May 2012 took me to the South China Sea's for a weeks diving, which included HMS Repulse, a 26,500-ton Renown class battlecruiser and HMS Prince of Wales, a 35,000-ton King George V class battleship and several other excellent wrecks. We will pick up our diving support vessel The Mata Ikan (Malay for “Fish Eye”) in the port of Singapore then head out into the South China Sea

The in water visibility is stunning with a water temperature of 29°c ( 84.2°f )

 
 

HMS Prince of Wales (Battleship, 1941-1941)

HMS Prince of Wales, a 35,000-ton King George V class battleship built Birkenhead, England, was completed in March 1941. In late May, while still not fully operational, she was sent into action with the German battleship Bismarck and received significant damage from heavy gunfire. Following repairs, Prince of Wales carried Prime Minister Winston Churchill across the Atlantic to Newfoundland. There, on 9-12 August, Churchill joined U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt for the Atlantic Charter conference, the first meeting between the two English-speaking leaders of what was emerging as the "Grand Alliance" against the Axis powers.

Following her return to British waters, Prince of Wales went to the Mediterranean, where she successfully engaged Italian planes off Malta in late September. Sent to the Far East with the battlecruiser HMS Repulse to counter the swiftly developing Japanese threat in the region, she arrived on 2 December 1941. On 8 December, the day of the Pearl Harbour Raid on the other side of the International Date Line, the Japanese landed in northern Malaya. Prince of Wales, Repulse and four destroyers were sent to attack the invasion force. After finding no targets, the British ships were returning to Singapore when, late in the morning of 10 December, they were attacked by a strong force of Japanese high-level bombers and torpedo planes. With no friendly planes to protect them, both heavy ships were hit several times. Repulse sank at about 1230. Prince of Wales capsized and followed her to the bottom less than an hour later.

The HMS Prince of Wales now lies in 68 meters (221ft) of water with her propellers at 50m (163ft). The weight of her huge guns dragged her upside down.  

HMS Repulse (Battlecruiser, 1916-1941)

HMS Repulse, a 26,500-ton Renown class battlecruiser, was built at Clydebank, Scotland. Completed in August 1916, she joined the Grand Fleet following post-trials modifications and operated in the North Sea for the remainder of World War I. The light protection of this class of two battlecruisers was a considerable cause for concern and, soon after the Armistice, Repulse received an extensive refit. This significantly increased her armour, and her displacement, which rose some six-thousand tons. The work was completed in 1922, after which the ship began a peacetime career of fleet operations and long-distance cruises.

In 1933-36, Repulse was again modernized, emerging with improved deck armour, a hangar and catapult for aircraft, and a greatly increased anti-aircraft gun battery. She operated with the Home Fleet in the North Sea and Atlantic during the first two years of the Second World War, taking part in the pursuit of the German battleship Bismarck in May 1941. Later in the year she was sent to the Far East, accompanying the new battleship Prince of Wales. The two ships arrived at Singapore just before Japan began the Pacific War. As soon as hostilities commenced, both steamed northwards to intercept a reported invasion force. While returning to Singapore on 10 December 1941, Repulse and Prince of Wales were attacked by Japanese high-level bombers and torpedo planes. Repulse was moderately damaged by bombs early in the action and was later hit by several torpedoes. After receiving this heavy underwater damage, she sank rapidly.

HMS Repulse now lies on her side in 55 meters of water (180ft) with her starboard side at 38m (124ft)  

Jack filling our O2 cylinders

Kitting up area with the Helium Cylinders and the back

We made our entry to the water with a stride in then used the lift to get back on board

It Was nice to be able to dive in a light suit for once

 

 

Bernard kitted up ready

Bernard striding in

Brian making his was down the line

Brian on HMS Repulse

Hanging on the deco bar where I seemed to spend quite alot of time

Me Moving along the transfer line

 

The Sunsets where amazing
From the left Me Rob,Geoff, Kirk, Jack, Sands, Colin, Marion, Matt, Bernard, Brian

 

I would like to thank Jack for all his efforts in making the trip safe and so much fun.