The Light House Wreck
Just off the coast of the quaint
little Philippine Island of Malapascua, at an average depth of 3 meters lies the
remains of a Japanese World War II landing craft.
Very little is known about her apart from it was carrying bags of cement
to build the beach head fortifications. It is reputed that a stray
US dive bomber off course from a sortie to Leyte dropped it's deadly load smack bang
in the middle of the craft blowing it into 2 halves.
So far I have been unable to
confirm the class, name or number of the vessel or where it came from. I
am still waiting to hear from various agencies etc but would love to
hear from you if you have any information about the wreck, who hit it,
with what, in what, and when.
The Island of Malapascua,
Most dive centres can arrange pick up and
transport from your hotel in Cebu, Leyte or where ever, however Jay
and Paul like to just drop and yomp! so it was a crowded 4 hour bus
ride costing 60 Peso's a head £0.73p which took us from the city
of Cebu to Maya where the ferry banca Filipino style boat to
Malapascua runs from 8am-5pm and cost 50 Peso's £0.61p
There were be all kinds of hustlers wanting to take you over for
anything up to 500 Peso's £6.82
A typical Filipino Banca
Approaching Malapascua Island
The Crossing took
about 1/2 an hour and can be can be rather wet
when raining as
banca's have very little shelter,
On landing you will
either have to jump into the shallow
waters or walk down a rickety plank depending on the tide. You may
have to transfer to a very small banca for the last 200 meters on
your way back to Maya.
Once on the beach we were approached by every
man and his dog offering one deal or another, we decided we would
just take a leisurely stroll around the island until we saw some
thing that would catch our eye
We haggled this Nappa hut down to just 300
Peso's per night. The electric on the Island is only connected from
6 pm to Midnight. Some of the more upmarket places have their
own generators which will give you 24 hour supply. The couple of
restaurants on the Island close around 10-11pm.
As Dan's Dives was just a few meters away
from our shed we decided it would be a good idea to use him as our
guide and hire our equipment from him.
He was great, Dan and his crew catered for
our every dive need. We told him what we wanted and he arranged it
with no fuss.
There are no cars on the island, nor actual
roads. We gave a local 500 Peso's £6.82 for hire of his bike for
48 hours and took a look round.
Just some of the many sites on the Island.
Now on with the dive!
So called the Lighthouse wreck as
it went down close to the beach by the light house.
We descended down to the wreck. She sure was
in a sorry state with very little to positively id her.
The left hand side
The right hand side
After careful deliberation we think that she
is either a Daihatsu or Shohatsu Personal Landing Craft.
Both the Daihatsu and the Shohatsu had
a steel hull and a spiral screw which was
useful to avoid the obstacles in the water. It was a reliable vessel
and good in mobility. Shohatsu was widely used in China and in the
early Pacific War. But, its production was ceased in 1943 in order
to increase the production of Daihatsu.
The Daihatsu was the most successful
landing vessel of the IJA and it was widely used for the landing
operations and transport.
Some of the cement from the cargo, now looking
like rocks around the wreck.