In light of the tragic recent news that all of our beloved World War II Usukan Bay Wrecks have been removed by a Chinese salvage ship I wanted to show a few images I have taken over the years as a reminder of why we loved them so much and why is saddens me remembering World War II Usukan Bay Shipwrecks.
Local Fishermen Depended on The Wrecks
These wrecks were not only a highlight of the west coast for both local & international scuba divers they were also a great spot for the local fishermen who enjoyed a heathy daily catch which provided a valuable income for the waterfront community. To Sabah it is clear these wrecks were worth much more to leave undisturbed than the fast money made by salvage.
Shipwrecks Make Perfect Artificial Reefs
My pictures display a vibrant healthy marine oasis with stunning corals covering the structures something the ocean is in dire need of & desperately needs to preserve. In addition to their cultural significance shipwrecks transform into a habitat for an array of species. A wide variety of fishes, invertebrates and algal species make the wreck their permanent home. The nooks and crannies of these wrecks make them perfect artificial reefs.
In a time where global warming and rising sea temperatures are threatening corals reefs world wide its more important than ever to protect what we have.
The Ships were originally sunk over 70 years ago during WW2 by an American submarine & serve as a stark reminder of the horrors of war in which so many lost lives. Lest We Forget !
It is the opinion of many that raising of these historic war graves is an unforgivable act that has affected many people on many levels & cannot be undone they deserved much better protection.
Salvaging of Shipwrecks Is An International Problem
The salvaging of shipwrecks seems to be a growing international issue as reported in The Telegraph, The Guardian and Divernet. If allowed to continue the ocean will be robbed of its maritime history. Authorities worldwide need to do more. I hope that the shipwrecks of KM Kumuran and Gaya Wreck, both located in the Tunku Adbul Rahman Park will remain intact.