Golden Horseshoe Expedition: Sea Chart 1 Wreck – Part 3
Shipwreck survey completed by technical divers
Khao Lak, Thailand – Big Blue Tech concluded the survey of the Sea Chart 1 shipwreck based off the shore of Khao Lak, Thailand at of depth of 40m with a final day of diving activities on the morning of January 11 2010.
The final day of diving was to penetrate the wreck and identify hazards and points of interest that had otherwise not been identified in the past. Penetration of this shipwreck is difficult because of the inner staircase system which connects the floors of the wheel house down which leaves no alternate exit other than a tight winding system. Another penetration proved to dangerous when faced with the possibility of entrapment at the entrance to the engine room.
Overall the wreck is perfect for shallow diving who stay along the port side of the shipwreck away from the unstable cargo and for divers who are not planning to conduct any penetration beyond the captains cabin which is spacious and safe to swim through.
The unstable cargo in question are large hard wood logs that have spilled out into the sand as the shipwreck fell on to it’s starboard side. However, these logs did not fall completely clean and are being held in suspension by steel cables creating an overhang which looks like an appealing feature to swim under. The further hazard is created because these steel cables are rusting slowly and will break under the weight at some point. It’s clear that when these logs fall it will impact the shipwreck itself and possibly rolling or sinking it into a new position, it’s strongly recommended that penetration not happen until this event has happened to prevent the possibility of entrapment.
As a final gesture of good will to future divers we also found some items of interest in the sand was placed along the wreck in a shallow region for recreational divers to see. This follows our strict policy about removing things from shipwrecks which is even more valid on this shipwreck which might still be under insurance investigation with possible plans of recovery in the future.
With diving activities on the wreck completed the divers wait for the next event which is a liveaboard in the Similan Islands departing on th 13th returning on the 17th when we leave the region for more diving down south.