The beautiful coastal town of the south, Galle is surrounded by many shipwrecks that are ideal dive sites for the enthusiastic diver.
The Ralagala wreck is one wondrous dive site where waves break at this point and there are exotic corals and marine species that are visible. It is located 20 metres in depth where an unknown ship was found on the sea bed which consists of many ancient remains still in existence today, such as oil barrels, parts of the hull and transmission parts. This site has attracted species of snappers, porcupine fish, titan triggerfish, angelfish and giant morays.
The Galle Ship wreck is the most popular diving site in Galle. It is located between the Closenburg and Gibbet islands and it comprises of many large cannons. Most of the cannon onboard were severely worn away by sand erosion and part of the gun can be seen. The way the ship has been positioned is rather interesting for it sits on Gibbet island towards the west of the entrance although now filled in when the Galle harbour was being developed, this area was believed to be either a shipwreck or an abandoned cannon. It has many marine species and corals including sponges and a variety of fish such as snappers, porcupine fish, moray eels and angelfish. The depth of the dive site is almost 24 metres and extends from close proximity of the shore and the visibility of the water ranges from 5 metres to 25 metres.
A shipwreck of over 100 years, the RMS Rangoon, a British royal mail steamer that had sunk in 1871, is located opposite the Galle Fort. It lies 32 metres deep on the sea bed among many jellyfish and Javanese rabbit-fish that make the wreck a stunning dive site. It stands upright on the beautiful white sandy sea bed and resembles a Viking ship. This ship was believed to have set sail for Australia from Galle harbour with mail and was sunk south west off the Galle lighthouse.
Other dive sites near the Galle harbour are the SS Oreste which has a depth of 22 metres. It was initially a ‘no name wreck’ until later research had evidence pertaining it to be the SS Oreste which had sunk in 1875 when it had struck a rock known as the Gindura Reef. Pieces of crockery were discovered and an anchor which has a unique shape.