Dive the Thermopylae Sierra (www.DiveSriLanka.com)

A ship trapped between two worlds


Depth: 23 Meters to right out of the surface!

By Dharshana Jayawardena.

 thermopylae sierra stern
The stern of the Cypriot owned Thermopylae Sierra
 thermopylae sierra amidships
Wonderland amidships

04/02/2014 - Independence Day Sri Lanka!

Just over one and a half years ago, we stood over a giant beast as it lay gasping to an inevitable death. It was the 23rd of Aug 2012. The Cypriot owned Thermopylae Sierra had finally reached a critical moment of transition. For almost 3 years it was anchored in the Colombo outer anchorage about 4Km west of Mount Lavinia. We circled the sinking ship on that monsoon day as ominious dark clouds developed in the sky and turgid swells of the monsoon washed over the gradually submerging deck of the stricken vessel.

One hour later it sank.

Sadly, the sea couldn't claim the ship in its entirety. The masts and the bridge still stuck over the surface like proverbial sore thumbs. And for the last one and a half years a strict navy restriction forbode any diving near the vicinity of the ship.

Today, the ship has suddenly turned into a paradise for enthusiastic Scuba Divers! A single tank dive can easily cover the whole 165 meters of this big ship because of the shallow depth of the wreck. The fish life is phenomenal with shoals of Rainbow Runners forming giant baitbals and darting Trevally taking occasional pot shots at it. On our second dive there we even saw an Eagle Ray dart by over the deck!

There is so much to see. The bridge at the stern side, loads of steel pipes, suspension cables, masts which start from the deck and stick right out of the water. The propeller cannot be seen but a very small part of the sunken rudder can be seen at 23Meters depth.

The recreational diving community in Sri Lanka sincerely wish that this ship will be left at is. Yet the working of commerce and other legal obligations may ultimately result in the destruction and salvage of this ship to recover fees owed by the owners to the workers and the Ports Authority of Sri Lanka.

Let us hope the process takes a long long time!

 thermopylae sierra sinking
23/08/2013 - We wait as the ship gradually sinks
 thermopylae sierra sinking
23/08/2013 - The bow goes in first
Thermopylae Sierra Thermopylae Sierra
Thermopylae Sierra Thermopylae Sierra
Thermopylae Sierra fish life Thermopylae Sierra
Thermopylae Sierra Thermopylae Sierra
Thermopylae Sierra Thermopylae Sierra
Thermopylae Sierra pipes at Thermopylae Sierra
Thermopylae Sierra at the surface of Thermopylae Sierra
After the dive - a ship trapped between two worlds...

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