Diving In Labuan
Diving in Labuan is blessed with a diverse coral life. Most of its dive sites are adorned with different kinds of corals and some even 2 metres big.
Marine Life Highlights in Labuan
Dive Sites In Labuan
Believed to be sunk by the Royal Australian Air Force for so long, the Dutch vessel SS De Klerk actually was scuttled by the Dutch in 1942 then salvaged by the Japanese and renamed it as Imabari Maru. In 1944, she met her end and sunk southwest of Labuan tagging along 339 passengers, mostly workers and prisoners of war.
The skeletal remains of the ship tilts at a fifty-degree angle on her port side at 35 metres with the higher side at 25 metres. With rich coral growth and an ideal spot for wide angle photography, pelagics, large Lionfish, and the evasive Frogfish are residents of this wreck. The Australian wreck’s visibility is between 10 to 20 metres with low currents and is suitable for Novice to Experienced divers.
A US Navy minesweeper, the USS Salute has earned 5 battle stars having so much history during the World War II. Before it sank at Brunei Bay in 1945 taking 9 US sailor lives, the American Wreck has gone through intense action protecting anti-aircraft vessels and submarine and also minesweeping in the Philippines.
The wreck can now be found 30 metres beneath water broken in half, one overlapping the other and still intact with munitions and unexploded charges removed recently by the Malaysian navy. Plate corals and sponges with a few black coral bushes have grown on the wreck and various marine life have settled in like Nurse Sharks, Lionfish, Moray Eels, and large Barracudas roam around the bow section at 12 metres before the safety stop. The American Wreck has a visibility of 10 to 20 metres with low currents and can be reached by boat.
The Cement Wreck or MV Tung Huang is a 92-metre freighter tank used to transport cement to Brunei for the Sultan’s new palace. In 1980 while transporting cement, the vessel hit the Samarang bank and tried to reach Labuan for repairs to no avail, and is presently located west of Kuraman Island. With its superstructure rising to 19 metres sitting vertically on the seabed at 30 metres, Cement Wreck is the shallowest wreck in Labuan which makes it easy to navigate and ideal for wreck diving training.
Different marine species can be spotted in this dive site which includes Turtles, Barracudas, Lionfish, Anthias, Butterflyfish, Scorpionfish, and the rare Yellow Pixy Hawkfish with hard and soft corals decorating the surface of the wreck. Access to Cement Wreck is by boat with typical visibility of 10 to 30 metres with low currents, open to Novice divers and up.
Blue Water Wreck
Situated southwest of Labuan Island, Blue Water Wreck is a huge fishing trawler also known as Mabini Padre. It sank in 1981 due to fire in clear blue waters and now has the best visibility of all the wrecks earning its name. The vessel rests on its port side at 35 metres and its starboard side at 24 metres, completely adorned with soft corals, hydroids and sponges, which abounds in marine life such as schooling Barracudas, White-tip Reef Sharks, Groupers, Jacks, Trevallies, Tuna and Spanish Mackerel.
Other than pelagics, critters can also be found right at its starboard including the Blue Frogfish, Scorpionfish, Lionfish and species of Pipefish, Blenny and Hawkfish. There are medium currents in the area making it suitable for Advanced to Experienced divers but visibility lies between 10 to 30 metres and is accessible by boat.
Diving In Labuan
Labuan is a federal territory of Malaysia located just off the coast of Sabah and north of Brunei Bay. It consists of the main island, Labuan Island, and six smaller islands namely Pulau Burong, Pulau Kuraman, Pulau Rusukan Kecil, Pulau Rusukan Besar, Pulau Daat and Pulau Papan. Labuan got its name from the Malay word labuhan meaning harbour as it is Malaysia’s deep water harbour and its capital is Victoria which is an offshore financial centre and a tourist destination. It is often referred to as the pearl of Borneo.
Having a tropical rainforest climate with no dry season, Labuan has a typical temperature that falls between 25 to 32 degrees Celsius. It does not fall below 24 degrees and does not exceed 33 degrees Celsius. However, there are still warm months from April to June and cold months from January to February. Best time to dive Labuan is from Mach to October with visibility ranging from 10 to 30 metres and depths of 12 to 35 metres.
Pristine waters and fringing coral reefs surround the islands of Labuan that is home to a variety of marine life. Three islands are declared part of Labuan Marine Park located just south of the main island. It includes the islands of Kuraman, Rusukan Besar and Rusukan Kecil and stretches two nautical miles from the coasts of the islands. Its coral reefs, a sight to behold and a popular destination for snorkeling.
As Labuan is blessed with pristine water and reefs, it is also a known site for wreck diving. The wrecks may be shallower than other wreck sites in Malaysia nevertheless, still provides a wonderful experience. Marine species are a mix of pelagics and critters such as Nurse Sharks, Barracudas, Trevallies, Lionfish, Hawkfish, Scorpionfish, Stonefish and Frogfish. Fastest way to Labuan is by domestic flights from Kuala Lumpur or Kota Kinabalu that has international flight connections.
|Best Diving Season:||March to October|
|Weather:||April to June (warm) January to February (cold)|
|Water Temperature:||25°C – 32°C|
|Marine Animal Highlights:||Yellow Fins Fussiliers, Clownfish, Napoleon Wrasse, Marble Ray, Leopard Shark|
|Recommended Thermal Protection:||–|
|Water Visibility:|| 10m – 30m
|Transportation:||-Domestic flights from Kuala Lumpur or Kota Kinabalu|