| Zee Yusri |
AFTER a five-day scuba diving expedition to Louisa Reef, a group of nine divers from the Poni Divers club returned to Serasa beach yesterday afternoon.
One of the divers, Thye Sing Wong, said it was a great achievement for Poni Divers and the local diving community to have gone out to Louisa Reef. The last expedition to the area was over 15 years ago.
“The most memorable experience was the first wall dive where there was a steep vertical drop of over a 100 metres. Another interesting find was an anchor we found on our fifth dive. It was over eight feet long and of 19th-Century design. We assume it is an anchor from the New Jersey wreck that was mentioned in the ‘Laut Brunei’ book, which had pictures of an expedition in 1989 by BSADC divers from Brunei, but we have yet to verify it,” he said.
The divers utilised a 46-foot-long trimaran as their vessel during the expedition.
The Louisa Reef is a world-class diving spot. “The reefs were very healthy and the fish were diverse. However, we did notice some damaged corals. We aren’t sure if it was man-made or due to natural causes.”
Poni Divers are planning another 10-day expedition to the reef to further explore the area and locate the remnant of the wreck that was found there previously. They also plan to bring in bigger boats next year so that these trips can be organised regularly.
“Diving can be a family activity for many who wish to dive at shallow reefs to enjoy the abundant and colourful marine life and corals we have here in Brunei.
“The coral reefs and underwater treasures of Brunei are part of our national heritage and should be enjoyed and appreciated by all,” Thye said.