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Truk Dive Sites

 
  • Aikoku Maru
    Aikoku Maru was launched on 25 April 1940 as a passenger-cargo vessel. She weighed 10,438 tons gross, was 492ft long with a beam of 66ft and had a maximum speed of 21 knots. She was acquired by the Japanese Navy and converted for use as an armed merchant raider, with large guns on the bow & stern and near holds 3 & 4, and machine & anti-aircraft guns on the superstructure. She is cited as having been involved in the sinking of the SS Vincent north of Pitcairn Island and SS Malama south of Tahiti in December 1941. After a minor armament refit at Kure she went to Singapore & the Indian Ocean as submarine tender and general marauder. She was involved in the sinking of numerous ships and the capture of the New Zealand freighter SS Hauraka, renamed Hoki Maru. IronicallyHoki Marulies on the bed of Truk Lagoon only a thousand yards from Aikoku Maru. By late 1943 her role changed to that of transport ship and on 16 July 1943 she was struck by a torpedo from USS Halibut while en route to Truk.

    On the first day of Operation Hailstone Aikoku Maru was attacked by Avengers from the carriers USS Intrepid & USS Essex. Hit by two bombs forward of her bridge by planes from the Essex Aikoku Maru exploded violently. Rumours have it that an Avenger piloted by a Lt Briggs may have been shot down by anti-aircraft fire from Aikoku Maru and his plane crashed into the hold, thus setting off the explosion. Within 60 seconds of the explosion, and shrouded in a mushroom cloud of smoke & debris, Aikoku Maru sank with the loss of all aboard. She now rests on the sandy bottom at a depth of 210ft. In July 1980 the remains of about 400 were recovered by the Japanese, cremated and the ashes returned to Japan.

    All that remains of the vessel is the section from just aft of the bridge to the stern. The forward section has completely disappeared, though there are a few small pieces littered in across the ocean floor. At the stern there is a large gun on a circular gun mount at about 160ft. You can – if you are experienced enough to dive this deep - swim over the stern and drop to the sea floor at 205ft, where the tops of her twin propellers and her rudder are protruding from the sand. Back at the stern you can enter the stern house – the timber board poopdeck has been eaten away over the decades and so the ceilings of stern house is open to the light from above. The two holds at the back of the ship are empty but that just behind the superstructure is full of what appear to be hessian bags. You can gain access to the main superstructure and enter the living area, which looks like a school washroom, with lines of bandbasins! Off this area are numerous bathrooms with loos and bidets. The ceilings are a mess of cables and wires, and care must be taken to avoid being tangled in them. On top of the superstructure is the vast funnel, where you can also see AA guns and a plaque commemorating the dead with bones & skeletons nearby. Forward of here the ship just dies! Like a knife through butter some invisible force looks like it has just sliced the boat in half. This is one of the most amazing sites that you can see underwater. You can access the engine room and other companionways through the massive wound in the ship, and finally exit the vessel further astern. If you intend to dive to the bottom of this wreck then you will certainly need to do some multi-level deco stops, and back-up equipment (a secondary computer for starters!) would be worthy of consideration. This dive should be high on anyone’s list of must-see wrecks in Truk and even if you don’t wish to dive to 200ft it is a spectacular dive even in its upper reaches.

  • Amagisan Maru
    Amagisan Maru was a 7,620 ton passenger-freighter launched in 1933, 454ft long & 60ft wide. On 14 February 1942 she was attacked by the submarine USS Swordfish and suffered minor damage. When Operation Hailstone started Amagisan Maru was the largest of the ships anchored at Uman Island. 5 Helldivers 4 Avengers from USS Bunker Hill attacked her. One 1,000lb bomb hit and one torpedo her, the torpedo exploding forward of the bridge on the starboard side. As a consequence she sank in 15 minutes, and rests on a slope with her bow in 90ft and her stern in 190ft, listing slightly to port. The torpedo hole is clearly visible in the side of the hull, and allows you to enter Hold #3, which contains huge 200l fuel drums, and is a mass of twisted metalwork. From here you can access Hold #3, which contains lots of interesting artefacts, including 2 cars and some bicycles, large sections of timber, including some enormous pieces that look like they might have been jetty pilings, and some aircraft parts. In front of this hold the forward derricks have fallen away to the portside and are covered in soft corals. Lying on the sand near the end of the derricks is a large and intact truck. On the fo’csle can be seen a gun on its platform. Though it is not particularly large it is photogenic. Near the bridge is a 12ft cylinder that looks like a torpedo but is in fact a minesweeping paravane. The bridge itself can be accessed easily, and is well it due to the fact that the wooden flying bridge has rotted away. Towards the stern the funnel is still upright and there is an excellent anti-aircraft gun platform. Beyond the funnel are the stern holds and the kingposts are still upright. The stern has suffered extensive damage; this may have been from another torpedo blast, but is more likely caused when the ship hit the bottom. This is an excellent, albeit deep dive, as the ship itself is very interesting, but more importantly has heaps fo good stuff to look at on board.

  • Betty Bomber
    Some 2500 Betty bombers were built by Japanese from 1938. With a wingspan of 80ft and a length of 67ft they had a range of 3125 miles, a top speed of 285mph and were armed with 7.7mm & 20mm guns at the nose, either side and from a dorsal turret. The payload consisted of up to 4000lb of bombs. Design faults were aplenty! Under-powered, under-armed and over-loaded they were cumbersome and prone to catching fire once shot at! While Betty was its official codename, the Flying Cigar was a more popular (and certainly more apt!) name. The Japanese turned Truk’s Etem Island into a vast airfield and it is off the end of the runway, in 50ft of water that can be found a good specimen of this bomber. Its engines are some 75 yards behind the body, suggesting that it crashed either on take-off or after an abortive landing. You can enter the plane through the front or towards the rear and you can even open the observation hatch behind the cockpit. Guns can be found on the sand on the port side and by the starboard tail wing, and radios and other communication equipment can also be seen. Being shallow you can spend a long time on this wreck, but being quite small it is a quick dive. Worth considering as a 3rd or 4th dive of the day.

  • Emily Flying Boat
    With a huge wingspan of 125ft and length of 92ft the Emily was considerably bigger than Britain’s own Sunderland flying boat. Truk’s example lies in 50ft of water and is broken into 4 large sections. Reports suggest that American fighters shot it down on its way back from a sortie. The forward section of the plane can be entered with caution as it is full of cables and twisted metal, but part of the cockpit dashboard is lying in the sand nearby. Again, this is a quick dive, and can be combined with the Betty as a quick double dive.

  • Fujikawa Maru
    Fujikawa Maru is of the most famous wrecks in Truk, not least because of the fact that she sits upright between Eten & Uman islands in water shallow enough for her stern mast to poke out of the water. Originally built as a passenger-cargo ship in 1938 Fujikawa Maru weighed 6,938 tons and 437ft long & 59ft wide. In December 1940 she was commandeered by the Japanese Navy and converted to an aircraft ferry and on 12 September 1943 was struck by a torpedo from the submarine USS Permit en route to Truk from Kwajalein in the Marshalls. After undergoing repairs in Japan she returned to operations in Micronesia and was struck by aerial torpedoes from planes that took off from USS Bunker Hill and USS Monterey on 17 February 1944. There are reports that she did not sink until the next day. As the wreck is large and crammed full of artefacts at least 2 dives are required to do the ship justice. At the bow is a massive gun and the anchor chains, hanging down from the hawsers, are bedecked in both soft & hard corals. Hold #1 contains aircraft parts including Zero fighter engines & propeller blades, tail sections, machine guns, shells, wings & wing mounted fuel storage tanks. Hold #2 again contains entire Zero fighters in sections. Fuel drums litter both holds. Astern of Hold #3 you can enter the bridge superstructure and see saki bottles and other personal items, plus some toilets and baths. The bridge itself has open and intact, and there are tons of everyday artefacts littered around.

    For this area you swim down into the engine room. There are broken skylights (through which access to the engine room can also be made) cat walks the huge engine. Nearby can be seen switchgear, the telegraph and other dials and you can also enter the machine room where you can see lathes, drills, tools etc. Hold #4 is empty, but there is a massive gaping hole in the starboard side of the hull where the torpedo struck, 15ft across and allowing lots of light into the lower parts of the hold. Hold #5 has some fire-fighting equipment and galley equipment. The stern gun is another landmark in Truk, covered in a wonderful array of soft corals, as is the rest of the ship. This is an awesome dive, because it is shallow, there is so much to see, and because the whole ship is swathed in incredible soft corals of breathtaking variety.

    HIJMS Fumitsuki
    HIJMS Fumitsuki, a Mutsuki class destroyer, was launched in 1926, displaced 1,772 tons, was 338ft long with a 30ft beam. Powered by 4 of Japan’s ubiquitous Kampon boilers she could attain a speed of 37 knots. In 1941 Fumitsuki underwent a refit and her armament subsequently consisted of two 50 calibre guns & ten 25mm anti-aircraft guns. 4 depth charge launchers with 18 depth charges were also installed. Her displacement increased bu some 150 tons and her top speed dropped to a still impressive 34 knots. Fumitsuki saw action at Guadalcanal (Solomons) and Rabaul (Papua New Guinea), where in March 1943 Fumitsuki was damaged by American planes while travelling to Kavieng and again in April 1943 and October 1943. While in Rabaul she was badly damaged during B24 raids but managed to limp to Truk as a convoy escort. With the boat moored between Fefan & Dublon Islands extensive repairs were underway when Operation Hailstorm commenced. Utilising her one undamaged boiler she was again bombed by US airplanes. After heroic efforts on the part of her captain and crew to save her she finally sank on the morning of 18 February 1944 northwest of Fefan Island, coming to rest on a sandy bottom in 120ft of water listing slightly to port. Due to the nature of her design she rode low in the water; as a consequence even the highest points on her superstructure are at 100ft. It would be safe to say that Fumitsuki is the only true "warship" at Truk Lagoon.

    Because she is quite small, and despite the depth, you can see most of the Fumitsuki in one dive. Her bow – upon which can be seen her anchor winches - was high, allowing higher elevation for her forward gun. The deck line then drops down to her forward torpedo launcher. The launcher was essentially a large pod with 3 barrels, pivoted in the middle so the torpedoes could be fired both port & starboard. The tubes were from astern. Just in front of the torpedo tubes is the foc’sle, accessible from doorways on both sides of the vessel. The steering apparatus is still in place, and there is further access down into the vessel’s interior; not a wise place to go unless you know what you are doing and have the right toys! The bridge area is very badly damaged, however, mainly by time and the action of the sea, and has collapsed to port; behind the bridge superstructure the forward funnel has also collapsed. Astern of the forward funnel are 2 machine guns and storage areas for the torpedoes. At the rear of the stern funnel is a large searchlight, and beyond that is where the second set of torpedo launchers were located. At the stern are two guns platforms, but the rear gun is missing. It would be correct to assume that both the stern torpedo launchers and the second gun were removed during the refit. Her props are partially buried in the sand and there is extensive bomb damage at the stern. Her depth charge racks are more or less intact, though they are nowhere as near as impressive as those on the Lamson at Bikini Atoll. Fumitsuki has some interesting marine life on her, including soft corals, particularly on the upper portions of the wreck, black coral trees aplenty and some nice anemones. She is an excellent introduction for those who have never dived a genuine warship before, and for those who plan one day to go to Bikini, she will only heighten that desire!

  • Gosei Maru
    A 1900 ton coastal freighter only 282ft in length, Gosei Maru was successfully sunk by planes from USS Monterey and now lies on her port side facing down a steep sand slope in depths from just 10ft to 110ft. Her bridge, which is well forward, has toilets & baths and the wheelhouse to see. You can enter her forward hold through the torpedo hole in her starboard side, but there is nothing inside. Her middle hold, Hold #2, contains scores of torpedoes, most of which were purposefully exploded in the 1970s as they were a hazard to divers. The stern is easily explored as the wooden decking has rotted away, allowing light to filter in. There are lots of interesting things to see here. Her propeller, being in only 15ft of water, is exceedingly photogenic. Like the Fujikawa Maru, this ship is covered in soft & hard corals and makes a beautiful artificial reef.

    While the Heian Maru was not the largest ship sunk in Truk (that honour goes to Tonan Maru, which was salvaged by the Japanese after the war), she now takes the prize, being 510ft in length and weighing 11,600 tons! Originally a passenger/cargo vessel she was converted to submarine tender in August 1941. By Ocobter of that year was based in Kwajalein and tending to the needs of a dozen subs which are known to have sunk at least 1 carrier, USS Wasp, a cruiser, 2 destroyers and another submarine. Heian Maru was hit by a torpedo on 18 & 19 February 1944 and lies on her port side at a depth of 115ft. The shallowest part, the starboard side of her hull, is in only 35ft of water. With shallow clear water you can get an excellent idea of the size of this vessel. At the bow can be seen the massive anchor chains and one of her anchors, and her name is still clearly visible on the hull, in both English & Japanese. Hold #2 contains torpedoes and in the main superstructure ou can access the deck companionway and find lots of submarine periscopes. You can also access the engine room through the skylights and the stern hold contains storage crates and timbers. The best bit of the dive is the 2 large propellers & the rudder, all of which lend themselves to excellent photography. Again, a shallow, coral encrusted wreck of immense interest.

  • Hoki Maru
    Hoki Maru has one of the most interesting histories of any ship in Truk, principally because she was built in Scotland in 1921 as the MV Hauraki for the Union Steamship Company of New Zealand, where she took cane sugar from Australia, New Zealand & Fiji to the US or Canada and usually returned with timber. She was 450ft long, had a beam of 58ft and weighed in at just over 7000 tons. The British Ministry of War requisitioned her in 1940. She was ambushed by the armed merchant cruisers Aikoku Maru & Hokuku Maru en route to the Middle East and taken to Singapore; on 31 December 1942 she was renamed Hoki Maru. She was attacked on 17 February 1944 while anchored east of Eten Island. A torpedo penetrated her port side and ignited the fuel drums she was carrying.

    On the morning of 17 February 1944 the Hoki Maru was anchored to the east of Eten island in Chuuk Lagoon. She was attacked several times and at about 1245 on 17 February she was torpedoed by an Avenger from USS Bunker Hill. The torpedo hit the port side and the fuel oil, petrol and diesel she was carrying in drums ignited and set the front of the vessel alight. This part of the wreck is very badly damaged and not worth investigating. Her stern lies in 140ft and the bridge in 80ft. The highlight of a dive on the Hiko Maru is the contents of Holds 4 & 5, situated forward & aft of the large stern kingpost. It contains 2 bulldozers, a caterpillar-type machine and 2 trucks. From Hold #5 you can swim to Hold #4 which contains a tractor, 6 more trucks, a steamroller, another bulldozer, aircraft engines and aircraft engines. You can also find railway tracks on the deck area. The holds are deep – 140ft or more, but these contents are in excellent condition and highly photogenic.

  • Kansho Maru
    Kansho Maru was a combined passenger-cargo ship displacing 4,860 tons, 385ft long & 52ft wide. After requisition by the japense navy she was used a s a general supply ship plying the waters between Japan, the Marshalls & other parts of Micronesia. Kansho Maru was attacked on both 17 & 18 February 1944; it was reported that both a torpedo and 1000lb bomb hit her. She now sits almost upright on a sandy bottom; her stern, at about 130ft, is the deepest point of the wreck. Her starboard anchor is out on the sea floor, and her port anchor is stowed. There is an excellent bow gun with ammunition at about 70ft. From the fo’csle all the way to the bridge is severely damaged, the whole area buckled inwards. The bridge has an excellent radio room, telegraph & compass binnacle. The outside bridge area has a fabulous anemone colony with dozens of clownfish.

  • Kiyosumi Maru
    Launched on 30 June 1934 Kiyozumi Maru was 390ft long and displaced 6,980 tons. She was commandeered by the Japanese Navy in November 1941 and saw action as an armed auxiliary cruiser at Midway in June 1944 before being refitted as an armed transport in October 1943. After being damaged en route from Truk to Rabaul she was again struck by 3 torpedoes from the USS Balao north of Kavieng. Towed to Truk by the cruiser Oyodo, she was undergoing repairs when Operation Hailstorm commenced on 17 February 1944. She sustained 3 direct hits, and these, combined with damage inflicted on her in Papua New Guinea, were enough to sink her (she did pretty well to last that long, to be honest!). She rests on her port side in 100ft of water, with her starboard side in 40ft. Platforms remain for the 8 guns she carried, but the guns themselves have been removed, presumably during repairs. Apart from a drive shaft and a few containers the forward 3 holds appear to be empty. You can gain access to the engine room through skylights, areas of the superstructure that were damaged during attack or (conventionally!) through 2 doorways! Hold #5 contains lots of bicycles. The hatch of Hold #6 has a torpedo launcher attached to it.

  • Momokawa Maru
    Momokawa Maru was launched on 17 August 1940, displacing 3,830 tons with a length of 353ft. Unusually for a ship of this era, she was coal powered. During Operation Hailstone Momokawa Maru was anchored to the eas of Dublon Island. On 17 February 1944, she was hit but not sunk. The following day a Helldiver from USS Bunker Hill dropped 1000lb bomb amidships and she sank within minutes, resting bow downwards at a depth of 130ft, on her port side. Hold #1 contains aircraft tail sections, propeller blades, shells, plane & truck tyres, wings and aircraft fuel wing tanks. Hold #2 contains trucks, aircraft fuselage tanks and propellers! Hold #3 contains coal, presumably for the ship itself. The bridge, accessible through the port windows, is open through the ceiling and floor, as the timber decks have rotted away. The telegraph can still be seen.

  • Nippo Maru
    Nippo Maru was launched on 16 September 1936, displaced 3,764 tons was 353ft long with a 50 feet beam. In 1941 the ship was requisitioned by the Japanese Navy as a general transport. She lies in 160ft of water with a gentle list to port, in remarkably good condition. The bridge is the shallowest part of the wreck, behind which can be seen the collapsed funnel. The bridge is the best part of the boat, as it is in fantastic condition – the telegraph & steering binnacles are intact, as are most of the dials & readouts. The radio room is also very worthy of inspection. It is by far the best bridge in Truk. At the bow there is a truck chassis hanging off the port side of the ship, and another on the seabed below, the latter with a very large seafan growing on the radiator. Hold 1 contains hundreds of shells, drums (mostly full of air and so floating on the ceiling of the hold) and gas masks. Hold 2 has beer bottles and other paraphernalia. Hold 3, raised above the level of the other two holds, has more beer bottles. (The Japanese clearly enjoyed their beer!) On the port side of the deck, by the hatch to Hold 3 is a tank, intact except for it’s gun barrel, which is missing. Astern of the bridge you will find 3 US howitzers, thought to have been captured in the Philippines. Around the guns have been accumulated a plethora of artefacts including teapots, cooking utensils & binoculars. Further back are two large gun barrels. Hold 4 contains aluminium containers, Hold 5 more gun barrels, gun sights & breach mechanisms. On the port side, opposite the howitzers are a number of minesweeping paravanes. Because of the relative depth of the wreck coral growth is not especially good, but the sandy seafloor around reflects light back against the wreck and makes it exceedingly photogenic.

  • Rio de Janeiro Maru
    Built in May 1930 Rio de Janeiro Maru was a 461ft long passenger-cargo vessel with a bream of 62ft and displacement of 9,627 tons. She was requisitioned by the Japanese Navy in October 1941 and converted to a submarine tender. She underwent repairs in Hong Kong after being torpedoed off Vietnam by the USS Spearfish in July 1942. From mid 1943 she was based at Truk and was sunk on the first day of Operation Hailstorm. She now rests on her starboard side in about 115ft of water off the east coast of Uman Island. The uppermost side of her hull is covered in hard & soft corals. At the bow you can follow the anchor chain about 50 yards across the sand and find the anchor. Just behind the bow the hull is pock marked with holes and bulges outwards; this was caused by the explosion of shells in her forward hold. Hold 2 contains 2 large gun barrels and other junk. On the hull below the bridge you can clearly make out the damage caused by a torpedo. The bridge itself is fairly intact, and all the wooden decking has rotted away, giving an open plan aspect. You can find lots of lionfish here. Swim past the stern kingposts and you will find thousands of beer bottles in Hold 5, originally packed into wooden crates. The huge prop at the stern is covered in a massive array of soft corals. A good dive in the medium dopth range.

  • San Francisco Maru
    Built as a passenger-cargo ship in 1919, she was 385ft long and weighed 5830 tons. After a number of refits she was used as a transport for the duration of the war. She had only arrived in Truk 2 weeks prior to the start of Operation Hailstorm, and was sunk by six 500lb bombs dropped by planes from USS Essex on 17 February 1944. San Francisco Maru now lies very deep, with her stern at about 205ft. Her bridge area is at 120ft, but the top of her forward mast is at 100ft. There is a large bow gun and just behind it can be found Hold 1. This contains hemispherical mines, shells and explosives. Hold 2 contains 2 fuel tankers, which you can sit in, some tractors and aircraft undercarriage. Just forward of the bridge is a small tank lying on the port side of the deck, two more on the starboard side. Beside them can be seen a pick-up truck still with cargo in the back! On the sand on the port side of the ship in the same general area can be found a steamroller. Astern the bridgehouse you can access the engine room and then from there get into Hold 4, where there are 2 trucks and ammo. Hold 5 contains hundreds of depth charges, torpedoes and oil drums. At the stern there is no gun, and it appears there never was one as the mounting is not there either. The majority of the prop is buried in the sand. About 60ft off the port side about midway back to the stern from the bridge is a truck in perfect condition. This dive is deep but highly rewarding. For those who travel on to Bikini it is a good taster for the kind of diving conditions you can expect there!

  • Sankisan Maru
    Poor old Sankisan Maru was so badly damaged when attacked that all remains of her is about 200ft of her bow section. The rest was blown to smithereens – she was carrying munitions of varying sorts, and one would assume she must have taken a direct hit in one of her aft holds. There are some discrepancies as to where and when the ship was built – maybe Japan and maybe the US, she being captured in 1942 - but presently she lies on the sea floor in only 80ft of water west of Uman Island, the top of her forward mast only about 3ft below the surface. There is a bow gun worthy of photographing, but Hold 1 is full of millions and millions of rounds of rifle ammo, in clips, scattered all over and in boxes. On deck by the hatch can be found 3 trucks. Hold 2 contains 3 Zero engines, undercarriage, fuselages, 5 trucks and a large number of glider bodies. Hold 3 contains coal. Aft of here are the jagged and almost unrecognisable remains of the engine room, and then nothing. The rest of the ship lies some 100 yards astern in a twisted pile of metal. The entire wreck is covered in fabulous coral growth and is stuffed full of fish – schools of glassfish swirling around, lionfish, scorpionfish, morays, jacks, sweetlips, snapper and others all busying across the wreck. Because this wreck is so shallow, so full of marline life and you can see interesting things at every depth she is without a doubt one of the best dives in Truk.

  • Shinkoku Maru
    This 500ft, 10,000 ton oil tanker is the second largest wreck in Truk. Built in 1940 she was one of 8 tankers that were used to refuel the Japanese Navy during the attack on Pearl Harbour on 7 December 1941. History tells that she was struck by US submarine torpedoes in August 1942 and July 1943. She was sunk during a torpedo run on 18 February 1944 and now sits upright on the lagoon floor in 130ft of water. Her bridge is in only 40ft, and the uppermost portions of her masts & kingposts are in only 20ft. At the bow both her anchors are out from their hawsers, and are covered in an incredible array of soft corals. There is a coral encrusted gun at the bow, and more corals bedeck the bridge. The forward section of the boat contains the equipment required for refuelling at sea such as transfer pipes. The bridge still houses 3 telegraphs, compass binnacle and gauges. On top opf the bridge you can find lights, pots & first aid kits. Below the bridge is the infirmary with operating tables, bathrooms & toilets, a fantastic galley full of pots, pans and utensils. Towards the stern on the port side is a large hole caused by a torpedo hit. You can enter the engine room thought this hole; from here you can either exit the way you came in or ascend up through more compartments to the deck. At the stern you can see the rudder and large single propeller. Shinkoku Maru contained oil when she sank and to this day she still leaks. An iridescent sheen can be seen at the surface and there is an evading stench. You can see little globules of oil rising from the wreck to the surface where they evaporate. Depsite this oil the ship is literally coated in a wonderful array of soft and hard corals and ther are at least 100 anemones of various species with their attendant clownfish dotted all over the place. Lionfish lurk everywhere, and you usually see schools of batfish or jacks circling above. A must see wreck!

  • Yamagiri Maru
    Launched in 1938 this 439ft freighter was built originally as a passenger-cargo vessel and weighed in at 6,500 tons. She was hit by 2 torpedoes from the submarine USS Drum on August 1943 and underwent repairs in Rabaul. She was then towed to Truk for further repairs and was attacked on 17 & 18 February 1944. She took direct hits on both days and sank northwest of Fefan Island in 110ft of water, on her port side. The forward area of the vessel is extensively damaged, and on the starboard side there is a gaping hole in the hull where a torpedo or bomb struck. You can also clearly see the attempted repairs that were ongoing at the time she sank. You can access Hold 3 through the deck or through this hole. Holds 1 & 2 contain nothing of interest. The bridge can be accessed from Hold 3 or from the exterior and is in good order. You can also access the engine room, both through the skylight and from below decks. It is a cavernous room and can accommodate many divers. You can get all the way round both engines. When she sank Yamagiri Maru was carrying shells for the Japanese super battleships Yamato & Musashi. These were the largest battleships every built, and had nine 18" guns in 3 turrets, two forward and one astern. These were the largest naval guns ever built. Compare them to the 16" guns on the Nagato at Bikini (see one of the 16" guns on Nagato) and you will realise these were big guns! Each shell was over 3ft long and weighed 2500lb. Yamato & Musashi could launch them over 25 miles. They are to be found in Hold 5. This hold also contains a steamroller, cement mixer and some propeller blades. Form here you can swim to the stern and admire the prop and rudder mechanism. The highlight of this dive is the shells from Yamato & Musashi, but the whole ship is covered in excellent marine growth, particularly anemones. And as it is shallow, anyone can do it!
 
 
 
 
 
 

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