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Wreck Diving in Malapascua

Cebu, Philippines

Dona Marilyn Wreck Dive MalapascuaFrom beginner to technical diver, Malapascua has a wreck for you! If you've heard that Coron is the only place in the Philippines with good wreck diving, think again!

Lighthouse Wreck    5m / 15ft

The wreck at Lighthouse was a Japanese World War II landing craft. It was bombed just before landing with a large shipment of cement destined for a gun emplacement. The wreck is in very shallow water - 3m average - and is broken up with the hull in two pieces. The rocks that you will see are actually bags of cement! Life that you can see around the wreck include yellow-tailed barracuda, hermit crabs, octopus, pipefish, juvenile harlequin sweetlips, and banded sea snakes. This wreck is perfect for practicing reel use and running a line in preparation for wreck penetration into the Dona Marilyn Wreck on the PADI Wreck Diver Specialty Course.

Nearby is Lighthouse West - easily reached from the wreck to see abundant mandarinfish and seahorses.

Dona Marilyn Wreck    18m-32m / 60ft-110ft

Dona Marilyn Wreck, MalapascuaThe Dona Marilyn was a Cebu-Manila passenger ferry that sank in a typhoon over 20 years ago. It was a huge disaster and many people lost their lives. The wreck is around 100m long, and now lying on its starboard side, amazingly still all in one piece. Long lost fishing nets encrusted in coral are draped all over it, giving it quite a spooky feel!

Marble rays, blue-spotted rays and whitetip sharks live under the bow and eagle rays and devil rays sometimes pass through. The wreck is covered in a healthy growth of soft coral, and the fish that live there grow to a large size. Several varieties of sweetlips grow bigger here than at any of our other dive sites and the juveniles are often seen. Large cuttlefish and scorpionfish are common as well as nudibranchs and flatworms. A giant moray eel is living in the wreck. You can also see many of the beautiful purple fire sea urchins, accompanied by their resident zebra crabs and Coleman's shrimp. Penetration is possible for Dona Marilyn Wreck Dive Malapascuaqualified divers. There is lots to see inside as it has remained unsalvaged.

Tapilon Wreck    22m-28m / 70ft-90ft

The 'Taplion' Wreck, is an unidentified World War II Japanese cargo carrier, named for the nearby town on the mainland. The boat was hit by torpedoes and although it lies in several sections, it is still recognizable as a vessel. There is an abundance of life on this wreck and it is covered in beautiful black coral, some bushes containing hundreds of almost invisible shrimp jumping around.

There are also many species of flat worms and nudibranchs, as well as moray eels, cuttlefish, squid, and scorpion fish. Huge marble rays are sometimes seen; also the fire sea urchin and its accompanying zebra crabs, squat lobsters and Coleman's shrimp. Sometimes we have several ornate ghost pipefish and frogfish in residence and if you are lucky you will see a flamboyant cuttlefish.

A recent attempt to salvage the wreck uncovered bullets and bones so this is not a dive for the faint-hearted!

Pioneer Wreck    42m- 54m / 140ft-170ft

Whitetip shark MalapascuaBecause it is so deep, this Japanese World War II wreck is still in great condition. It was a gunboat in the war, and as you descend, you will see the guns pointing upwards towards you! It is about 60m long, in the upright position and still mostly in one piece. There is a torpedo hit on the stern but the prop is still remaining. The wreck has more fish than anywhere else on Malapascua due to its depth as well as sharks, rays, barracuda and groupers. This is a deep dive and we only do it using trimix. Only diveable on a few days of the month so you should arrange this in well in advance. Find out more about technical diving at TSD Tec.

As TSD Tec expands, we are starting to look for new wrecks. We know there are several in the 70-100 meter range. If you are interested in such a trip, let us know.

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