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The Australian Wreck or SS De Klerk was until recently believed to have been sunk by Australian air forces hence its name.
|Name Dive Site:||Australian Wreck, SS De Klerk|
|Depth: ||10-33m (32-108ft)|
|Accessibility: ||Boat, Speedboat|
|Inserted/Added by: ||labuan_tourism|
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The Australian Wreck lies south west of Rusukan Besar Island about 23 km from Labuan and is anything but Australian. Until recently it was thought that the ship was sunk by the Royal Australian Air Force. It is the wreck of a cargo and passenger steamer originally named SS De Klerk, built in Amsterdam in 1900 and plying what was then the Dutch West Indies. During World War II the Dutch scuttled the ship to prevent it from falling into Japanese hands. But the Japanese salvaged the ship and renamed it the Imbari Maru. In 1949 while on a voyage to Manila it struck a mine off Labuan and sank. 339 passengers lost their lives, mostly workers and prisoners of war.
The wreck lies on the sea bed under 21 meters of water and is roughly 85 meters long and 12 meters wide. Experienced divers will enjoy exploring the interior of the wreck. Others will appreciate the variety of marine life around it, including soft corals, lion fish and seldom-seen frog fish. It is a good subject for underwater photography.
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