HMS Repulse Wreck Diving
The HMS Repulse was a 36,000 ton Renown class battleship built on the Clydebank in 1916. She initially saw service in the North Sea during World War I. After two extensive refits she spent the first two years of WWII operating with the home fleet in the North Sea and Atlantic Ocean and was involved in the pursuit of the Bismark in 1941. Later in 1941 she sailed to Singapore with the new battleship Prince of Wales. When Japan entered the war both ships steamed from Singapore northwards up the east coast of Malaysia to intercept the invading Japanese forces. On 10 December 1941 both ships were attacked by Japanese bomber and torpedo planes. Both ships received extensive damage and sank.
HMS Repulse now lies on her port side in 55m about 50 nautical miles north of Tioman Island and is one of the most popular wreck dives in the region for technical divers with the required training to dive her. Although shallow parts of the wreck are suitable for recreational divers, other deeper and inner areas required technical diving certification.
The wreck is 242m long, a huge ship that requires many dives to explore fully. There are three sets of 15″ guns and four anti aircraft guns. Four huge propellers are visible and the wreck is penetrable. Visibility is usually 10-30m but can be less and occasionally is more. Currents can be strong. Marine life around the wreck is prolific including white tip reef sharks, black tip reef sharks, very big groupers, marble rays, schools of great barracuda, trevally and snapper. Whale sharks have been sighted here on occasions.
This is one of many wrecks in the South East Asia region and as technical diving becomes more popular, more of these dive sites are being discovered.