Wreck Diving at Racha Yai: Phuket Wreck Diving Videos and Racha Yai wrecks

June 15, 2010
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Here’re a couple of Phuket wreck diving videos showcasing the four wrecks at Racha Yai Phuket. When scuba divers talk about wreck diving around Phuket, the King Cruiser immediately springs to mind, but there are also four very accessible wrecks in the shallows off the east coast of Racha Yai. Wreck diving at Racha Yai offers all levels of scuba diver something different to the normal Phuket reef dives. Although smaller than the King Cruiser, the Racha Yai wrecks are still pretty cool and are attracting more and more marine life. Racha Yai is about 90 minutes south of Phuket by dive boat and dive trips run daily throughout the year. All four Racha Yai wrecks are were deliberately scuttled on the east coast, which is where the best diving is.

The first video includes the three smaller wrecks. Two of them are confusingly known as The New New Wreck and The Old New wreck. The third one is known as The Speedboat Wreck, although strangely it was never a speedboat.

Racha Yai Wreck Video

The New New Wreck was sunk in October 2009. She used to be a small passenger ferry before finding her final resting place at a depth of 22 meters in Bay Two Racha Yai. The wreck is around 22 meters in length. She was stripped and made environmentally friendly before she was scuttled. All the windows and interior were removed making it safe for scuba divers to penetrate. The top of the wreck is at 15 meters and there is usually a school of Batfish patrolling both inside and outside the boat. The Batfish are pretty inquisitive and usually swim right up to divers circling a few times before swimming off. The wreck also attracts Barracuda, Lionfish, and Moorish Idols. She’s a relatively new wreck, and should attract more and more marine life as the months and years pass. She lays in close proximity to the old new wreck, and both wrecks can be dived on a single dive.

The Old New Wreck was sunk in early 2008 and has a maximum depth of 25 meters. She tops out at around 19 meters and lays upright leaning lazily to her starboard side. Her length is about 24 meters. Made of wood and laying in current prone shallow water she has already deteriorated quite a lot. Penetration is not possible on this dive. Things to see include Barracuda, Mappa Pufferfish, Moorish Idols, Snappers, Batfish, and Nudibranchs. Unfortunately fishing boats regularly rape this wreck, and regularly snag their nets leaving them as evidence.

Crocodile Flathead

The Speedboat Wreck is the oldest, smallest, and the liveliest and most colorful out of the three wrecks in included in the video. She was deliberately sunk about 10 years ago and has become an enticing home to a vast array of marine life. She sits at a maximum depth of 21 meters and tops out at just over 18 meters. From bow to stern she measures around 17 meters. There is some substantial hard coral growth on the boat, as well as some soft corals and sea fans. It’s possible to find almost anything knocking around this wreck. Critters seen here include Ghost Pipefish, Robust Ghost Pipefish, Jenkins Rays, Blue Spotted Rays, Moray Eels, Lionfish, Catfish, Five Line Snappers, Trevally, Cleaner Pipefish, Indian Ocean Walkman, Crocodile Flatheads, Mantis Shrimps, Scorpion Fish, Octopus, and Frogfish. At one point in early 2010 there were seven Ghost Pipefish in a single green sea fan at the stern of the boat. The Frogfish are usually only spotted during night dives.

Marlas Mystery Wreck Video

The second video is Marlas Mystery Wreck. She was scuttled in 2004 and is the largest of all the wrecks at Racha Yai at over 30 meters in length. She has a steel hull so even though she’s in shallow water where currents can be strong, she remains in the same shape as when she was sunk, although now covered with hard and soft corals. Hard corals on wrecks grow extremely slowly so the corals are still small with some growing just millimeters each year. She is little dived, as there is rarely a buoy-line on the wreck. Captains of some dive boats know where she is, and with the aid of depth finders are able to drop divers right on top of her. Divers need to descend immediately or are in danger of being pushed off the wreck by the current to spend their whole dive over the sand at 32 meters looking for the wreck. The wreck tops out at around 27 meters and marine life to be found here includes Lionfish, Scorpion Fish, Banner Fish, Ghost Pipefish, Barracuda, Snappers, Soldier Fish, Squirrel Fish, and more. Marlas Mystery is a deep dive and an ideal candidate for enriched air diving.

For all Phuket Racha Yai Wrecks

  • When to go: All year but best between February and November.
  • Visibility: 10 to 50 meters.
  • Currents: Mild to Strong depending on the tides.
  • Temp: 26c to 31c.

Note

The King Cruiser Phuket is the largest wreck for recreational divers in Thailand. For a detailed blog on the King Cruiser including video see here.

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