Koh Tao Diving - HTMS Sattakut
Koh Tao’s premier Wreck dive, the “Sattakut” is the ex Thai Navy boat HTMS Sattakut, kindly donated to Koh Tao by a consortium that includes The Department of Marine and Costal Resources and the Royal Thai Navy. The Sattakut was cleaned and stripped of all toxins and hazardous materials before the Thai Navy performing a controlled sinking on June 18th 2011.
The Sattakut lays in a sandy area, just south of the dive site Hin Pee Wee. Her Stern lies at a depth of around 30-31 meters and her Bow in 26 meters. Although still relatively new, the dive site boasts an abundance of marine life that has flocked to Sattakut and now calls home.
A 15-20 minute boat ride from Crystal Dive the dive site is often the second dive of an advanced dive trip. There are 2 buoy lines on the wreck, attached to the ship itself and there is one more attached to a large concrete block with an extra line, leading to the wreck.
The shallowest part of the wreck is the bridge or ‘Captain’s cabin’, which lies at a depth of 18metres.
HTMS Sattakut is 49 metres long and 7 metres wide. She has 2 canon guns. The gun located at the Bow – a 76mm/50 Mk 22 DP – has the date she was built, which was 1942 along with some other information such as where she was built and by whom inscribed into the side.
This gun lies at a depth of 20-21m. Right under the gun platform is one of the penetration points – for PADI Wreck Specialty certified divers only – which leads you down the stairs and into the front cabin at around 24 metres.
Exiting this room will bring you to the middle of the ship, located directly under the bridge.
There are many port holes on both sides of HTMS Sattakut and looking in you will see Giant Groupers, One Spotted Snappers, Butterfly Fish, Sweetlips amongst many others.
If you descend all the way to the sand on the western side of the ship, look carefully with your torch, in between the seabed and the ‘keel’ or bottom of the ship – very often we spot large Jenkins Whiprays and Blue Spotted Ribbontail Rays hiding out.
There is one more canon gun – a 40mm/60 Bofors Mk III cannon – located at the stern of the boat at around 24-25 meters depth.
This gun is not as big as the one attached to the bow but it’s still a very interesting spot to visit. Below you can find another penetration point – again only for PADI Wreck Specialist divers – this one at 27metres.
This entry point will lead you through the narrow corridor and up into the ‘Big room’ right at the heart of the wreck. Penetration from the back is a bit easier, compared to the front entry.
Outside HTMS Sattakut you always have a chance to see a lot of fish and Hin Pee Wee is only 20-25 kick cycles north.
In good visibility you can actually see Hin Pee Wee and for Advanced Divers with their Enriched Air Nitrox certifications, and good air consumption this is an option to incorporate into your dive plan.
HTMS Sattakut is suitable for divers with their Advanced certification or higher, and for penetration a Wreck Specialist certification is required. It is also a popular choice for one of the elective Adventure dives as part of the PADI Advanced Open water diver course.