The stories surrounding this great old boat all contribute to how important she was and is to Koh Tao wreck diving. During her service, she located other wrecks – the most notable being USS Lagarto, a naval submarine, which became the basis for a movie – and allows Koh Tao divers of today to train or enjoy many wonderful and exciting wreck diving trips in the Gulf of Thailand. It is said that the MV Trident enabled her crew to locate more than one hundred wrecks around different locations in the Gulf of Thailand. She went out with wreck divers and technical divers for days or weeks, effectively working as a liveaboard diving boat for highly-experienced scuba divers. It has also been reported that some of the methods used to locate deep or difficult-to-find wrecks included paying local fishermen for co-ordinates of where nets have been lost.
Her deliberate sinking in September 2010 came after great teamwork and fund-raising by those who want to preserve Koh Tao wreck diving, and even allow it to flourish. For those starting to get excited about exploring a wreck off Koh Tao while only having a PADI Open Water Diver or Advanced Open Water certification, they can stop right now. This Koh Tao wreck is too deep for that kind of diving. Luckily, though, just nine months after the MV Trident stopped at her final resting place on the seabed, yet another Koh Tao wreck was deliberately sunk, creating an artificial reef for marine life and PADI scuba divers of most levels. This much shallower wreck is known at HTMS Sattakut, and receives regular visitors just off Koh Tao's west coast. There is also a small wooden wreck at the very shallow Japanese gardens dive site.
MV Trident is located just off the south-east part of Koh Tao, a short distance to the direct south of the well-known and often-dived Shark Island. This is at a thin pinnacle which creates Ao Hin Ngam (Hin Ngam Bay). As already mentioned, the wreck diving site of MV Trident is in water that is too deep for Open Water or Advanced divers. In addition, there's nothing much else to see above the wreck, which is at approximately 28 metres, depending on tides, at its shallowest point. To further dissuade PADI divers without the experience or qualifications, the penetration points (places for wreck divers to enter) are limited in both size and number. Finally, the currents down here are often medium to strong, although it is possible to catch the tide just right and enjoy very little current.
These currents and the lack of divers work to benefit the amount of healthy marine life at MV Trident. Lots of nutrient-rich water passing the wreck brings food for the huge amount of fish and invertebrates who call it home. The schools of predatory fish such as barracuda and travelly are not scared off by constant human activity and can therefore enjoy a prosperous life below the waves.