The Koh Chang region of Thailand now boasts the largest artificial reef in the Southeast Asian country with the November scuttling of the HTMS Chang. The former U.S. Navy tank landing ship, known as the USS Lincoln County, served in World War II and the Korean War before being decommissioned and transferred to the Royal Thai Navy in 1962, where it was used as a troop- and vehicle transport vessel for nearly 50 years. At 328-feet in length — with a massive beam of 50 feet, three main decks and seven subdecks — the new artificial reef offers plentiful exploration opportunities, including a tall radar tower with crow’s nest that reaches nearly to the surface, a pair of gun turrets at fore and aft, an open captain’s cabin, giant smokestack and many other interesting features. Plus, diverse marine life, including barracuda, grouper, batfish, octopuses and squid, have made the new habitat home.
HT MS Chang
Location Koh Chang Island, Gulf of Thailand
Type Former U.S. Navy tank landing ship
Service U.S. Navy 1944-1961, Royal Thai Navy 1962-2006
LOA 328 feet
Beam 50 feet
Depth 98 feet
>>Make It Happen Scuba Dawgs Diving in Koh Chang offers two-tank trips to the HTMS Chang for $85.