Poor “Hin Phra Nang”
By Ruharn Maneewattana www.divinggang.com
English Translation by Wanvipa Phanumat
Even though I have been Scuba diving for several years, but I still get excited every time I have a chance to dive just like a kid with a new toy. Regardless of the boring diving sites like Pattaya and Sattahip, I still feel that diving at the same boring place is not always a boring thing because the environment changes all the time. If you don’t believe me, you can try diving at the same place for a few times and ask yourself whether you can find the same coral reef that you saw last time or not. My fun starts again at the familiar diving site when friends from Ramkamhaeng University Marine Biological Diversity Research group asked me to join their diving trip in Pattaya last week. That was when I had a chance to know “Hin Phra Nang” for the first time.
Hin Phra Nang is an underwater rock with shallow peak at 6 meters and deep peak at 15 meters. It is located on the south of KrokIsland. It lays from the North to the South with about 25-30 meters wide and 200-300 meters long. Hin Phra Nang has coral reef and many organisms such as Mountain Coral, Mushroom Coral, Staghorn Coral, Sponge, and Sea Fan. But the shocking thing is that they are covered with several fishing nets in different size and shape, both old and new. I told the things that I saw to my friends and all agreed that we should cut it loose rather than leave it like that.
The “Cut the net at Hin Phra Nang” activity, then, was set to be on 30 January. Thanks to friends’ and divers’ help, we have more than 30 divers and volunteers which is very delightful to see many people care about environment. We left Bali High Pier and took about 40 minutes to arrive at the destination. We wasted some time to dive to find the rock to tie the float as a mark. We used about 30 minutes to tie the float. As soon as I come up from the water, my friends jumped to the water. We separate into 5 groups of divers. Not long that we see the first fishing net above the water. The dinghy sponsored by PattayaMunicipality rush to take the fishing net from the water and pass it to another boat to take it away.
The first dive is difficult due to the strong current which make the buoyancy and underwater communication complicated because some of the divers have never dived together before. We did not get rid of so many fishing net. However, after getting to understand each other, we can work smoothly and know the working process more which make us be able to get rid of enough fishing net in the limited time. There are plenty of fishing net that we could not get rid of even though everyone worked hard all the time in 3 dives, but to cut the fishing net from the coral reef without harming the reef takes a lot of care, so there are a lot of limitation.
However, we will not give up as we will go back to “Hin Phra Nang” again until its beauty returns.