The duty free and offshore financial island of Labuan is located just 5 miles from the Sabah mainland, 62km from Kota Kinabalu, at the northern mouth of Brunei Bay. One of the famous attraction is The Cement Wreck scuba diving.
It’s a three hour boat ride from Kota Kinabalu and just one hour from Brunei.
There are fringing coral reefs around Labuan and the smaller islands to the south but Labuan diving is all about Labuan wrecks, these are what the divers come for.
So, there are four wreck dives here (Blue Water Wreck, Cement Wreck, Australian Wreck and American Wreck) that offer diving opportunities for beginner divers as well as serious tech divers.
For this article I focus about The Cement Wreck scuba diving trip.
The Cement Wreck Scuba Diving
The Cement Wreck or Tung Hwuang sank on 25 September 1980 when it hit Samarang Bank. It was transporting cement to Brunei for the Sultan’s new palace but had been sent back as the cement was considered substandard.
The wreck now lies 13km east of Labuan Island. It is 92m long, 15m wide and 7.5m high. It sits uprightand intact in 30m of water. The main deck is at 19m and the wheel house at 14m making this dive site suitable for all levels of diver.
Although visibility can often be low on the wreck there is a mooring line for descents and ascents and navigation is easy around the superstructure.
For cement wreck scuba diving trip, penetration is possible in places although care must be taken with exposed steel edges, fishing nets and silting.
The easiest areas to penetrate are the cargo hold and the crew quarters. The engine room is increasingly more dangerous to penetrate as the wreck begins to collapse.
Marine life on the wreck is prolific. Colourful soft coral, sponges and feather stars cover much of the superstructure. Thousands of scorpionfish make touching the wreck anywhere a risky business.
Lionfish are numerous. Schools of snapper, jacks, barracuda and other reef fish are everywhere. Even turtles can be seen on the wreck occasionally.
Featured Image Origin: kin0be | Flickr
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