Akitsushima in Palawan - Philippines
The Akitsushima dive site is one of the most famous wreck diving sites in Coron Bay between Manglet and Lajo Island in Busuanga. The dive site is not a good dive spot for novice divers due to the strong currents that characterize its waters. It is home to a wide variety of fish species such as barracudas, tunas, and snappers.
Named after the 487-feet long sunken vessel of the Japanese Imperial Army, The Akitsushima dive site features the remains of the warship now lying on its port side 35 meters deep into sandy bottom. A torpedo that hit the fuel storage tank of the vessel resulted to its splitting into two in front of the engine room. Today, the remains of the ship provide one of the most spectacular diving sites in this part of Palawan.
Both inside and outside the wreck of the Akitsushima is a place to behold for experienced divers due to its various points of interest. The huge crane that lifted the missing seaplane Emily to the surface still stands to this very day. Close to the crane beside the funnels are two 25-mm AA machine guns. However, only the turret remains. The bridge is almost destroyed but the radio tower is still in place. Below the collapsed compartments of the bridge at the bottom of the vessel, there is a huge debris which includes gas masks that are the perfect addition to a divers treasure collection.
The inner portion of the ship showcases two exciting routes that will take divers to the three deck levels of the vessel. The elevator system intended for the 12.7 centimeter guns found at levels 2 and 3 still houses various kinds of ammunitions. On the stern section, one can find the gears that control the crane. The engine room, on the other hand, offers a site of 4 big diesels and the commando room.
At 114.8 meters in length, the Akitsushima is not one of the big World War II wrecks offering diving opportunities. It nevertheless is a sight to behold. While a special coating designed for navy ships prevented species of corals to thrive in her body, divers can still get to view soft corals on the hull and the superstructure.
The fish species that thrive on the wreck is one of its major attractions. Below the stern of the vessel, you can find barracudas of varying sizes, batfish sweet lips, lion fish, and the regular scorpion fish. At times, divers get to see big rays as well as turtles.
As the Akitsushima dive site is characterized by strong currents, inexperienced divers are not advised to attempt a dive. It has a visibility ranging from 3 meters to a maximum of 15 meters. In order to dive in the interior of the warship, you would need to be a certified wreck specialist.