Unveiling Coron’s Shipwreck Tales: Diving into History and Adventure


Nestled in the breathtaking province of Busuanga, Coron, Philippines, lies an underwater realm teeming with history and natural wonders. Its like diving into history with Coron’s shipwrecks, remnants of World War II, hold captivating tales waiting to be explored by adventurous divers. In this article, we invite you to dive into the depths of Coron’s shipwreck sites, discover their fascinating stories, and witness the indomitable spirit of exploration and resilience. Join us on this unforgettable journey, where Pirates Diving Center serves as your trusted guide to uncovering Coron’s hidden treasures.

Unearthing History: The American Navy Attacks

Coron’s shipwrecks bear witness to a tumultuous chapter in history—the American Navy air raid attacks of September 24, 1944. In an effort to disrupt Japanese supply lines during World War II, a squadron of American carrier-based aircraft targeted Japanese ships anchored in Coron Bay. The resulting aerial assault inflicted significant damage, sinking several vessels and forever altering the underwater landscape.

The Attack on September 24, 1944:

On that fateful day, a formation of American planes launched from their carriers, soaring through the skies towards Coron Bay. Their mission: to incapacitate the Japanese fleet and weaken their stronghold. With precision and determination, the aircraft unleashed their devastating payload, raining bombs upon the unsuspecting vessels below. The echoes of explosions reverberated through the bay, forever etching this event into history.

Coron, situated on the island of Busuanga, is know as the shipwreck diving capital of South East Asia

The Shipwrecks of Coron:

Irako: Once a Japanese refrigeration ship, the Irako met its watery grave during the air raid attack. Now lying on the ocean floor, it stands as a poignant reminder of the fierce battles that unfolded in these waters.

Okikawa Maru: Once a majestic tanker, the Okikawa Maru now rests peacefully on the seabed, its hulking structure adorned with vibrant corals. As you explore its remains, you can’t help but imagine the bravery and sacrifice of those who sailed aboard this vessel.

Akitsushima: The remnants of the Akitsushima, a seaplane tender, provide a glimpse into the naval operations of the Japanese forces. Swim through its majestic corridors, now home to an array of marine life, and marvel at the juxtaposition of nature’s beauty against the backdrop of wartime history.

Olympia Maru, Nanshin Maru, Black Island Wreck, Lusong Gun Boat, East Tangat Wreck, Skeleton Wreck, and Kogyo Maru: These additional shipwrecks scattered throughout Coron’s waters offer divers a chance to immerse themselves in history. Each wreck tells its own story, from cargo vessels to gunboats, providing a mosaic of the past waiting to be explored.

Diving Delights in Coron:

Beyond the historical significance of the wrecks, Coron boasts a myriad of dive sites catering to divers of all levels. Here are some notable sites that showcase Coron’s natural beauty:

Barracuda Lake: Dive into the surreal realm of Barracuda Lake, known for its thermocline phenomenon, where distinct layers of warm and cold water create an otherworldly experience. Encounter the elusive barracudas and traverse impressive rock formations as you explore the lake’s depths.

Siete Pecados: Immerse yourself in the vibrant marine park of Siete Pecados, where colorful coral gardens house a kaleidoscope of marine life. Swim among schools of reef fish and marvel at the intricate ecosystem that thrives in this underwater paradise.

Dimalanta Point: Brace yourself for an exhilarating drift dive at Dimalanta Point, where strong currents carry you past breathtaking coral formations and encounter majestic rays gliding through the water. Explore the depths and be awed by the abundance of marine biodiversity.

PADI Wreck and Deep Specialty Courses in Coron:

Pirates Diving Center in Coron offers specialized PADI courses to enhance your diving skills and allow you to explore the wrecks and depths with confidence. Consider these courses to expand your knowledge and embark on thrilling underwater adventures:

PADI Wreck Specialty Course: Delve deeper into the art of wreck diving with the PADI Wreck Specialty Course. Learn advanced techniques for safe wreck penetration, navigation, and the preservation of these historical sites. Uncover hidden treasures while respecting the fragility of these underwater relics.

PADI Deep Specialty Course: Unlock the mysteries of the deep with the PADI Deep Specialty Course. Acquire the skills necessary to plan and execute dives at greater depths, expanding your range of exploration. Discover the secrets that lie in the abyss and witness the captivating sights that await.


Coron, Philippines, beckons adventurers and diving enthusiasts to immerse themselves in a realm where history and natural beauty intertwine. Traverse the depths and unlock the stories held within Coron’s shipwrecks, testaments to a turbulent past. Explore vibrant dive sites, where marine life thrives amidst breathtaking coral formations. With Pirates Diving Center as your trusted companion, embark on a journey of discovery, where the echoes of history merge with the wonders of the underwater world. Let Coron’s shipwrecks and dive sites leave an indelible mark on your soul, as you witness the resilience of nature and the enduring spirit of exploration.

Shipwrecks of Coron, Philippines

Southeast Asia is renowned for its exceptional shipwreck diving sites, offering thrilling and captivating experiences for diving enthusiasts. One of the best shipwreck diving destinations in the region is Coron, located in the province of Palawan in the Philippines. It is renowned for its exceptional shipwreck diving. The area is home to numerous Japanese World War II wrecks that have turned into captivating underwater attractions. Coron Bay is a treasure trove for wreck divers with some of South East Asia’s best shipwreck diving including the iconic Irako Maru, Okikawa Maru, and Akitsushima. These wrecks have become artificial reefs teeming with marine life, surrounded by crystal-clear waters:

The shipwrecks in Coron Bay have a rich history tied to the events of World War II. During the war, Coron Bay served as a sheltered anchorage for the Japanese Imperial Navy, making it a target for American forces. In September 1944, a series of airstrikes known as the “Operation Stalemate II” took place, leading to the sinking of several Japanese vessels that now rest on the bay’s seabed. Here’s a brief history of Corons shipwrecks:
Japanese Fleet in Coron Bay: As the war progressed, the Japanese Imperial Navy sought refuge in Coron Bay to protect their vessels from American airstrikes. The bay’s strategic location and natural protection made it an ideal anchorage. The Japanese fleet stationed in Coron Bay consisted of various types of ships, including supply ships, warships, and auxiliary vessels.
Airstrikes and Sinking: In September 1944, American forces launched a series of airstrikes on the Japanese fleet in Coron Bay. The attacks aimed to disrupt Japanese supply lines and eliminate their naval presence in the area. The precise details of each sinking vary, but it is believed that most of the ships were struck by bombs or torpedoes, causing them to sink to the seabed.
Rediscovery and Exploration: After the war, the wrecks in Coron Bay remained largely forgotten until their rediscovery in the 1980s. The pristine condition of the wrecks, combined with the area’s clear waters and abundant marine life, attracted divers from around the world. Today, Coron’s shipwrecks are among the most popular diving sites in the Philippines.
Artificial Reefs and Marine Life: Over the years, the sunken vessels in Coron Bay have transformed into thriving artificial reefs. The wrecks provide a habitat for an incredible diversity of marine life, with corals, sponges, and other organisms adorning the structures. The wrecks attract an array of fish species, including snappers, groupers, lionfish, and schools of jacks, creating a vibrant underwater ecosystem.
The shipwrecks in Coron Bay stand as poignant reminders of the past and offer a unique opportunity for divers to explore a piece of World War II history. While the wrecks themselves hold historical significance, they have also become valuable marine habitats, contributing to the ecological diversity of the area. The combination of history, underwater beauty, and marine life has made Coron a world-class diving destination.
Irako Maru: The Irako Maru is one of the most popular shipwrecks in Coron. This 147-meter-long refrigeration ship was part of the Japanese Imperial Navy’s supply fleet. It now rests at a depth of around 40 meters. Divers can explore the cargo holds, engine rooms, and the iconic swim-through known as the “Irako Tunnel.” The wreck is adorned with colorful soft corals and is inhabited by a variety of marine life, including lionfish, groupers, and schools of snappers.
Okikawa Maru: Sunk during the World War II airstrikes in 1944, the Okikawa Maru is a 160-meter-long oil tanker sitting upright on the seabed. This wreck is particularly photogenic, with its massive propeller and intact structure. Divers can swim through the cargo holds, where you’ll find remnants of trucks, torpedoes, and even an intact Japanese tank. The wreck is teeming with marine life, including batfish, jacks, and fusiliers.
Akitsushima: The Akitsushima is a 118-meter-long seaplane tender that was used for reconnaissance missions during World War II. This wreck lies at a depth of around 35 meters, and divers can explore the deck area, gun turrets, and the remaining seaplane. The Akitsushima is adorned with vibrant corals and sponges, and divers may encounter schools of barracudas, lionfish, and other tropical fish.
Kogyo Maru: The Kogyo Maru, a cargo ship, is one of the shallower wrecks in Coron. Resting at a depth of around 25 meters, this 120-meter-long wreck offers an excellent opportunity for both beginners and experienced divers. The Kogyo Maru is known for its large cargo holds, which are accessible for exploration. The wreck is home to a wide variety of marine life, including nudibranchs, lionfish, and juvenile barracudas.
Olympia Maru: The Olympia Maru was a 122-meter-long freighter that was sunk during a raid in 1944. It now lies in relatively shallow waters at a depth of around 12 meters, making it suitable for snorkelers as well. The wreck is home to an abundance of corals and is frequented by colorful reef fish, including angelfish and butterflyfish.
East Tangat Gunboat: This small gunboat rests in shallower waters, making it an ideal site for novice divers or those interested in snorkeling. The wreck is covered in corals and serves as a home for various marine species, including angelfish, butterflyfish, and nudibranchs.
These shipwrecks in Coron offer divers an opportunity to explore while being surrounded by vibrant marine life. The wrecks provide a captivating glimpse into the past, showcasing the resilience of nature as coral reefs have taken root and become home to a diverse range of aquatic species.
These shipwrecks in Coron Bay provide a unique opportunity to explore the remnants of World War II history. It’s like being in an underwater museum of history, while immersing yourself in a thriving underwater ecosystem. Whether you are an experienced wreck diver or a beginner seeking an unforgettable adventure, Coron’s shipwrecks offer a captivating diving experience.
Pirates Diving Center is one of Coron’s leading facilitators, each day Pirates offer a 3 dive excursion to the best ship wrecks in the region. For more information you can contact Pirates at http://www.piratescoron.com whats app +639959537887 and Instagram @piratesdivingcoron

Coron one of the worlds top dive destinations


Perfect Destination

The perfect destination to learn to dive, its not just the perfect clear and calm waters, hard and soft coral reefs and abundant marine life or the 24 world famous wrecks that make Coron one of the top locations to fun dive, take your PADI Scuba Diver or Open Water Course, its that Coron not only matches and surpasses most other Dive destinations for its perfectly suited learn to dive sites, but that it offers a total experience that is unrivaled.

Their is so much choice, Coron offers something for everyone, even the most demanding will find what they want. Accommodation ranges from backpacker budget to total luxury, Restaurants and cafes offer simple street food to gourmet fine dining, most parts of this beautiful tropical paradise are still quiet and naturally unspoilt, while other parts have developed to provide shopping, food, bars and night life.

Beyond diving there are many other activities to entertain you , there are so many activities to keep you busy on none diving days. That is of course if you are not wanting to relax on one of the magnificent boat tours.

Ideal learn to dive environment

Its the Ocean that attracts the most visitors to Coron, its temperature ranging from a a low of 26 degrees in March to a high of 30 degrees in July, its perfect to learn diving. Pirates Divers is Coron’s number 1 learn to dive center, with a reputation for quality, safety, service and happy guests that is envied and respected by the rest of the Philippines diving community.

learn to dive options

On offer are three options; if you have never dived before but want to know what its like to Scuba Dive without committing to a course.  You can take the Discover Scuba Diver one day diving experience. With an experienced instructor you will undertake a thorough briefing, learn and practice some diving skills in shallow water off one of Coron’s  white sand beaches, before heading out by boat to make 2 dives on one of Asia’s best coral reefs.

If you have two full days The PADI Scuba Diver Course certifies you to dive to 12m with a professional guide and if you have three to four days the PADI Open Water Course qualifies you to dive independently any where in the world.