Many of the ocean’s best dive sites have artificial reefs, or wrecks that have sunk through the ages. Phi Phi Island is no exception. We got 2 fantastic wrecks just on our doorstep, the famous King Cruiser wreck (sunk in 1997) and the Kled Gaeow wreck (sunk in 2014).
Both of this sites are suitable for Advanced or Spatiality divers or can be done as part of the Advanced or specialty diver.
This program gives you the skills and knowledge required to safely scuba dive above and around these underwater treasures. You will earn the SSI Wreck Diving certification after completing this program.
Kled Gaeow (Keaow) Wreck
History Launched originally as the RNoMS Norfest (Norway) in 1948, this vessel was purchased and commissioned into the Royal Thai Navy in 1956 and renamed the RTN Kled Gaeow(Kaeow). The Kled Gaeow functioned as an auxiliary vessel, a transport support and stores ship designation AKS 861.
- Dimensions: 47.2m x 7.7m x 13m
- Weight: 382 tonnes standard, or 450tonnes fully loaded
Decommissioned in 2014, the ship was donated and purposely sunk via controlled explosion to create a new dive site on 19 March 2014. The 47 metre long wreck sits almost upright (20 degree list) facing north to south (bow-stern), some 800-1000m to the east of Piley Bay (Ko Phi Phi Ley).
The top of the tower is around 14-16 meters deep (depending upon the tide), the main deck sits at 20 meters and the bottom is around 26 metres. Penetration is possible through a number of entries for divers with excellent buoyancy. Starting at the bow of the boat is a raised deck accessed via external stairs leading up from the main deck.
On the main deck next to the stairs are 2 doors into a large cooler room, or a further entrance into the compartment which used to house the anchor and chains. This compartment can alternatively be accessed through the roof hatch opening/porthole on the raised deck. Across the Main Deck towards the central section lays the mast (13.5 metres long), which was snapped so as not to present an obstacle for any boats overhead.
There is a large 3m long hatch on the deck where you can look down to the deck/hull below and penetrate here if wanted. Be aware that once you have entered this opening penetration towards to the central area is dark, via a guide rope and suffers low visibility.
King Crusier Wreck
On May 4, 1997 the 85 meter, catamaran style car ferry “King Cruiser” struck Anemone reef while running it’s regular service between Phuket and Phi Phi. Exactly why such an easily avoidable navigation error was made is still unknown and often questioned. Especially considering the flat seas and calm conditions that day. The King Cruiser wreck lies exactly between Phuket and Phi Phi and can be reached from Phi Phi by speedboat in only 40 minutes.
The King Cruiser wreck is an easily accessible divesite with depths ranging from 27 to 12 meters although penetrating the wreck has become slightly risky as sections of the wreck started to collapse.
Over the years the wreck attracted lots of marine life like schools of jacks and many scorpion and lionfish. From the wreck it is only two to three minutes to two other great divesites; Anemone reef (that the ferry hit) and Hin usang (or sharkpoint) so most divers choose to do three dives on this trip.