Sinking the MB Kwanbah

The latest addition to Shangri La's sanctuary and Marine Protected Area is a 55ft traditional wooden fishing boat that we have named the MB Kwanbah.

The site for her final resting place was selected on the very edge of the MPA in 18 meters of water, directly in front on Shangri La's jetty. The idea was to create a habitat for the local marine life, increase numbers, and give our divers another reason to keep coming back

The boat had been beached for nearly 10 years before Scotty's dive center purchased her, so she was very buoyant and took a lot of persuasion to actually sink. The top deck and wheelhouse had to be removed at our boat yard, Scotty's full boat and dive crew were involved in scuttling her to the MPA and securing her in place with the moorings we had positioned earlier. It was a full day event, finally, just after 9pm she dipped below the water and came to rest on the sandy bottom.

Phase two was to reconstruct a diver friendly wheel house, float it out to the dive site then using a pulley system and barrels place it on top of and secure it to the wreck. Again the full crew was out to handle the task. Getting the job done safely without any risk to the crew or the Sanctuary took a lot of discussion and planning, the task was performed without a hitch and everyone played their part perfectly.

Finally we have our shipwreck and underwater playground. Since its arrival the Kwanbah has attracted a resident school of sardines, some travali, lots of invertebrates and some impressively sized great barracuda, rarely seen before, now spotted daily.