesel @ 3550 HP and two propeller shafts. Depending upon the engine configuration she would have a top speed of either 18 or 27 knots. With a safe operating range of 1400 nautical miles at 14 knots. The vessel ‘wreck diving site’ would have been operated by a crew of around 22 to 23 persons. This wreck diving monument would have been in a ‘ship’s company’ of 17 originally – I bet they never thought it would end up as a wreck diving site in Sabah.
Wreck diving | So are you ready to sign up for a PADI Wreck Diver Speciality Course?
Be amongst the first wave of visiting divers to dive this wreck and at the same time get your PADI Speciality. Contact Borneo Dream today and make plans to become a wreck diving scuba diver!