Before it struck an unmarked rock in the South China Sea on March 12, 1973, the Igara was an Italian oil/ore steamship voyaging from Vitoria, Brazil to Muroran, Japan. Contrary to what most people believe, the whole ship did not remain down the ocean floor. It was split into two parts: the rear was towed to Japan—built into a new ship, Eraclide, and the bow stayed underwater—marveled upon by divers all over the world who seek refuge in the waters surrounding Anambas Islands. It has been 45 years since it descended into the sea, here’s what the iron ore cargo ship looks like today.
The Igara got its nickname when afew years back, it was inhabited by a turtle. Even when the creature was no longer around the wreck, locals and tourist still call the disassembled cargo ship Turtle Wreck—after the marine creature that once made it its home.
More than four decades submerged into the sea, Igara still has not lost its beauty. In fact, its submersion has made it more appealing, especially to divers and marine enthusiasts. Igara is now covered with various species of corals and sponges. Now, Igara is one of the most famous diving attraction in Anambas Islands.
The once expensive vessel that ships Brazilian iron ore has now turned to something better: a nirvana to both humans and underwater beings. Not only it is a glorious kingdom for divers all over the world, it is also a refuge to a great variety of ocean life. Igara houses reef fish, barracudas, groupers, snappers, and batfish. Nurse sharks also lurks around the stern of the wreck.