Klabautermanns Home - Background Story

Norbert Probst

Nuremberg, Germany

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The shipyard is a beautiful place full of life and very often under heavy currents. First time I was lucky and could get some interesting pictures. At the second time I was blown away without a chance of a picture.

Shipyard, Lhaviyani Atoll, Maldives, Indian Ocean

Canon EOS 5D MKII, 4/17-40mm USM L, Seacam housing, 1/200s, f 7,1, ISO 200

The Shipyard is the Maldives most famous wreck diving site and one of the Lhaviyani atolls most iconic landmarks. Situated between Felivaru (Fish Factory) and Gaavelifaru there are two wrecks, one of which dramatically protrudes through the surface.

The Background story

The first ship that sank at the site was a cold storage ship from the Japanese cargo company Hokomaro. This was one of the first tuna collecting vessels that was used in the Maldives and was originally known as “Hokomaro 3″, however when it arrived the Maldives it was renamed “Skipjack 1″. At the end of Skipjack 1s’ lifespan it was to be intentionally sunk between the Lhaviyani and Baa Atolls’, however whilst being towed there the ship caught fire and sank onto the reef where it lies today.

The second ship lies in around 30m of water. The original nationality of the second ship is unknown, however its story is not. The ship first arrived in Maldivian waters without permission and after running aground inside Maldivian waters the Maldivian government seized possession of the ship and it was renamed “Gaaffaru”. The government then used the ship as a cargo transporter between Male and Colombo. One day in 1984, the ship was travelling from the north of the Maldives to Male, when the vessel started leaking, the crew tried to reach Felivaru for the necessary repairs, but just meters from their destination the ship sank into the watery depths.

Luckily, in the case of both ships the crew on board managed to swim to land before the ship sank and were unharmed. The wrecks are now excellent dive sites with an abundance of marine life.

Artwork Comments

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