KUANTAN, Malaysia: A group of divers searching for seahorses and sea cucumbers for a research purpose in Pulau Berhala, Rompin, on Sep 28 stumbled upon a shipwreck believed to be a Japanese warship containing historical artifacts.
The wreck, believed to be that of Gyosin Maru ship, which was built at the Hitachi's Sakamura port, was reported sunk in December 1944 in the area, while on its way to Vietnam.
In a report on Tuesday (Oct 4), Bernama news agency quoted diver Fazry Erwan Kamaruddin, 29, as saying that the ship had been split in half, with its deck found at a depth of 21 metres while another part was at a depth of 23 metres.
"At that moment, I was with 12 other divers looking for seahorses and sea cucumbers but when I was diving quite far from the group, I was surprised to stumble upon the front part of the warship that was encrusted with coral.
"I then called my friends to do a search and upon entering it, we found weapons, artillery shells and bottles of sake (Japanese liquor) that were scattered," he told Bernama on Tuesday (Oct 4).
He said further searching found another part of the ship about 40 metres away from the deck that was almost fully covered in corals.
Fazry Erwan who has over 10 years of experience in diving, said they also took out some artillery shells and the sake bottles as evidence to prove their findings.
"All of the items have been handed over to the Fisheries Department for further action and we believe that the shipwreck was a Japanese warship based on the discovery of the sake bottles," he said.