PAK 1 Shipwreck
At the weekend we were lucky to get invited on an overnight trip to dive the PAK 1 Shipwreck been run by and out of Rayong Dive Centre.
For anyone who does not know this shipwreck, it was previously known as the vertical wreck and was for a number of years Pattaya’s most famous dive site.
Sinking on the 25th August 1996 the ship was originally built in Japan and called the ‘Koho Maru 5’ until it was purchased by a Thai Company and renamed the “PAK 1”
The PAK 1 shipwreck sank for the first time in a storm at N 11 41.980 E 101 40.860. Only 2 of the 11 crew members on board survived with no remains of the others ever found.
News of the sinking spread quickly through local fishing boats then to the local dive community where monthly trip commenced. Positioned in an area of clear water with the bow only 5 meters below the surface, and the ships stern resting at 62 meters.
Sadly throughout time, the LPG tanks leaked and the PAK 1 shipwreck refloated enough to drift in and out of major shipping lanes with no lights or identification and still been full of gas it became a major harzard so on the 6th March 2002 the Royal Thai Navy towed it to it present location of N 12 05.504 E 101 40.931 and sank it.
The PAK 1 shipwreck now lies upright on the bottom in 42 meters of water some 65km / 35 nautical miles offshore. We chose to use Nitrox 28% backgas with 50% for decompression.
After an overnight 6hr steam out we finally arrived at first light and shot lined the wreck. With both Koh Chang & Rayong very much out of sight this was very much exploration diving. The descent was in crystal clear water with schooling pelegic fish but reveals nothing until around 25 meters depth is reached, where the slight dark outline of the ship appeared. A thermocline existed around 30 meters depth, and the visibility dropped to around 3-5 meters as you descend.
Been our first dive on the wreck we were cautious and did not penetrate too far, we hope to return again in the coming months to do so further exploration on this wreck.