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Scuba Diving in Moalboal, Cebu, the Philippines
Dive Site: Copton Plane
Location: 10°0'0"N; 123°22'0"E (Copton Point, Moalboal)
Description: Plane wreck
Depth: 23 metres (76 feet)
Visibility: 15 metres (50 feet)
One thing Moalboal does not have in close proximity to shore is wreck diving, so Copton Point and diving on the plane wreck makes for a refreshing break from the excellent reef and wall dives the areas does have to offer. I have been unable to unearth much information on this small plane (both whilst in Moalboal and since returning to the UK - there does not appear to be much at all on the internet, so any additional information would be much appreciated). The circumstances of its demise remain a mystery, although I was reliably informed during a local dive brief that it is made of "hardboard" or "cardboard". Too much diving has obviously affected my hearing!!! Two things I can tell you, is that the wreckage is not made of cardboard and it is a thoroughly enjoyable dive. There was a little surface current upon descent however the permanent shot line provided a comfortable option for descent, if required, to the 23 metre deep wreck. The plane lies on a gently sloping reef plateau near the edge of a walled drop-off. It appears to be of a fibreglass type construction and lies flat and very intact on the seabed. Perfect for photographs, the cockpit is easily accessible. Both wings are detached from the fuselage, but still lie in perfect flying position. One of the tail fins on the left side of the tail is broken away and lays two thirds of the way along the left wing. Aside from this and the missing propeller blades (which I would assume disintegrated upon impact with the surface) you can almost imagine firing up the engine, taxiing along the reef plateau and ascending to the surface before breaking through the waves into the skies above.
We spent about 20 minutes exploring the fuselage, wings and prop shaft which were all reasonably devoid of coral growth, before heading along the drop-off and into the upper reef shallows. Here the hard coral is great and we stopped to watch a hawksbill turtle feeding on the reef, seemingly oblivious to our presence. The rest of our dive was spent lazily drifting over the coral and observing the multitude of small fish life which makes it home along Copton Peninsular.
Rik Vercoe, BSAC Advanced Instructor
I found on the internet that the plane was donated as a diving object by a local aircraft factory.
Michael Magnus | 29/03/2009
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