HTMS Matphon Bouy Gone

Posted on 06/17/13 2 Comments Today, after diving Koh Rin and finding seven Bamboo sharks on North Rock, we decided to dive the HTMS Mataphon on the way back to Bali Hai, Pattaya. Two Days ago, the Mataphon had the buoy that we had put down the very next day that it was sunk as an artificial reef and dive site. As we were running late in the day I had the nine divers who wanted to do this dive kitted up and ready to go ten minutes before we arrived there. But when we arrived to the Mataphon wreck, we discovered that the buoy was not there. I almost decided to call this last dive off as every one had already had two dives that day and only some of us divers were even planning to do this wreck dive. But Captain Jack (Jackrit) said "wait...wait.., give me ten minutes, I'll put you on the wreck!!" He got a buoy and a rope together, and I took my fins off and went to the front of the boat, Capt. Jack took a bearing to the wreck and looking at the depth finder and going slow, yelled "now!!" and threw the weighted line in the water. All of us our divers made the wreck, a nearly perfect shot. As it happened, the viz was S---! What do you guys think? Should I put another buoy down or keep this wreck only for us, the Adventure Divers family?


  1. Jimbo says:
    Tuesday, June 18, 2013 at 12:06pm

    It seems to me that when we last dived HTMS Mataphon (about two weeks ago) the mooring buoy was in good condition i.e. the attachment point was sound, the line was in good condition and the float was adequate. The only way that could have changed has to be either misuse or theft.

    If you replace the buoy it will happen again. It may be next week or a month or even six months but it will happen.

    As we know, HTMS Kud has thrived immensely in a short period of time while she had no buoy attached, primarily because no other operator is either bothered to or has the required skills to locate and dive it.

    Well you know what? I vote we keep it that way! Don’t replace wreck mooring buoys again. It will work to your own advantage and will massively benefit the wildlife on those wrecks.

    Teach your DMT’s how to find the wreck(s)and deploy the shot line. Teach your divers how to use it properly, and teach them the best way to find the wreck, should they shot line miss. Certain extra skills may be required for divers using a shot line such as perfect buoyancy and free ascents using SMB’s and or finger reels. Sell them the skills via a speciality Robert, even create a new spec if you want!

    By not replacing the mooring buoys you should start to see new business in the form of would be wreck divers coming to you so they can dive the wrecks. You will reduce traffic on those wrecks and we all should see the benefit in terms of better wildlife and better wreck divers. Your business will also hopefully feel the benefit!

    You may wish to place “ascent only” buoys with a (say) 20 litre can floating three or four metres below the surface. These should not suffer too much abuse and should be cheap to place and maintain. I am volunteering to help you with this.


  2. Neo says:
    Monday, June 17, 2013 at 11:15am

    In my view you should not replace the buoys. Why mark dive locations for other dive operators who are not experienced enough to find themselves? Those are the same dive operators who often destroy the reefs with their irresponsible actions toward marine life.

    In addition, you have three dive master trainees on board these days; its good practice to locate the wrecks and drop a shot line each time you approach a wreck; so there is a benefit to your trainees to learn how to locate wrecks and prepare the shot line for other divers as part of their DMT program.

    It’s just my view, but I don’t think you are doing yourself or the marine life a favor making it easy for inexperienced, incapable, dive operators to locate and dive a wreck they could not find without a buoy marking the location of the wreck dive.

    Also, these buoys are used by local fisherman to find the wrecks as well, right? Why give the location to the same fisherman who destroy the marine life on the wrecks and leave their fish nets on the wreck, further destroying marine life there?

    Finally, since your team is expert at locating wrecks, it is only fair that your dive operation should get more business from responsible divers who want to dive the local wrecks.

    So, don’t replace any buoys anymore! Just dive these treasures and enjoy knowing you are one of the only dive shops in the area who can find them.


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