Thursday, October 16, 2008

Aur Tanker

The wreck lies 38nm south of Tioman, one hour east of Pulau Aur, in a completely upright position in 64m of water. The identity of this wreck is a mystery. She is believed to be a post war British (ESSO?) oil tanker sunk sometime after 1957 but has never been positively identified despite being dived since the 1980's.

Vessels very similar to the Aur Tanker

The wreck's interior is completely stripped and she appears to have been deliberately scuttled. The anchor is out on the sand and there are numerous outward facing blast holes with the metal blown outwards. These blast holes are circular and about a meter in diameter. Possibly suggesting that she was a victim of piracy. Pulau Aur has a history of piracy which continues to this day:

Posn: 02:30.10N - 104:24.20E, 6 nm NW of Pulau Aur, Malaysia.
Five pirates with masks and armed with knives boarded a tug towing a barge underway. They stole crew cash and personal belongings and escaped.

Pirates stole over 1 mm litres of gasoil from a tanker in Malaysian waters this month, after a gang of between 7 and 10 men boarded the 3,077 dwt Tioman near Pulau Aur. The assailants attacked, beat, bound and blindfolded the crew, and removed all the communication equipment from the ship, owned by SEA Resources of Singapore. An unidentified tanker than pulled up and offloaded around one-third of Tioman's cargo of gasoil.

The Wreck
The stern house has much to see and good penetration. You can swim from the stern steering room through the aft house to the front of the house. There are two hallways that run the length of the accommodation section and each hall way has rooms leading off to port and starboard.

The hall ways also connects to the engine room and turbine rooms in board. The cold room still has cork on the wall and this can be entered at the front of the aft house. The engine room can be accessed via a sky light in the center of the stern house or via hallways that run the length of the aft house. The engine has a round blast hole that is at about 63m and the sand is at 65m.

The engine room is full of equipment. You will find a machine shop on the port side and a storage area on the starboard side with metal in racks. There are plastic names plates for the electrical controls in English but nothing that has provided a name. An RCA Radar set was once recovered with a stamped date of 1957 so it seems this wreck made it through the war. The portholes were made in Rainhill UK.

The midships house has nothing in it and the bow is quite buckled and blasted, worth a dive but not much to see. Once again plenty of rooms but all empty. Here is a Google Sketchup model of our dives through the midships house.

The Dives

Dive 1
Date: 15/10/2008
Max: 53m
Avg: 25m
BT: 19mins
RT: 51mins
BG: 21/35
Deco: EAN50

Dive 2
Date: 18/10/2008
Max: 55m
Avg: 27m
BT: 16mins
RT: 46mins
BG: 21/35
Deco: EAN50

Dive 3
Date: 18/10/2008
Max: 54m
Avg: 23m
BT: 14mins
RT: 51mins
BG: 21/35
Deco: EAN50

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