Wreck diving is always a highlight within the different options of adventure diving. Even if most of the time there is a sad story behind it, I tend to prefer the atmosphere of witnessing an underwater historic memory rather than playing around a fake wreck which is there just to attract tourists.
The story of the Doña Marilyn is not a happy ending and most of all the company which owned it was responsible the year before of another accident on the overcrowded Doña Paz. In 1988, with more than 400 passengers on board, during the typhoon Unsang, on its way to Tacloban, the ferry sank on its side at 30m below the surface. Only 147 persons survived. Being quite far offshore, the site of the Doña Marilyn is not so often visited and allows scuba divers to explore the wreck quietly.
I joined a day trip from Malapascua to go scuba diving on the Doña Marilyn. On the way, we spent couples of hours exploring the nearby island of Carnaza, which is has no resort at all but many natural wonders such as pristine water creeks and colourful caves. It is also a historical place as it used to be an American air force base during the Pacific Battle of WWII. On the heights of Carnaza you can still go to the landing strip and enjoy a breath-taking view from there on Leyte and Gato island. Enjoy the video!
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