Yesterday we laid a number of guidelines that should assist in locating and safely diving the Kled Gaeow Wreck at Phi Phi Ley Island.
The wreck is located on the east side of Phi Phi Ley Island 600-800 meters in front of Pi-Leh bay and sits almost upright on 26 meters facing (bow) north, (stern) south.
We have attached two lines at the stern that run for 50 meters east and west away from the wreck and are weighted and attached to the seafloor and another two lines from the bow in the same manner. This extends the size of the site so in case divers do not land directly on the site they can swim either north or south looking for the guidelines. However with correct GPS coordinates it is reasonably easy to find and is presently visible from the surface due to the white roof of the tower.
The top of the tower is around 14 meters depth and the main deck sits at 20 meters. Penetration is possible through a number of entries. We are attempting to remove a panel at the top of the tower which will allow divers to penetrate from the top and straight down into the hull. The hull itself has a large storage area with it’s own large hatch.
Also in the hull at the bow of the boat is a cooler room that was used to keep produce fresh. The walls are wood-paneled with fibre glass insulation, neither of which were removed before sinking. Presently the visibility in this room is about 2 meters and there is no exterior light penetration except for a small hole at the back of the room. Part of the reason for the poor viz is due to the disintegration of the fibre glass which is suspended around the ceiling in a yellow hazy cloud.
We have installed a large guide rope which is attached to a post in the back of the cooler room and this leads out to the main storage area in the hull and up and through the tower. It should be noted that the wood panelling in the cooler room will eventually also fall apart and this could cause a hazard.
At the back of the hull storage area (where the engine used to be) there is a small (square) porthole which is just big enough to fit a diver with tank on) that leads into a largish compartment. As you enter this compartment turn right and you will note a staircase on your right that leads back up into the tower.
At the bow of the wreck there is another compartment (presumably) where anchor and chains would have been kept, and this compartment has a roof hatch entry and also a door to exit.
We have also attached a line from the tower to assist in safety stops and this is buoyed with an 8″ buoy at around 3 meters from the surface.
We have been asked not to attach a boat mooring directly to the wreck as this will certainly damage the vessel.
Since we first dived it last week the wreck it is encouraging to see it is already attracting a lot of small fish spry and a large school of squid (and squid eggs laid at the stern).
A big thank you to all the volunteers that helped out yesterday.