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Shipwreck found off coast of Koh Kong

Divers inspect the remains of a 70-metre-long shipwreck discovered off the coast of Koh Kong in early April in a video posted by deputy Navy commander Tea Sokha. Facebook
Divers inspect the remains of a 70-metre-long shipwreck discovered off the coast of Koh Kong in early April in a video posted by deputy Navy commander Tea Sokha. Facebook

Shipwreck found off coast of Koh Kong

Royal Cambodian Navy researchers are working to identify a decades-old shipwreck found earlier this month off the coast of Koh Kong province.

Divers found the 70-metre-long wreck on April 4 about a mile from Koh Chhlam island, according to Navy officials.

Deputy Navy Commander Tea Sokha, who announced the discovery on his Facebook page on Saturday, said the wreck was covered in coral, providing a rich habitat for fish and other marine life.

Soum Karoney, a Navy official and head of the research group tasked with inspecting the shipwreck, said the boat is believed to have sunk about 50 years ago.

"So far we still haven't figured out more detail about that ship yet," Karoney said. "We need to do more research on that, as far as why it sank, what type of ship it is."

The Gulf of Thailand is considered by many divers as one of the last untapped troves of shipwrecks, particularly from the World War II era.

Last March, divers off the coast of Koh Rong found what is believed to be the wreckage of a World War II era Japanese merchant vessel sunk by a US Navy submarine.

In 2006, a group of Vietnamese fisherman discovered the wreckage of a 15th century Chinese trading ship laden with ancient pottery and other artifacts near Koh Sdach, also off the coast of Koh Kong.

Sokha, who is the son of navy commander Tea Vinh and nephew of defense minister Tea Banh, oversees maritime security at Ream Naval Base in Preah Sihanouk province. Last year, Sokha and other dive businesses dropped two shipping containers into the military-controlled waters off Koh Rong Samloem to create an artificial reef.

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