Irako in Palawan - Philippines
WWII shipwrecks located in the seas surrounding Busuanga Island and Coron are some of the best dive sites in the Philippines. These various wreck dive sites provide divers of different levels of skills, the perfect opportunity to experience wreck diving in Palawan, according to their competency and experience levels.
The Irako wreck is a favorite dive site for more-experienced divers visiting Coron; considered as notably the best and most interesting wreck dive site in Coron.
The Irako wreck is located at coordinates N 11*58. 059 and E 120*02. 412, bow heading 210º SW, lying at the mouth of Coron Bay.
What To See
Divers who have gone down to see the Irako wreck were all quite impressed with the ship. There is good visibility in this dive site and what you will first notice is that it is amazingly quite intact.
Divers will also notice that the wreck is covered in beautiful black corals. There are groupers swimming about the wreck, schools of yellow fin and tuna, lion fish, and scorpion fish all have made the Irako their home.
Going up to the masts, you may spot the two turtles also living in this wreck; chomping on sponges for lunch. Underneath the ship, you can see kitchen aids like pots and pans with the lids still on. There are also the transmission room, engine room with the engines still intact, and propeller shaft.
On rare occasions, divers might also get to encounter a whale shark!
Depth/Experience Level Required
Diving down to see the Irako wreck requires a much more advanced deep-sea diving experience, this is not recommended for beginner divers. Advanced Open Water experience, with fifty or more logged dives; Deep Diver Specialty and Wreck Diver Specialty are the requirements needed to be able to dive down and check out this magnificent wreck.
Maximum depth is at 43 meters and deck level is about 28 to 35 meters.
The cost to dive down to the Irako wreck is basically dependent on the dive center of your choice. But the going rate for this wreck dive is somewhere between Php 2, 000 Php 2, 500 for two dives and Php 3, 000 for three dives.
There are several dive centers located around the town of Coron and most of these specialize in wreck dives so tourists will not have a hard time finding a dive center suitable to their skills and preference.
Additional Information About Irako
Irako was built to be a refrigeration ship for food provisions and such. It is approximately 146.9 meters in length and weighs about 9, 723 tons. It is powered by two steam turbines and the engine can go at a maximum speed of 17.5 knots.