Diving Adventures

This is an incident during a diving trip. There were only 3 of us on this trip. We set sail from Singapore at around 10am on a Friday, we were hoping to make a couple of drops at Pulau Tokong Yu, there are a lot of tuskies and coral trouts on the surrounding reef. There is a small airplane wreck on the western side of the island lying at 24m. After filling up the esky with some tasty coral trouts, we continued our journey up north.

By the time we got to the Japanese wreck, it was 3am sat, so we just anchored down and go to sleep. We woke up at about 7am, had our coffee and worked out our attack plan. As there were only 3 of us, we will do 1 dive each and then move on to jubilee shoal.

My 2 buddies, a and b wanted the first drop, both of them are experienced hunters, a is one of those ah sia kia that spends all his time at the marina, swimming and gym. Very fit and tanned.

We have been anchored for since 3am, we need to reposition the boat as the anchor had shifted. After re-anchored, the 2 of them geared up. The current is starting to run, so a said he will check on the anchor to make sure its secured. The 2 of them then proceed to descend down the anchor line.

I decided to make myself another coffee while waiting for them. Just when I finished making the coffee and about to sit down and relax, i heard a shout, it was b shouting for me. Its less than 3 mins since they descended, maybe he forgot his fish-stringer i thought. So i went outside to have a look. I saw b towing a at the side of the boat towards the ladder. A’s face was in agony. We had to help him remove all his gear before he can climb up the ladder. He had dislocated his shoulder. Its a 1st time for him and none of us knows how to pop it back, so we decided to head to Tioman and hope someone can help.

According to the 2 of them, just when they got to the anchor, they heard singing but both pretended not to hear, a thought the anchor might slip so decided to move it to a better position, just when he picked up the anchor, his shoulder popped out. The anchor is a small 25kg bruce anchor, anybody also can pick it up with no problem and a is no poosy.

There is a ferry company at Tanjung Gemok that runs ferries to and fro Tioman, about 20+ yrs ago, one of the ferry caught fire and sunk about 3km from Tioman, i think 9 people was trapped and died. Maybe someone can do some research and confirm the accident. I know this boatman who found the coordinates of the wreck, so we contacted him and he agreed to bring us to the spot.

Our plan is to sail up and meet him at an island just off Tioman, he will sail out from Endau Rompin to meet us.

This time we set sail on Friday night so that we will reach Tioman around 6am, meet up with our guide at 7am and hopefully make the 1st drop at 730am.

Everything went as plan, we got to bay where we are supposed to meet at 5am, anchored up and go to sleep. The boatman came alongside at 730am. And we followed his boat to the spot. Found the spot on the echo sounder, dropped our marker buoy. Paid the boatman for the spot and off he went. We decided to do a bit of drift fishing over the wreck first before we decimate it with steel shafts. Because according to the boatman, he caught a lot of greeneyed groupers there and lost a lot of big fish there. Set up the drift, and on our 1st pass, we each got a grouper. On the 2nd pass, 3 groupers and 1 huge bite but bust off. Btw, there was 4 of us on this trip.

We decided to anchor up and start slinging steel. 1 guy will remain as boatman while 3 of us will do the 1st drop.i quickly don my gear and got in before the other 2. 1st one in always gets the big fish. I started finning down following the marker line. At 15m i saw the blurry shape of the ferry. Its upside down and its totally covered with 3 inch stripey snappers and fusiliers.its a rare sight to see so many fish together, you can hardly see the hull at all.

I descended right down to the sand at 26m. And start crawling towards the wreck. Then i saw a huge red snapper just next to the wreck. Took aim and impaled the fish right in the brain. It shuddered, opened its mouth and just laid on its side. Haha.. Stoned shot!

By then 2 other cowboy has arrived, both flipping me the bird. As i have got myself a big one, i let them go ahead while i hang behind and look for stragglers.

I can see a lot of 1kg size groupers laying around, not worth shooting. The big fishes are all swimming inside the wreck when we peeped in from under the wreck. One of the guys decided he is gonna risk a shaft and try to get one of those inside the wreck. He went down on his belly and start crawling in the gap.

The sop for this manoeuvre is 1 or 2 of us will stay out side behind him and when he shake his fins sideway, we will drag him out by his fins.

So there he was proned on his belly inside the wreck with just the fintips outside. 2 of us outside waiting. Normally its very fast, you see, you shoot and you get out. He is in there for like 10mins without moving. Something is not right. I looked at the other guy and he looked at me shrugging his shoulders. Stuffed it. We just grab the fins and haul him out. When he came out, he seems to be in a daze. Still breathing normally, eyes wide opened, signaled to ask him if he is ok, no response. We decide to abort the dive. And slowly make our way up.

When we got back on board we asked him what did he see inside, how come it took him so long to get a shot. His reply was, he was only in there for less than 30sec. He saw a lot of big red snappers lined up in front of him not moving, and there was a man lying next to the snappers with big black eyes staring at him. He just felt confused and couldn’t move, just keep staring into those black eyes. Its only when we reached the surface then he realised he is on the surfaced, he couldn’t remember ascending with us.

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