Dive the Pecheur Breton (www.DiveSriLanka.com)
(Colombo Cargo Wreck and formerlly MV Echo)
Refuge in dereliction

By Dharshana Jayawardena.

Depth: Port side 20 Meters & Starboard side 33 Meters


Pecheur Breton as Echo (c) Louis Houtermans- www.Shipspotting.com

The bow of the Pecheur Breton
 
Pecheur Breton Wreck Colombo
The part of the hull that has collapsed into the sand
Pecheur Breton Wreck Colombo
You can now swim right through!
 

31/08/2013 - The wreck has changed during the monsoons! We are both shocked to see part of the hull has collapsed out but very happy to find that now the dive experience has become better with a massive swim through, through the hull! It really feels like diving a new dive site!. We have been diving this ship for 07 years and still love it for what it is! A beautiful scenic wreck with great marine life!

15/07/2013 - The Pecheur Breton (popularly known also as the Cargo Wreck until its name was found) is one of the most popular and best wreck dives in Sri Lanka. Over the years the 90M wreck sitting at 32M has yielded to us a wealth of marine life! Giant Stingrays, Big Groupers, Eagle Rays, Dolphins and even a Whale Shark!

So it is with great delight that we introduce to you Louis Houtermans. A sailor from Netherlands who worked on the Pecheur Breton when it was known as MV Echo when it was owned by N.V Maatschappij Vriesvaart. While researching into the ships origins we managed to trace Louis and he has written back to us with the following message:

"I wish you and your friend divers a happy and safe diving around the Pecheur Breton. For me the time onboard the Echo was one of the happiest times from my life”

Thank you Louis for sharing your story with us and wish you all the best!

01/09/2012: Based on last known location, length of ship, matching features, we have now ascertained that the Colombo Cargo Wreck is the Pecheur Breton (Breton Fisherman) which sailed under the Honduran flag. It sank off Colombo on 1st of July 1994 after springing a leak enroute to the Seychelles with a cargo of scrap. Fans of the "colombo cargo wreck" (as it was known for a long time) are now delighted that their favorite ship wreck has a name!

The First Dive!

31/12/2006: As we descend a few meters below the surface, a mammoth form takes shape beneath us. It is an immense cargo ship, lying starboard side, on its final resting place upon a flat sandy surface. As we sink beneath the port side boundary at 20 meters, the panorama is overwhelming. For this is one of the best days, given the 20m-25m visibility, to dive an intact shipwreck and absorb its profile in its entirety.

Just above us, large shoals of fish form twisting and churning bait balls in its eternal ballet to escape darting predators. As we cover the final 10 meters on the deck side we observe the mass of twisted and mutilated debris. At 32 meters lying alongside the ship are two life boats. Two large mast like booms protrude from the deck and rise up towards the surface. The ship is full of fish life. Fusiliers, Snappers, Groupers, Lionfish and insidious among the debris are also Scorpionfish. We also spot a large Stingray partially buried in the white sand. Later we will come to know this as Elvis, the king of the wreck. Twice, we have encountered "Charles" - the seemingly resident Eagle Ray who can also be seen resting on the white sand. Surrounding the ship are also a small school of very friendly Batfish who like to play with divers and have fun with their bubbles.

The ship is large and it is resting deep. That means most of the dives here are restricted to 40 minutes at best. But that time is just enough to explore the entire outer length on the deck and the hull. Sometimes the currents are fierce; especially as you ascend over the shadow of the deck.

This dive always imposes a sense of wonder. Perhaps because the ship is completely intact and so closer to life than dereliction & death; and we feel a strange kinship in encountering something so familiar in the unfamiliar depths of the mysterious ocean.

   
Louis Houtermans
Then: Louis Houtermans on board when Pecheur B was Echo
Louis Houtermans
Louis Houtermans in 2013
   
   
 
   

Elvis, the Giant Stingray and the current owner of the ship wreck

The bridge

Freedom Hole

The king gives us the cold shoulder and haughtily ignores us.

Elvis & Pricilla together

View from the french windows

Seascape - paradise in dereliction

Curious Pricilla when she approached Ajith Fernando very closely

A mushroom cloud - baitfish escaping predators

Ray Charles, the Eagle Ray beautiful in flight
 

 
   



   


   


   
   
   
   
   
   

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