In 1984, a merchant vessel called the Kormoran accidentally hit the Northern Laguna Reef wall in the Straits of Tiran. Although only in shallow water (0-12 metres), the damage caused to the ship by the considerable impact was enough to render it irreparable. It now provides a great shallow wreck dive and the beginnings of an interesting artificial reef.
The ship is about 80 metres long with the bow just about protruding above the water line next to the reef. The ship’s cargo was phosphates. Many believe this artificially added rich source of nutrients results in the huge, pristine table corals which cascade down the reef.
You generally start your dive just north of the wreck, drifting along the spectacular coral wall. Keep your eyes open for rays on the sandy bottom beneath you, or maybe a shark cruising by in the blue. Check out the nooks and crannies between the abundant corals for nudibranchs and octopuses.
As you shallow up you will see the wreckage appear — the word Kormoran is still clearly visible on the nameplate. You can explore the stern area where there are still the remains of tiles and a shower. Various winches and engine parts are easily found for you to explore and try and identify..
Much of the metal plating has become colonised by hard and soft corals. In these, you will encounter shoals of small fish taking refuge as well as nudibranchs on the deck. A number of territorial Sohal surgeon fish have also made the wreck their home.