This H.M.S. Hermes was the ninth of Hermes warships. And most importantly this is the first purposely built aircraft carrier for Royal British Navy. She weighted 10,850 tons. And she was heavily armed with anti-aircraft guns and more.
But scout plains of Hōshō (flying phoenix), the first ever world aircraft carrier, which belonged to Japanese Imperial Navy, were the winning side that day, 09 April 1942. Vice admiral Chiuchi Nagumo, who had led the attack on Pearl Harbour, was leading the Japanese strike force that day. This series of air attack was recorded as the most accurate air bombing campaign in entire Second World War.
At 9 AM Hermes was receiving fire. Her fate was decided with the loss of the Captain, R.J.F. Onslow, 19 officers and 288 sailors on board. She now lies in the sea bottom off the coast of Batticaloa.
As Mark Powell writes, 'the wreck is home to a large variety of marine life. Large tuna, grouper and jacks flock around the wreck as well as a huge number of other fish. Some of these are of impressive size with one grouper being considerably larger than me. Some of the tuna are also a very impressive sight. As well as the fish, a huge variety of coral and other marine life means that there is significantly more life on this wreck than on the vast majority of reefs.'
A daughter of a perished seaman cherishes Hermes's, 'more life on this wreck than on the majority of reefs is the Mother Nature's way of remembering all those who perished in Second World War.'
Hermes accompanied two support vessels, H.M.A.S. Vampire (not found yet) and R.F.A. tankers SS British Sergeant.
Check out Dharshana Jayawardena's site for all you want to know about this great wreck and ship.
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Terms and conditions
Booking : Book online, call us or drop us an email.
Price : The price may slightly go up or down at the time of booking.
Payment : Full payment is settled prior starting the tour/excursion.
Days of the tour or the hours of excursion : The tour or the excursion is completed within mentioned time.
Per hour vehicle detention fee : 3 USD - Tuk Tuk / 5 USD Standard car & van
Weather : If weather conditions are unfavourable activities will be adjusted accordingly.
Today's Marine Forecast : Sri Lanka Department of Meteorology / Buoyweather
Transportation to a destination : Click Here to reserve with an excursion.
Refund : Refund will be determined after reducing third party's and our costs.
About this dive site
Best season : May to October
Available : Everyday (weather permitting)
Best visibility : 1 of June - 31 of August
Arranging time needed : 1 hrs
Starting point : Batticaloa
Night dives : Surcharges - 1 tank 15 USD / 2 tanks 20 USD
Depth of the site : 53 met (Technical dive site)
From shore : 45-60 min
What to see : Ship wreck / Scenic / Fish
Ratings : Excellent (Lifetime Experience!) Dharshana Jayawardena
Restrictions : Do not touch corals please. Be a responsible and ethical snorkeler and diver. Do not leave plastics behind.
Basic price includes : All gear / Boat / Dive master / Number of tanks as selected / 2 dives at one site / Bottled water / Gov tax.
You may bring : Hat and sun glass / Sun cream
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