Colombo is well renowned among divers as a fantastic location for wreck diving. Its wrecks range in size from commercial barges to airplanes and oil tankers, with a site depth of between 30 and 57 meters (98 and 187 feet).
Our team has been scouring the sea beds in the Colombo region in February 2014, using an echo scanner for any positive hit that there is a foreign object on the sandy floor. After being bamboozled six times with different sized and types of rock formations, the 7th, the lucky attempt, gave our diving team something to explore.
After days of diving into the murky waters only to be misled by several huge rocks, the team was surprised that they finally found a steamship deep in the waters at 32M deep. The boat time to get here was roughly around 45 minutes, and the visibility here was almost excellent.
And it was one of the most romantic findings we have done, considering this ship was uncovered on lovers' day in 2014.
You may dive a dozen wrecks that range in depth from 30 meters to 57 meters in this area, including a ship recently sunk in 2009 and an armed merchant ship from World War I, but if we are to be honest, this barge we found could easily pass to exude unparalleled beauty. It might be hidden in the dark depths of the undisturbed ocean floor, but once you are in here, this steamship will undoubtedly enthrall you in its natural beauty.
It was one of the most stunning artificial reefs in the vicinity that was created when it sank in 1983.
The ship was considerably small, although it was a steam-powered vehicle at only around 10 meters in length. And as we got closer to the vessel to explore it in detail, we figured out that the whole wreck had already been an oasis for sea creatures and beautifully cored corals. The plants have already grown to be massive, creating a picture as if the boat had wings.
Small coral groups adorned the entire vessel, and the surrounding was rich in marine life, who called this small ship their home.
The ship was placed on the ocean bed facing west, and we discovered that it was a single-boiler steamship with a small engine to power the vehicle. Even though mother nature has already taken her toll to a fair share on this little ship and deteriorated it almost halfway, the details of it were still noticeable.
And then we were shocked to find something unusual for a ship this old and small. Next to the boiler, there were the remnants of a toilet! Something that we never anticipated seeing on a sunken ship. And hence we christened the boat with the name "The Toilet Barge."
However crappy it may look, this ship prettifies the sandy ocean floor unless that would be almost bare. The identity of the vessel might be lost in the depths here, but once she becomes a well-known diving site for the beauty she carries, she will be remembered forever!
And if you are ever doubting where to dive in the region of Colombo, there are a few dozen places you can carry out your adventure excursion. But remember that the Toilet Barge is one of the top most beautiful sites to dive in Colombo.
There are some excellent reefs in Sri Lanka and the best collection of shipwrecks. Try diving at the toilet barge, a one-of-a-kind dive spot only accessible from Taprobane Reefs or Sri Lanka! If you want to enjoy the best diving and wildlife activities in Sri Lanka, contact us so we can help you with your travel plans.