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World | Philippines | Diving Coron:

Coron overview




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The Akitsushima, Philippines dive site
Gun on the Akitsushima, Philippines dive site
Nudibranch on the Akitsushima, Philippines dive site
Diver inside the Akitsushima, Philippines dive site - courtesy of Martin & Tracy Frankcom

Scuba Diving in Coron, Palawan, the Philippines

Dive Site: Akitsushima

Location: Coron, Palawan, Philippines (11°59'N; 119°58'E)

Description: 4,650 ton seaplane tender

Length: 148 metres (487 feet)

Depth: 20 - 36 metres (66 - 118 feet)

Visibility: 10 - 15 metres (30 - 50 feet)

Rating: ***

This wreck can be quite dark and dingy. There isn't a great deal of life on the outside of the wreck so dive plans generally revolve around swim throughs down long, empty corridors. Look out for a bomb at the end of one of the corridors; other higlights are the collapsed crane used to recover the seaplane and the gun near the seabed.

Reader Reviews:

Possibly the pride of Coron and probably the only actual warship here as opposed to the more abundant supply ships. Despite being hit Akitsushima survived the American attacks on Truk and fled here only to be clobbered comprehensively in a massive air raid shortly afterwards. She was a seaplane tender and carried on a platform towards her stern a huge Kawanishsi H8K1 Emily flying boat very similar in size and design to our own Short Sunderland. At the stern she has a huge crane which was used to recover the Emily after she had landed. The wreck lies on her port side in 36 metres of water and an appreciable current is not uncommon so she is not a dive for the inexperienced.

The penetrations afforded by this wreck are amazing and we were able to swim almost from stem to stern inside the wreck along seemingly endless corridors. Anti-aircraft armaments are apparent and the swivel mounts for bigger guns are clear to see. Inside the wreck a huge shell lift still has what we estimated to be 5" shells in situ and one has slipped jamming the mechanism. The viz inside the wrecks at Coron is usually very, very good and Akitsushima was no exception. A truly amazing dive.

Martin Frankcom, BSAC Advanced Instructor

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