Wreck Dive Site Name: The Hardeep – originally known as the SS Suddhadib
Location: Next to Koh Chuang in The Samae San Island chain
Conditions: between November and March this site has very favorable conditions.
Visibility of 5m (15ft) increases to 30m (100ft)
Wreck Site Access – Ascent/descent Lines connected to the wrecks bow, stern and mast
Max Depth – 28m
Wreck Site Length – 70m
No Deco Limits (Dive Tables) Normal Air – 20mins / EANx up to 50mins
Multi Level computer Dive – Extends bottom time extensively
Safety Stop Procedures Mandatory 3min stop at 5m required
Common Aquatic Life Nudibranch, Sting Rays, Parrot Fish , Scorpion Fish, Tusk Fish
The Hardeep Wreck, one of the best Pattaya Dive Trips to date, was a freighter sank in 1945 now becoming a stunning sponge coral superstructure. As fishing across the wreck is virtually impossible due to string currents so the fish on the wreck live to be older and larger than do their cousins in the coral reefs. The fish life on the Hardeep includes Jacks, Tusk Fish, Trevallies, Butterflyfish, many types of Angelfish, Queenfish, large Wrasse and many juvenile Barracuda. The wreck itself is fairly diver friendly and can easily be thoroughly explored in one dive day.
The Hardeep Wreck originally known as the SS Suddhadib was attacked during WWII and sank by Allied bombers after been found exposed and targeted for aiding to ship supply for the Japanese during World War II. Previously, SS Suddhadib had services as both a passenger and cargo-ship before she was commandeered by the Japanese army to run supplies to Thailand. The shipwreck is located just off Samae san, literally only a few hundred metres from Koh Chuang and is 64-metres long laying on her starboard side in the sand at 27m deep.
All the way along the wreck, you can see very large open cargo holds and port holes on the side (now roof in current sde position). These holes give light to wreck divers penetrating the hull and hold areas, as well as the engine room. Inside the Hardeeps engine room you can still see the crankshaft intact.
Wreck diving the starboard side so the deck is in front of you, gives the dive an interesting angle. As the wreck sits in 27 meters of water on scuba divers with advanced training over entry level may enjoy this wreck dive. Those taking either the Adventure Dive or Advanced Open Water course may visit her when the tide conditions are favourable. Wreck Diver Specialty Trainees will have the time of their life with the Hardeep since its wide open to practice penetration as well as totally encrusted with more than 70 years of growth and sea life.
Her hull is largely intact and there is access to the engine room where you can see the huge crankshaft along with swim through access in the bow and rear cargo holds. The holds are known as the “Cathedral” because of the shafts of light that pour through the vast interior from above. The passage of time has taken it’s toll on the hulls structure and penetration is becoming more risky. With care taken, You may swim along the whole deck, through the remains of the superstructure from end to end. Its possible to still identify the remains of the funnel and also the foremast. A short swim, following the line of the funnel, will bring you to an unexploded 1000lb bomb sitting upright in the sand!
There’s certainly a lot to be explored just inside. It seems to me that every time I dive this wreck there’s more to see. Certainly a must for any wreck diving enthusiast. After more than 70 years, nature has worked her magic on the Hardeep wreck and it is home to some of the finest Pattaya Sea Life now.