You might have heard a lot about Raja Ampat already. This archipelago located in West Papua Indonesia is famous for the rich biodiversity and the exquisite beauty. The underwater beauty is so amazing that divers come from all over the world to this remote area. Raja Ampat Islands will not only provide you with an amazing view of diverse marine animals but also stunning wrecks. This is why wreck diving Raja Ampat is another amazing way to explore this paradise on earth.
Raja Ampat Islands located in Coral Triangle, which means that this archipelago is the hotspot for coral biodiversity. This area in the Eastern part of Indonesia is home for around 600 species of corals, 1,500 species of fish, and 700 species of mollusks. What makes it more amazing is that 75% of the world’s fish population can be found here. This is why Raja Ampat diving is something many people dream about. However, aside from the marine life, there are also numerous underwater wrecks that can make your underwater adventure more exciting.
Wreck Diving Raja Ampat
There are over 20 wrecks that have been located around Raja Ampat. However, only six of them that can be dived on. The other wrecks are too deep or too badly damaged.
1. Cross Wreck Dive Site
One of the famous wrecks diving Raja Ampat is Cross Wreck Dive Site. This site is named after the landing site of the first Christian missionaries in this area. The wreck lies 18 meters under the sea. This wreck is one of the most accessible one. It is a Japanese Navy Patrol Boat that sank during World War II. Now, this boat has been colonized by sponges and soft corals, as well as a home for various types of fish.
This wreck is relatively shallow with maximum depths of 20 meters only. It has a good visibility that can reach up to 30 meters on a good day. Therefore, you can freely dive and explore the deck while looking at what had been left of this ship underwater. Although it is relatively shallow with good visibility, you should be an experienced diver to explore this wreck.
This ship has been underwater for years, but many of its parts are still intact despite the corals that colonized it. You can still spot the ships lamps, switchboard, ammunition, and the depth charges. You can also explore the engine room, communications room, and front hold.
Diving in this wreck, you will be welcomed by various fish such as humphead parrotfish, napoleon wrasse, moray eels, scorpionfish, and also lionfish. Meanwhile, you will also spot smaller creature in the wall of the wreck such as gobies, shrimps, and nudibranchs.
This wreck is popular for its night dive. During the night, you will see all the animals swimming and swarming around the ship. Going along the ship to the end of the wreck, there is a smaller area called critters corner. In this spot, you will easily find mantis shrimps, seahorses, devil scorpionfish, leaf fish, and frogfish.
2. Shinwa Maru
Shinwa Maru is another popular wreck you can find in Raja Ampat. This is a cargo ship that sank during the WWII. This ship sank because of two bombs hitting it. You can see the holes caused by the explosion on the starboard side. Shinwa Maru lies on its port side 16 to 34 meters underwater.
Not only the starboard side that was damaged, but you will also see that the wooden floors of the bridge have collapsed as well. When you peek inside, most of its contents are still intact. There are many remnants and debris strewn around the ship. You will spot minesweeping equipment, technical equipment, car batteries, cables ammunition, and sake bottles. There are also two diving helmets can be found here that also makes the whole scenery looks hauntingly beautiful.
Compared to the Cross Wreck, this one is not as densely covered in corals. However, plenty of jacks and pipefish are swimming and living around this wreck. You can dive here and enjoy the amazing view of the wreck that is now colonized by marine life.
3. Aircraft Wrecks
Not only shipwrecks found around Raja Ampat waters. There is also an aircraft wreck found lies on the seabed around this area. You will find a wrecked P42 fighter airplane model that was shot down and now lies at 27 meters. This plane was discovered in 1999 and largely still intact. Similar to the other wreck before, this plane was also sunk in 1944 during the Second World War.
This wreck is just about 30-minute boat rides from Kri Island. It has quite good visibility of 10-25 meters. Therefore, you will be able to see the plane still in its perfect condition clearly. There are also excellent coral growth as well as critters and fish swimming around the wrecks. You can visit this dive site if you get on a liveaboard that usually has included the Raja Ampat diving package as well.
4. Pasir Putih Wreck
As its name suggests, this wreck is close to the Pasir Putih beach. Around 13-22 meters underwater, there is a Japanese navy patrol boat lies silently and covered with corals. It is a 30-35 meters long boat that sits upright deep on the reef slope.
5. Pillbox Wreck
The Pillbox Wreck lies near the Mansiman Island. This wreck is located in relatively shallow water at 9-16 meters underwater. This long vessel is a Japanese commercial cargo vessel with 60-65 meters long. During the war, this vessel carried ammunition. This is evident from the remnant on the wreck today.
6. Mupi Wreck
There is not much known about this wreck. It is a 40 meters long vessel sits upright 9 meters underwater. This big vessel is now covered with white and red corals. Similar to other vessels found in Raja Ampat, many parts of this vessel are still intact. You can see metal pot still on the oven, and also bottles and ammunition that are scattered around.
There are many ways of enjoying the marvelous beauty of Raja Ampat and one of them is by diving. Not only enjoying the usual dive watching amazing marine life, but also exploring the Wreck Diving Raja Ampat. However, before you jump into the ocean to admire this scenic view, make sure you understand the challenge you will meet underwater. Some dive sites sometimes require more experienced level divers. Consult your guide first whether it is safe for you to dive there. Ask about the depth and current, and make sure you have the proper equipment.