Downbelow Adventures Sinks Ex-Navy Ship for Use as Artificial Reef and Recreational Diving Location

Press Release ( - Borneo, Malaysia - Jan 03, 2017 -  Downbelow Marine and Wildlife Adventures in Malaysia has meticulously and deliberately sunk a retired Malaysian Navy ship in Sabah National Park off the Island of Borneo. It was sunk upright in order to create an artificial reef marine life, to be later converted as a wreck-diving destination for tourists.

The KM Kuraman was built in 1960 by Vospers Portsmouth in England and began service in 1964 for the Royal Malaysian Navy.  It was later recommissioned to the local maritime enforcement agency.

According to the Daily Express in East Malaysia, the ship was rammed by an Indonesian warship during a border dispute in 2015.  Local officials are hopeful the ship can be put to good use for the local economy as a destination for tourists.  One official said the region stands to benefit more from sinking the ship rather than having the government sell it off.

With the help of Downbelow Marine and Wildlife Adventures staff, the ship’s smaller compartments were gutted before sinking to make for more open and safer diving conditions.  To prepare for the sinking, several precision-placed plugs were created, later to be pulled out when the ship reached its final resting spot 20 meters underwater.

Downbelow operates two dive centres in Tunku Abdul Rahman Park, serving as a scuba dive expedition spot for tourists as well as a school for aspiring professional divers and instructors looking to hone their craft.

“It’s even more beneficial for candidates to complete their PADI Instructor Development Course with us since they will get to experience how a resort dive centre operates and also how an independent dive centre and dive shop operates,” said Joanne Swann, Downbelow Adventures’ PADI Master Instructor, “It’s a two for one experience.”

Richard Swann, Downbelow’s resident Platinum PADI Course Director, organized and conducted the sinking of the KM Kuraman. He prepared the ship with divers in mind because inappropriately-positioned wrecks can be hazardous. Richard opened up a 90 meter swim through for wreck penetration dives. Downbelow’s PADI 5 Star IDC dive centres specialize in professional level training, and the KM Kuraman provides the ideal dive site for conducting PADI wreck specialty instructor training, so that PADI Instructors can keep their divers safe.

Swann is one of 71 Platinum Course Directors in the world for the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI).  As a PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre, Downbelow runs one of the more advanced diving schools on the planet. The school is extensively equipped with custom-built speedboats, air compressors, GPS, marine radios, and first aid kits.  Each guide during tours or instruction are finely trained in emergency response.

Each of them were on hand for sinking the KM Kuraman. The event was more of a ceremony, with onlookers and local officials in nearby boats surrounding the Kuraman.  After the plugs were pulled, it took 12 minutes for the ship to sink into the bay, and finally setting down 20 meters deep in the waters of Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park.

Richard and Pablo, Downbelow divers, went down to inspect the wreckage and found that the ship was resting in an upright position– a successful feat.​

For Press Inquiries, Contact Downbelow Marine and Wildlife Adventures at (+6) 012 866 1935.

Source : Down Below Marine and Wildlife Adventures
Business Info :
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