Dive the Astoria (www.DiveSriLanka.com)
Dive to an undivable ship perhaps at the end of her days...

By Dharshana Jayawardena.

Depth: 24 Meters

Astoria Inanda
Astoria in her former incarnation as Inanda
Astoria bow
The bow of the ship. Good visibility given the proximity to shore.

10/03/2014: We are just by the Colombo Harbour Breakwater. This is normally a restricted area. But today we have special permission.

A sonar scan quickly confirms that there is a large subterranean objected below us, so we quickly gear up and sink beneath the calm sea.

The visibility is not at its best. Just three kilometers east of us is the Galle Face green. This close to shore, good visibility can't be expected.

But suddenly we are thrilled to find the unmistakable silhouette of a ship! The visibility is much better down here. It is quite clear that the ship is broken into two large parts with a general mess of ship debris scattered around in the amidships area.

It is our theory that this is the MV Astoria, that sank off the Colombo harbour in September 1997 when her cargo hold flooded during a storm. All her crew were saved but the ship and her cargo of cement and rice was lost for ever. The bags of cement is one of several clues that provide strong circumstantial evidence that this is indeed the Astoria.

Despite the below average visibility, compared to the other wrecks in Colombo, this ship is still a great dive for the ship wreck enthusiast. Marine life is quite good with sightings of a shoal of Trevally, occasional Giant Trevally, plenty of very large Moray Eels.

Today, sadly, the general diving public is not allowed to access the Astoria. There is also a danger that the Colombo Port city will one day bury it completely along with the preceding land fill. However, we have hop that it will stop a few hundred meters before. We hope that enthusiastic divers from all over the world will one day have the opportunity to dive this wreck. This ship can bring revenue to Sri Lanka if it becomes accessible from the new Marina that will be built at the new port city.

One day perhaps people will speak of her again...

Astoria bow
The fragmented bow
Astoria Anchor
A large Reticulated Moray Eel happily shares teh Hawsole with anchor
Astoria mast
Amidships mast
Astoria cargo
Bags of what appears to be hardened cement
Astoria propellar
The single screw propellar - The Astoria also had only one Prop
  Astoria Stern

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