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The Phuket wrecks


HMS Vestal


(Phuket, Southern Thailand)

Depth 70meters ; Trimix diving only


the british minesweeper 'vestal' an algerine class minesweeper off plymouth sound


a canadian algerine class minesweeper with depth charges,


"The last British Royal Naval vessel sunk during WWII"

Details of Sinking:-


The HMS Vestal, an Algerine class minesweeper was hit by a Japanese kamikaze plane during the closing days of WWII, the Vestal  was extensively damaged and was deemed unrepairable. Due to it's closeness to Japanese held territory (Thailand), the crew were taken off, and the vessel was destroyed & scuttled to prevent it falling from into enemy hands.


Discovery of the wreck:-


As with many shipwrecks lost far out at sea during WWII, the precise location of the HMS Vestal either through reasons of disinformation or navigational uncertainty was unknown. The best positional accuracy that can be hoped from historic records of this time be a square mile box and thus it was up to modern tech divers to 'liaise' with local fishermen (for 'liaise' read 'get them copiously drunk and release them of their GPS net snag notebook') so as to get a good spread of net snag marks in the rough location where the HMS Vestal was known to be. notes:- All local fishermen carrying out trawling operations keep hundreds of records of underwater 'net snag marks' . The majority of the marks are simply underwater rocky outcrops, However, occasionally when the net is pulled free from the snag point, bits of shipwreck come up with the net revealing the nature of the underwater obstruction. Thus it was with the HMS Vestal, when many years a go a local Thai fisherman reported to a couple of French guys living in rented bungalows opposite the Kata post office that his net kept bringing up shipwreck debris at two separate locations that later proved to be the HMS vestal and the SS Petalin.

The HMS Petalin is recorded as being dived on air since as early as 2001 by Laurent Lefebvre and Ben Reymenants, however it was up to commercial diver Fred Evans and technical diver friends Joerg & Andreas from Deep Blue Diving in Phuket to formally investigate the net snag mark later identified as the HMS Vestal, using Trimix diving techniques during 2004

vestal porthole 1vestal porthole 2


Restored HMS Vestal artifacts from the debris field such as shell cases and portholes confirmed the wrecks British origin

Other British Navy Warships nearby


The Vestal's sister ship the HMS Squirrel also sank nearby in around 95meters of water, together with 2 British Minisubs involved on a clandestine attack on Phuket Harbor, rumored to be resting in the silty mud somewhere.

The British Admiralty's database reveals the following info for Minesweepers including requisitioned sunk in the Phuket Area:-

HMS VESTAL (940ton, 10/9/43) Sunk by aircraft, off Phuket, Siam (Thailand) 26 July 1945

HMS SQUIRREL (940ton, 16/8/44 Damaged by mine off Phuket, Siam (Thailand). Sunk by own forces, 24 Jul 1945


For information on other vessels in the Algerine Class Minesweepers follow these links


for more information on British Forces shipping Losses follow this link


Wrecks details


The wreck lies upright on the bottom in 72 meters of water on a sandy seabed. As is common for this area, much of the wreck is covered in fishing nets and rope, making entanglement a problem especially for technical divers wearing 4 tanks. Divers report finding explosive ordinance present on the wreck, so don't touch anything 

More underwater images of the HMS vestal are given here


GPS Location:-


 Near Phuket WGS84  N07' 41.530" E098' 15.560"



Wreck Speciality course



  • Must be at least Adventure Diver or Advanced Open Water Diver
  • and have minimum 15 years

Price 380.- € The full course

The price included

  • Dives
  • Book
  • Certification
  • Monitor
  • Insurance
  • Lunch
  • Non-alcoholic beverages

The price not included

  • * Tips
  • * Extras expenses


You can subscribe by e-mail or by phone.

E-mail thank you for giving me:

- Your name and surname

- Your phone or GSM

Must be present at each class and participate in simulations.

If no, thank you prevent.

We sarrangera to catch up the lost session.

A written and practical exam is required to obtain a degree.

Candidates not having the examination will not be certified.

During the sessions, you can take notes, ask questions and interrupt the course if you do not understand.

Do not be afraid, you're there to learn at your own pace and most importantly stress free.

You will receive a manual to study at home safely and review techniques.

For your reservation

50% deposit to confirm your reservation

The remaining starting your course

Any deposit is lost 30 days before the course date.



Special wreck certification speciality





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