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The Olympia Maru is a 127 meter long wreck with huge cargo holds swarmed in fish creating one of the best dives in Coron.
|Name Dive Site:||Olympia Maru, Tangat Wreck|
|Depth: ||23-31m (75-101ft)|
|Inserted/Added by: ||rocksteadydivecenter|
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The Olympia Maru, formerly known as the Tangat Wreck, is a freighter with unknown origin supposedly built in Europe. It is sitting in an upright position, 10 degree listed to port. This dive site is also a pleasant warm up dive for wreck lovers. Big cargo holds allows easy penetration. The bridge-section is nearly totally collapsed because of the main bomb-hits she suffered. The engine is salvaged, only 2 small boilers left inside of the engine room. Plenty of light comes in the holds and in the empty engine room.
Once again, you can find many scorpion fish, massive groupers, batfishes, fusiliers, wrasses, sometimes sea snakes, turtle and rays. Huge bushes of soft corals (black corals) on both sides of the ship, in where well-trained eyes can spot out seahorses and ghost pipe-fishes, and the common lion fish is hovering around the stern and bow. The still intact bow and stern masts are quite interesting for macro-stuff. On the nearest front, at the bow-deck of the vessel, are a gun-turret left and a nearly present current gives you a very rich fish-life there. This is an excellent spot for underwater-photography. Visibility is around 8-15m, can drop down to 3-5m depending on conditions with a quite calm, but sometimes reasonable current.
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The IJN Taiei Maru has been seemingly misidentified as the IJN Olympia Maru - in fact some dive operators continue to identify her as such! The ship was built for Mitsubishi Shoji Kaisha Ltd. Although she was requisitioned by the Japanese Defence Forces during the War she was still technically owned by Mitsubishi Shoji Kaisha Ltd up until she sank.
Laden with 1,250 tons rice and other supply materials for the Japanese occupation forces in the Philippines Olympia had suffered one direct bomb hit while in Manila Bay on 21 September. When Japanese Southern Army Command received air warnings on a second attack the vessel was ordered to relocate to Coron Bay. She arrived on 23 September at 1540 and dropped anchor just West of Tangat Island.
On 24 September around 0900 about 40 dive bombers attacked Olympia Maru. She immediately weighed anchor and tried to evade the attacking planes. 10 aircraft attacked from starboard then a second wave attacked from her port side. But it was not until the third wave when the bombers scored direct hits to the engine room causing an explosion of the fuel tank at port side (the vessel was Diesel-engined!).
Olympia Maru now sits upright on the bottom and is very close to Tangat Island in Coron Bay. It is a very good dive spot with a variety of marine life. Large shoals of banana fish, giant bat fish and giant puffer fish, especially around the mast, bow and stern. There are also specimen crocodile fish and scorpion fish so be careful where you put your hands. Easy wreck penetration at the cargo rooms. It offers a good opportunity to discover wreck diving.
The Olympia is a cargo ship of unknown origin. Sitting upright, her large cargo holds offer good penetrations for beginners. One of the favorite penetrations is the locker room at the bow. Inside you can still see the coiled up cable used to haul up the anchor. On the deck level you can find a big school of lionfish. Scorpion fish are common all over this wreck, so watch your buoyancy. The sides of the Olympia are covered with black corals. It is also a good place to look for seahorses and ghost pipe fish.
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