The Wreck of M/V Coral Island
Location: Location ? About forty miles/sixty km NW of Mindoro, near Fortune Island in the mouth of Manila Bay.
Access: Usually as a two day boat trip from Puerto Galera.
Conditions: Exposed to very open water, best months for calm conditions being April to June
Visibility: up to 40m/130ft.
Depth Range: 70m/230ft on the seabed, average 60m/200ft to the deck.
The Coral Island is a 73m/240ft long wreck of a freighter sitting upright on a flat bottom between Fortune Island and Nasugbu on the Batangas Coast. Japanese built in 1965, at the time of her sinking she was in service in the Philippines carrying medical supplies around the country for a government agency. Bound for Manila from Batangas in July 1982, she suffered an engine room explosion, with the blast and ensuing fire killing 21 of the 95 people aboard. The ship burned and finally sank three days later, July 29 th , '82.
As a dive site she is perfectly oriented, upright on the seabed with an average depth to the deck of 60m/200ft. Stern superstructure is relatively easy to explore, shows evidence of damage and plate buckling from the fire, but nevertheless still holds many coral encrusted but recognisable fittings and features. Among other things the holds in the bow are home to an interesting old truck or jeep chassis and a motorbike frame.
Being remote in location with respect to dive shops able to support technical diving, the wreck these days is relatively infrequently dived and the resident marine life very good. In good weather this is an ideal two day boat trip from Puerto Galera.