Maximum Diving Depth: 55 meters - Recommended Diving Depth 55 meters
The Dutch O16 submarine was launched on 27th January 1936 and was the first boat in the world that was equipped with a snorkel system. The submarine was 76.53 meters in length, displaced some 1194 tons and was equipped with 14 torpedoes and 3 guns. It could dive as deep as 80 meters.
The two Dutch submarines K XVII and O16 were based together in Singapore under the command of the British Eastern Fleet during World War II.
O16 was responsible for the sinking of several Japanese ships in the South China Sea and with only 1 torpedo left in its tubes, she was ordered to return to Singapore. On her way back to the British base, she was struck by a mine on the 15th December 1941 at 02:30am. The same mine belt was responsible for the sinking of the submarine K XVII and the British minesweeper Banka.
O16 was almost broken in half when she sunk just about 19nm north west of Tioman Island. At the moment of impact, some 5 men were on deck and were thrown overboard by the explosion. O16 sunk very fast and the 5 men started to swim direction south heading for Tioman Island. The currents however swept them past Tioman and so they were kicking direction Pulau Aur even further south. Four of the sailors didn't make it and drowned, while one men managed to crawl onto a beach on Aur as the sole survivor of this tragedy.
In October 1995, the wreck of the O16 was located and identified. Even though this wreck is mostly covered in fishing net, it still makes a good technical dive in the proximity of Tioman Island.
If you are more interested in the history about this and other Dutch submarines, visit http://www.dutchsubmarines.com