There has been another wreck located on the Davy Jones Tech wreck expedition. DJL owner Tim describes the discovery near Penang.
“As the weather closed in we tucked ourselves into the shoreline as there was a blow up from the south west monsoon. Tucking into the east coast reduced the effects of wind driven waves. The calmer waters gave us a chance to video the wrecks of the Hatsutaka/ Prince of Wales and the Repulse before heading up the straights of Mallaca to our next exploration mark.
A few years ago a British minelaying submarine called HMS Porpoise caught my attention. An aeroplane sank her in the vicinity of Penang. The problem with locating this sub is that with air attacks there is no position given for the initial contact, only a vague “in the vicinity of” which makes it more complicated. The submarine was also last seen going over the horizon, trailing oil, with no bearing given. Its down to guess work on where she could be. We knew the aeroplane attacked after she had laid a string of mines near Penang. We also had a good idea where the minefields were by looking at the positions of the unfortunate ships that strayed into them, one of which we were to look for next.
When looking at the chart, my mind tried to imagine what the captain would have done. Basing the starting point close to the minefield and the max speed submerged while trailing oil what bearing would the captain have taken in those frantic momments of the attack? My logic points to a straight forward dash to get some depth under her keel and avoid damage from rebounding resonance off of a shallow bottom. With this in mind we decided to look due west of a known field, concentrating on a fisherman’s mark around 30 nautical miles away. My local contact had told me of three likely positions where we may find a wreck located. However we only had time to explore one. So I targeted the mark that was the best guess of my fishing contact.
As we approach the mark the sonar shows a huge return and we kit up as fast as possible. It was showing 75 metres to the bottom and we already had a nice 18/35TMX. The current was also slack, another piece of luck. We jumped in and followed the line into the mark, passing Dave on the way down. At the bottom we found the shot hanging over the side of a large bridge. It was next to an opening where a cast iron whb sat, unmoved since the day she went to the bottom. The back of the bridge dropped away to the sand and just forward there was a cargo hold. The construction appeared to be that of a small coastal cargo vessel. The Japanese commonly requisitioned this type of boat to help keep their supply routes open.
The wreck had poorly constructed portholes, with little beauty in her design. The electrical cable was more modern indicating a post war ship. The wreck located was not the result we were looking for, but still an interesting find. With only a 25min bottom time we will need to return for further investigation . The list is growing for ship wrecks we need to return to.