King Cruiser Wreck
Phuket wreck dive
The King Cruiser Wreck was originally a car and passenger ferry in Japan until it was bought by the Songserm company in 1990 and used as a passenger and cargo ferry between Phuket and Phi Phi Islands. It did the same journey to and from Phi Phi every day for 7 years until one day in May 1997 she took a different route around Hin Musang (Shark Point) and hit the top of Anemone Reef before sinking nearby. There were over 500 passengers on board that day but all were rescued safely and the wreck is now a popular Phuket dive spot.
The King Cruiser Wreck sits in 32m of water in an upright position on her twin hulls. The shallowest point at the wheel house is around 17m but as the wreck collapses in on itself this is getting deeper. She is 85m long and 23m wide.
Due to the depth of the wreck and the strong currents frequently present this is not a dive site suitable for beginner divers. Dives tend to be shorter here as divers run out of no deco time. Visibility can be poor and care must be taken to avoid sharp steel edges and flapping fishing nets.
The wreck was a roll on roll off ferry style but as there are no cars on Phi Phi Island there are no cars on the wreck and the cargo bay is empty along the length of the wreck. Both loading ramps at bow and stern are open, the steel cables snapped years ago.
Penetration of the wreck is no longer recommended. In recent years the ships structure has collapsed in on it’s self as the steel has rusted away.
The amount of marine life on the King Cruiser is quite amazing. As you descend the mooring line it can be hard to see the wreck through the huge schools of fish. Large schools of snapper, fusilier, trevally and yellow tail barracuda are always present.
The wreck also has the largest lionfish in Phuket, they tend to hang around the anchor winches. Bamboo sharks can be seen under the wreck near the propellers at 32m. Moray eels can be found living in the hollow steel hand rails. Watch out for scorpionfish who are very well camouflaged with the encrusted coral, look very carefully before you put your hands anywhere on the wreck.
There is a large and very friendly hawksbill turtle who often comes to play with divers, trying to eat their hoses. There is also a huge giant barracuda that just hovers menacingly over the wreck.
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