Japanese Tanker Wreck Near Pulau Kapas

It has been a while since I last took a serious look at the dive forum, and apparently the Japanese wreck near Pulau Kapas in Terengganu is an almost-intact tanker. Macha, Adik, Bobo, Syam went down there between 2002 and 2005.

It is a fairly deep wreck, but not too deep. However, it is very easy to bust one’s No Deco Limit, and/or to get Nitrogen Narcosis when diving this wreck. The top part lies at 28m while it bottoms at 40m. So dive time should be limited to around 15 to 25 minutes only, the shallower the longer.

Here is Macha‘s dive brief for the site:

Its a tanker according to veterans of Chendering Folks it Departs Kuala Terengganu full with diesel & was torpedoed ( dive bomber or subs ? )
Huge flames lasted for hours through out the nite.

Wreck Length : 78 meters
Type : Steel Tanker
Max Depth : Sandy Bottom 40 meters
on wreck upper deck 30-35 meters
bridge 28-30 meters
Visibilty : 8-20 meters

To dive safely here a well organize planning is nescesary. Two reference line needed at hull & stern for exit & entry point. Its a 1 way ticket dive ( drift ). I normally hook a few stage tank for deco stop. On air its possible to do a No Deco dive but..as contingency I will use twin tank air as the moving air bank if divers get to Deco & doing long deco stops.

The current here can get nasty and its difficult to refer from any tide charts for accuracy, currently using Chendering & Marang charts.

Visibility can get as good as 20 meters from surface to 18 meters. I’ve experienced 20 meter viz once & its the best as divers can see the wreck & schooling fishes as reference while descending.
As in syamdive video we experience strong current from surface till 20 meters depth & no current till bottom with thermocline.

The wreck looks messy as usual with debris, nets & fishing lines as this can be really hazardous esp. in low viz. But the coral growth on it really excites divers with sponges, dendronepthya soft corals, whips & fans.

The marine life is absolutely marvelous with big school of big eye jacks, pompanos, indo pacific tarpons, red snappers, yellowtails fussiliers & barracudas.

It is also residents to a few Giant Grouper as huge as Perodua Kancil….we named it “George The Grouper”. Its so curious with divers & in 1 of the dives it was following divers all the way. A good observation on the sand can spot a few huge rays & leopard sharks. Encountered a huge Black Marlin here while descending. Besides the giants, Coral Trouts are abundant watching every movement of divers approaching & macro life can be intresting with the brunns cleaner shrimp cleaning any visitors.But Im sure divers wouldn’t have the time to look for macros here plus the effects of narcosis
Once again all of this notes was compiled from a few dives there which ever remains in my Brickfields mind. Its never easy diving here so inexperience divers are not recommended here. Divers must ensure equipment is in good condition & a must to bring dive knife, safety sausages, signalling devices & with dive computers. As for penetration I leave it to the experience techie with penetration background.
I’ll be delighted to bring divers exploring the wreck over again…My last exploration dive here was 2 years back & the wreck is still intact, the deck hatch still accesible but the torpedo hole at starboard has collapsed. In one exploration dive 2003 with my old dive buddy Anuar Abdullah, we salvage an old kerosene lamp made of brass & discovered chinese wordings on it instead Japanese…the plot thickens!
Still unable indentifying the wreck name & will be really great if divers can share any info about this wreck…..Any body heading there? dont mind taking pix of it’s PD viz nowdays!

Here is a diagram of the wreck:

Japanese Tanker Wreck, Pulau Kapas

Here is a video of it taken by Syam, Adik‘s partner.

Gosh, I will have to do this wreck, with Nitrox for accelerated decompression. No way will I stay down there shorter than 25 minutes.