Monday, November 29, 2010

This hotel's a bit of a dive: Abandoned rig that has been converted into scuba paradise


Big population: The nutrients of the coral attracts a vast array of exotic sea creatures to the reef beneath the Seaventures resort

An abandoned oil rig had been transformed into the world's first ever scuba diving hotel.

The isolated 25-bedroom Seaventures Dive Resort in the Celebes Sea of Malaysia is surrounded by a coral reef which is populated by regal sharks and barracudas, making it ideal for diving.

Just to reach the rig at Wisma Sabah, guests must fly to Kuala Lumpur, complete an hour long drive to the coast and then jump on a boat for another hour trip.

Well rigged: The Seaventures Dive Resort in Wisma Sabah was an oil rig before becoming a diving hotel

Once there, visitors can learn to dive on the reef which, because of the nutrients swept in by the currents, makes it an appealing location for a wide variety of marine life.

These stunning photos show the vast underwater world to be found at the rig - which its owner Suzette Harris claims is even better than the Great Coral Reef in Australia.

'So far as we know, we're the only ones in the world using an oil rig as a hotel and diving platform,'she said.

Gone fishing: A diver exploring the coral reef beneath the Seaventures Dive Resort in Wisma Sabah

Down time: During their training, scuba divers are lowered slowly on to the reef on a specially built platform

'You can buy a used drilling platform just like you can buy a used boat so it wasn't that hard to arrange.'

The rig training dive platform is one of the resort's biggest draws. Divers are lowered into the water to the coral reef just a few feet below the surface and close to steep underwater cliffs which plummet 180ft.

The Seaventures Sun Deck is also is one of the highest points in Mabul so visitors can see across the ocean to the islands islands of Indonesia, Borneo and the Philippines.

source: dailymail

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