Subic Bay is home to a wide variety of shipwrecks dating back to the Spanish American war in the late 1800’s. The seabed within the bay is littered with World War 2 wrecks and surplus equipment. With 5 aircraft wrecks and several reef sites, the top of the shallowest shipwreck as little as 4m to the surface, there is something here for everyone. Additionally for technical divers two Japanese WW2 wrecks, a Cold War bomber and a modern ocean going tug can be found in the 50 to 70m range.
Sea conditions are usually good within the bay and the majority of dive sites are located a short boat ride away. Most dive sites enjoy little to no current and several of the most popular wrecks have permanent mooring lines attached. Water temperature is pleasant all year, between 27 and 29 degrees C on most dive sites, most recreational divers opting for a 3mm full length suit. On technical dives where there can be more profound thermoclines at depth and extended in-water times, heavier exposure protection is advised.
Given the variety of sites and choice of depths, the bay is a fantastic location for all levels of training. Wreck, Deep and technical training being very popular. Sofnolime, oxygen to 200bar and trimix are all available at Arizona Dive Shop. Click below for a brief description of each dive site or for information regarding available diver training click here.
Shipwreck Dive Sites:
- USS New York ACR-2
- El Capitan (USS Majaba)
- Lanikai (USS and HMAS Lanikai)
- San Quentin (formerly Cunard Lines S/S Andes)
- Japanese Patrol Boat
- LCU Upside Down
- Banshu Maru No.52
- Kyo Maru
- Kosco 202
- Arizona House Wreck
Aircraft Dive Sites:
Other Dive Sites:
USS New York ACR-2
The first armored cruiser to enter service for the US Navy, commissioned in 1893. Laying on her port side in 27m and just short of 120m long it is a fascinating wreck. The starboard propellor and both forward and aft 8″ gun turrets make for great photos opportunities.
Built in 1919 for use as a commercial cargo ship and later acquired by the US Navy in 1942 as USS Majaba. Majaba was torpedoed off Guadalcanal and later towed to Subic. At 90m in length and sitting in shallow water 4m to the top of the wreck and 22m to the seabed makes this wreck an intriguing training ground.
Landing Ship Tank were amphibious operation support craft that could directly deliver a wide range of cargo straight on to the beach. Over 90m long, upright and with depths ranging from 24 to 35m it is a favorite dive of many. There is usually prolific marine life schooling around the upper deck.
The small wreck with a massive story. Taken over by the navy during WW1, the M/Y Hermes became USS Hermes. A brief appearance in an inter-war MGM blockbuster, Hermes was later commissioned as USS Lanikai in WW2 earning a Battle Star before being transferred to the Royal Australian Navy. Now in 36m.
Formerly of Cunard Line as the S/S Andes and a British hospital ship during the Crimean War, the San Quentin was used as a blockship during the Spanish American War. The boiler is proud in 15m of water and just over 60m long the wreck is great for training and photography.
Japanese Patrol Boat
Around 30m in length and sitting upright in 24m the wreck is most likely the casualty of an American P40 attack. It’s actual identification is yet to be made however it looks to be a converted fishing vessel.
LCU Upside Down
At 36m long these landing craft would be able to land either troops, tanks or supplies ashore. Broken in half on a sandy bottom in 35m the wreck is a short swim across the blue from nearby Canyons reef site where decompression can be carried out on technical dives.
Sitting on a 45degree slope, this 36m long landing craft lays between 9 and 21m deep. Several swim throughs, visible winch and engine blocks make for an interesting dive given its unusual angle. The wreck is great for training and line practice.
Banshu Maru No.52
The Japanese minesweeper that unfortunately struck a mine. Sitting upright in 55m the wreck has plenty of grouper and other fish life as well as an abundance of equipment still onboard.
Sunk by American air attack and now sitting upright in 69m the Kyo Maru is broken in 2. The propeller still in place makes for a great photo and there is a lot of equipment left laying around.
The newest wrecksite, sunk during a storm in 2012 the Kosco 202 was a 52m long ocean going tug boat. Now upside down in 53m the wreck is there to explore. With good access to the engine room and several deck levels, despite being so fresh it still impresses.
Landing craft, mechanised was primarily used to ferry light tanks ashore during amphibious assaults. This example, upright and in 41m has the landing ramp down, with both engines clearly visible.
Arizona House Wreck
Located just a short swim from the Arizona Dive Shop, the wreck was a former Taiwanese fishing boat that was confiscated for illegal fishing. Sitting in 21m and being such a short distance from shallower water it makes a great training site. It is not uncommon to spot families of seahorses on the swim back to shore.
Nakajima and Showa Aircraft produced 487 L2D’s which were license built versions of the Douglas DC-3. This aircraft is upside down and mainly intact. The starboard engine and propeller can be found a short distance from the main wreckage. Now in 43m and a short distance from Grande Island.
Douglas A-1 Skyraider
Perfectly upright in 36m, the proud tail fin, 20mm cannons and flight controls all make excellent photo opportunities. This 4 seat variant is thought to have crashed in 1962 killing its 4 crew.
McDonnell-Douglas F-4 Phantom
Just outside the bay in blue water and 42m deep is the F-4 Phantom. Sitting upright, the airframe has an open cockpit. The engine is removed, perhaps the frame was discarded from a carrier during the Vietnam war.
North American AJ2 Savage
Designed to carry atomic bombs, this rare medium bomber employed both 2 propellers and a jet. Less than 150 were ever made and it had a relatively short service life before being superseded by the solely jet driven A-3 Skywarrior in 1957. Now in 70m of water.
Sitting at 36m, the unusual site is actually 2 M3 Halftracks, both fitting with 75mm guns. Both vehicles are upright, guns pointing toward the surface. The vehicles are around 10m away from each other.
Located on the Northern side of Grande Island, a chain of sunken barges make up an interesting site with plenty of marine life. Great for training as depths gradually vary between 4 and 30m+.
A reef site with interesting gulleys carved into the reef wall. Current is light and it makes for a relaxing dive, training site or decompression stop.
Have a question? We have answers!