Located to the north of Palawan, Coron is an
island characterised by dramatic limestone karsts, lush green
rainforest and white sandy beaches. But the main attraction lies
beneath the waves...
The Philippines' History During WWII
Wreck diving in the Philippines gives an eerie insight into
World War Two, with a number of perfectly preserved wrecks in close
proximity in Coron Bay. The Japanese supply fleet met its demise on
24 September 1944, when a squadron of 24 Helldiver bombers launched
a deadly attack sinking Japanese gunboats, supply ships, aircraft
carriers and planes. Today, Coron Bay has some of the
best-preserved WWII wrecks in the world at recreational dive
depths, making them suitable for every level of diver (some are
even suitable for snorkellers).
Diving Coron Bay's WWII Wrecks
What makes wreck diving in Coron Bay so special is that the
wrecks are all in a relatively compact area, meaning divers are
spoilt for choice when wreck diving. Some of these war vessels
extend over 170 metres and most are easily penetrable, making it a
dream for divers with their wreck speciality (and if you don't,
this is the perfect place to learn!), as divers can enter engine
rooms, kitchens and workshops still equipped with tools, while
ammunition, anti-aircraft guns and tanks provide an eerie insight
into the past.
Top Five Wrecks in the Philippines
While the close proximity of the wrecks means divers can explore
the whole underwater museum if they choose, here are our picks for
the five best wrecks in Coron Bay…
1. The Olympia Maru
Lying very close to Sangat Island, the Olympia Maru measures a
whopping 122 metres in length and rests upright at 30 metres.
Penetrate the wreck to explore the engine room while outside
pufferfish, scorpionfish and turtles call this wreck home.
This refrigeration wreck is one of the best-preserved wrecks in
the Philippines, Irako rests at a maximum depth of 43 metres (her
deck rests at 28 metres), making her suited to advanced divers.
This freighter lies at 34 metres and extends a staggering 140
metres. While the deck still holds anti-aircraft weapons, inside
spot construction materials and even a bulldozer
One of the most famous wrecks to rest in Coron Bay, the coral
encrusted Okikawa extends 170 metres, with her deck at 12 metres,
making her suited to open water divers as well as advanced.
5. The Morazan
The 95-metre freighter lies at a maximum depth of 25 metres with
four cargo bays to explore, while outside the wreck is carpeted in
beautiful hard corals and clouds of marine life.