SS THORFINN View MAP

SS THORFINN address

P.O. Box 1086, Victoria Gardens Apts, Weno, Chuuk State (Truk Lagoon), Micronesia

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SS THORFINN - Photo Gallery

SS THORFINN description

SS THORFINN basic informations

SS Thorfinn is one of the world’s largest and best equipped dive cruisers having cruised / explored Micronesian waters since 1980. Great space, fine appointments, tasty food, and extensive comforts without pretensions, she is big, rugged, and built for the world’s most challenging oceans. Containing numerous yacht type facilities, she delivers the best staff and value for your vacationing dollar..! For divers wishing the most in high quality uncrowded dive sites per tour, this is your ship to choose located continuously out at wreck sites where diving actions never cease. You asked for it...we deliver..!

Diving awesome Truk Lagoon...unequaled in global wreck dive sites and aquatic life recreating so much life over the ruins of a World War 2 battle support fleet. Waters and air at equal temps ceates so comfortable dive conditions, in relatively clear waters.

Diving continuously on a 24/7/30 basis from moorings within sheltered central wreck anchorages, Thorfinn divers move quickly to adjacent wreck and reef sites by speedy ‘state of art’ 300hp twin engined 32 ft. launches assuring maximum varieties in quality wreck and reef sites at Truk Lagoon. Featuring up to 5 different daily sites, small groups enjoy fine views and penetrations… free of other divers at singly moored locations. By avoiding single site moorings with limited selections, Thorfinn divers enjoy fine views of up to 30 appealing sites during 7 continuous dive days aboard, with experienced guides on every dive, each leading small parties of 4-6 divers safely to the best below.

This system provides the most for every budget, as knowing divers quickly appreciate after sampling differences in cost and product delivered.

Personal facilities and great food are just minutes from each dive site, avoiding long rides to distant shore facilities, or tossing at exposed anchorages aboard lighter dive vessels lacking the size and stability of this 1,100 ton ship.

Safe diving profiles follow long established rules producing one of today’s most admirable dive safety records. Full safety gear aboard launches and ship assist in maintaining this record..

Newly installed high volume oxygen generators produce breathing gas volumes well in excess of all needs for full ship charters to 20 technical or recreational divers. Multiple cylinder sizes and arrangements are filled quickly and accurately at an onboard blending station catering to near every request. A large ship’s staff readily welcome everyone to enjoy the delights fully served from this great ship,… our floating home at a central Pacific Paradise..!

Facilities:

10 double occupancy rooms for 20 guests.

13 Toilets, 11 Showers, eight in private facility guest rooms.

‘A’ deck with topside upper bridge controls, electronics mast.

‘B’ deck with navigation bridge forward, chartroom/business center, liferafts, emergency beacons, dive launch storage, aft sun deck with lounge chairs and shade canopy.

‘C’ deck Guest Lounge seating 30 persons, bar, DVD and reading library, surround sound CD/player with I-pod connex, 50” LED TV with DVD player, 2 shower rooms, two toilet rooms, hallway storage closets. Guestrooms 9,10,11.

‘C’ deck Spa Area with 11 person spa, 2 camera service/storage tables, adjacent deck chairs.

‘D’ deck forward interior with Dining Room, 5 tables seating 26 persons, adjoining galley and pantry, view windows, bookcase, stairs to crew area.

‘E’ deck with big ensuite Guest rooms 4,5,6,7,8.

Languages spoken: English

Facilities and services: Nitrox, Nitrox: free, DIN adaptors, Rebreather support, Rental equipment, Tech diving facility, 10 dbl occ guest rooms, Rec/tech equally, A-c throughout, Custom dive launches, Lg oxygen generators and Most dive site choices

Free cancellation if cancellation is made 90 days before depart date, prepayment if any will be returned.

Group discounts: 
5% for 4 or more guests
10% for 6 or more guests
15% for 8 or more guests
20% for 10 or more guests
25% for 15 or more guests
30% for 20 or more guests



Boat


boat technical data
Material: Steal
Build: 1954
Renovated: 2008
Lenght: 58 m
Width: 10 m
Draft: 5.5 m
Displacement: 1100 tonnes
Cruising speed: 11 knots
Maximum speed: 16 knots
Range: 17000 km
Freshwater maker: 9500 lt/day
Water capacity: 68000 litter
Fuel capacity: 340 tons

Boat features and services

  • Air conditioned cabins
  • Camera storage
  • Dining room
  • Food & Drinks

  • Buffet style
  • Boat navigation and safety

  • Bilge pump alarm
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Life vests
  • Satellite & mobile phones



  • Equipment rental

    ItemDayWeek

    Computer

    16USD

    79USD

    Regulator (sherwood)

    16USD

    79USD

    Bcd (mares)

    16USD

    79USD

    Fins (mares)

    8USD

    37USD

    Mask (oceanic)

    5USD

    26USD

    Light (uk c4 led)

    10USD

    53USD

    Full set (not inc. light and computer)

    42USD

    210USD


    Images from featured dive sites:

    - Photo Gallery

    • Dive depth: 40 - 64m  Visibility: 10 - 30m  Water temperature: 29 - ℃  Dive type: Wreck


    • Dive depth: 15 - 33m  Water temperature: 29 - ℃


    • Dive depth: 3 - 27m  Visibility: 10 - 10m  Water temperature: 29 - ℃  Dive type: Wreck


    • Dive depth: 28 - 47m  Visibility: 10 - 30m  Water temperature: 29 - ℃  Dive type: Wreck


    • Dive depth: 27 - 43m  Visibility: 10 - 30m  Water temperature: 29 - ℃  Dive type: Wreck


    • Dive depth: 60 - 65m  Visibility: 10 - 30m  Water temperature: 29 - ℃  Dive type: Wreck


    • Dive depth: 20 - 50m  Visibility: 10 - 30m  Water temperature: 29 - ℃  Dive type: Wreck


    • Dive depth: 9 - 30m  Visibility: 5 - 15m  Water temperature: 29 - ℃  Dive type: Wreck


    • Dive depth: 30 - 58m  Visibility: 10 - >30m  Water temperature: 29 - ℃  Dive type: Wreck


    • Dive depth: 9 - 30m  Visibility: 10 - 30m  Water temperature: 29 - ℃  Dive type: Wreck


    • Dive depth: 12 - 30m  Visibility: 10 - 30m  Water temperature: 29 - ℃  Dive type: Wreck


    • Dive depth: 21 - 43m  Visibility: 10 - 30m  Water temperature: 29 - ℃  Dive type: Wreck


    • Dive depth: 18 - 40m  Visibility: 10 - 30m  Water temperature: 29 - ℃  Dive type: Wreck


    • Dive depth: 7 - 14m  Visibility: 10 - 30m  Water temperature: 29 - ℃  Dive type: Wreck


    • Dive depth: 9 - 28m  Visibility: 10 - 30m  Water temperature: 29 - ℃  Dive type: Wreck


    • Dive depth: 40 - 64m  Water temperature: 29 - ℃


    • Dive depth: 9 - 37m  Visibility: 10 - 30m  Water temperature: 29 - ℃  Dive type: Wreck


    • Dive depth: 9 - 30m  Visibility: 10 - 30m  Water temperature: 29 - ℃  Dive type: Wreck


    • Dive depth: 18 - 18m  Visibility: 10 - 30m  Water temperature: 29 - ℃  Dive type: Wreck


    • Dive depth: 9 - 38m  Visibility: 10 - 30m  Water temperature: 29 - ℃  Dive type: Wreck


    • Dive depth: 37 - 58m  Visibility: 10 - 30m  Water temperature: 29 - ℃  Dive type: Wreck


    • Dive depth: 27 - 43m  Visibility: 10 - 30m  Water temperature: 29 - ℃  Dive type: Wreck


    • Dive depth: 14 - 15m  Visibility: 10 - 30m  Water temperature: 29 - ℃  Dive type: Wreck




    Featured dive sites


    Emily Flyboat dive site

    Emily Flyboat

    Emily Flyboat

    Emily Flyboat

    Beginner divers
    Boat dive
    Dive depth: 14 - 15m
    Visibility: 10 - 30m
    Water temperature: 29 - ℃
    Dive type: Wreck
    Emily Flying Boat was an Allied code name for the Kawanishi H8K1 Flying Boat. Emily Flying Boat came into view about mid-term of WW 2, and immediately proved a capable and deadly war tool for the Imperial Japanese Navy.

    It’s featured long range, greater than even a US B-29 Superfortress was impressive along with its able combat survivability. “The Flying Porcupine” was extremely difficult to shoot down, as being the only Japanese aircraft to employ self-sealing fuel tanks, internal fire extinguishers, and armored cockpit. It was armed with 5 sets of 20mm cannon, and 4 sets of paired 50cal. machine guns all handled by a 16 man crew. In a first test action two ‘Emily’s’ flew from Chuuk via Marshall Islands to high level bomb Oahu’s Pearl Harbor. Only a complete cloud cover prevented their accurately bombing intended targets below. After discharging, they flew back westward, landing in mid ocean to refuel from their submarine ’I-169’ while continuing back to Chuuk unscathed.

    The short combat history of the ‘Emily’ is fascinating. In another incident, Commanding Officer of the Fourth Fleet, his Chief of Staff and other senior Japanese Naval Officers were dispatched on a single Emily to Rabaul to survey a bevy of war damaged cargo ships for possible repair at Chuuk. The ships were being repeatedly bombed and strafed by US aircraft from recently conquered Guadalcanal. The US in reading their codes dispatched nine P-38 fighters to intercept and destroy the Emily and its VIP personnel during its vulnerable take-off from Rabaul. They descended with vengeance from 11,000 ft in ambush using their 20 mm nose cannons to kill the co-pilot and injure the pilot. Reacting quickly, the Emily crew shot down 3 attackers in passing, while the injured pilot turned his big craft after the attackers coming out of their dive, shooting down 2 more and damaging another. The Emily’s pilot pulled up into a high speed climb toward clouds above losing the attackers, managing to navigate his damaged craft back to Chuuk, where a water landing broke it in three pieces on impacting the surface. All personnel survived except the dead co-pilot. The pilot was awarded for his bravery and skills.

    Today, 3 sections of the giant aircraft lie in 50 fsw on the lagoon floor at site of its sinking near Tonoas (Dublon) Island seaplane base, remaining a symbolic tribute to its builder’s designs and constructive skills.

    Kawanishi H8K1 Flying Boat: Crew 16
    Wingspan:124 ft 8 in.
    Length: 92 ft 3.5 in.
    Height: 30 ft
    MATOW:68,343 lbs.
    Engines: 4 -Mitsubishi Kasei 12; 1850 HP each
    Speed: 474 kph
    Ceiling 28,880 ft
    Range 4500 NM.
    Armament: 3 x 7.7mm machine guns, 5 x 20mm cannon, bombs or torpedoes.

    I-169 Shinohara Submarine dive site

    I-169 Shinohara Submarine

    I-169 Shinohara Submarine

    I-169 Shinohara Submarine

    Experienced/advance divers
    Boat dive
    Dive depth: 27 - 43m
    Visibility: 10 - 30m
    Water temperature: 29 - ℃
    Dive type: Wreck
    The I-169 Shinohara Submarine was a KD 6 A (I-168) Class submarine built for the Imperial Japanese Navy and launched 15 FEB 1934. She was built by Mitsubishi of Kobe and was renamed for her last Commanding Officer LCDR Shinohara, the only survivor of her ill fated crew.

    During the war the I-169 Shinohara Submarine participated in the attack on Pearl Harbor, actually penetrating into the harbor confines to launch five mini-subs that went on to sink two of the seven US battleships with their torpedoes as later viewed in aerial fotos from Kate dive bombers overhead. Unable to recover her mini subs she attempted to exit the harbour but became tangled in the entrance torpedo nets due a hurried attempt get away. For 1.5 days she languished trying to free herself while remaining undiscovered. In a final attempt before surfacing to surrender, due lack of air within, and weakened batteries, she made one final thrust breaking clear to finally escape. Her huge size was not suited for attack purposes, but was useful as an underwater transport. She was the sub positioned off Midway to replenish the two Emily Fling boats after their daring bomb raid against Pearl Harbour early 1943. Long range and size saw her serving Truk with limited quantities after the fall of Saipan and Guam. She was only one of a very few able to do so.

    Upon one of these supply runs well after ‘Hailstone’ she was anchored at Truk with senior officers ashore for an evening enjoying local ’hospitality’ when juniors aboard received word of a false US air raid and to dive to floor for protection. In their rush to dive they overlooked closing of control room ventilators, and were quickly flooded out once submerged. The sub landed on bottom and after taking stock of their plight a crew member was air-locked out to the surface to report the situation.

    Divers immediately attended, and on following day with help from 3 derrick barges and salvage tug IJN Futagami, lifting of the sunken craft began with a crew inside signalling from inside by knocking on the hull. The sub lifted easily to the surface being only slightly negative buoyancy in its dive, but when the big water-filled conning tower broke the surface, a sudden massive weight was added in trying to lift it far enough up to open the deck escape hatches. With just a portion of the conning tower clear the cables parted and down she plunged stern first back to bottom after the 3rd day. Diving back down there were no more sounds from within, so orders were given to destroy it to avoid any US recovery.

    Satchel charges were laid over forward torpedo room, and around conning tower, with resultant destruction of approx. 100ft of the bow, and complete destruction of its conning tower.

    The wreck was rediscovered in 1973 with Al Giddings making a documentary about the sub as ‘The Silent Warrior’ with the Japanese government’s subsequent recovery of a portion of the crew’s remains. Sadly, a Japanese diver was also lost during the recovery attempt. She now lies in 135 fsw.

    IJN I-169 SUBMARINE
    Displacement: 2440 tons submerged
    Length: 344 feet
    Beam: 27 feet
    Engine: 2-9000 shp diesel and 2-1800 shp electric motors, 2 shafts
    Max Range 14,000 NM
    Mission: Transport
    Armament: 6-21 inch torpedo tubes (14 torpedoes); 1-10 CM anti-surface gun ; machine gun; Crew: 70.

    Fujisan Maru dive site

    Fujisan Maru

    Fujisan Maru

    Fujisan Maru

    Experienced/advance divers
    Boat dive
    Dive depth: 60 - 65m
    Visibility: 10 - 30m
    Water temperature: 29 - ℃
    Dive type: Wreck
    The Fujisan Maru was built in 1931 by the Harima Dockyard as an oil tanker for the Iino-Kaiun Line. Her peacetime duties consisted of carrying crude oil from the US to Japan.

    The Japanese Navy took control of her in late 1941 to utilize as a “Fleet Oiler.” She participated as part of the Aleutian diversionary task group at time of Pearl Hbr attack, the Battle of Midway, and due her fast speed, was part of the “Tokyo Express.” Fujisan carried a deck cargo of 1900 troops in a desperate attempt to reinforce New Guinea. A B-17 managed to hit her with a bomb in December 1943, but she was back in service by early 1944.

    During the “Hailstone” attack, Fujisan Maru was one of just a few vessels underway, trying to escape after discharging her oil cargo. On first day she tried escaping out North Pass but turned back in view of major actions there. Anchoring overnight by Moen Island’s South Field, she was again under attack at daylight while raising her anchor. Before anchor was fully raised her captain ordered Full speed to avoid the bombs running at flank with anchor dragging and bouncing along bottom, up the southeast side of Moen Is. when hit by a near miss bomb off her port aft quarter. Proximity explosions do more damage than any other, and this blast pushed in the entire port side of engine room, then sucked it back out in the recoil. She immediately filled aft with stern going down to bottom at 210 ft leaving bow pointing skyward at about 60deg angle. Slowly through balance of that day the bows gradually dropped until next morning nothing remained except quantities of fuel leaking to surface.

    It is a great wreck site sitting near upright with bridge house intact forward and engine enunciator (telegraph) still showing Full Speed ahead. The quarters are virtually untouched except by time, and lots of surrounding life outside. A large long round object protrudes from port side of engine room angled up with end about 20 ft off bottom. It has size and appearance of a mast, but a close look reveals it is solid steel, and actually the 24inch diameter tailshaft broken away from main engine and pulled out within countering suction of the explosion’s reversal. An amazing sight once understood. Her large diesel exhaust funnel stands erect atop the aft house.

    The Fujisan Maru was found by two Continental Micronesia pilots, who noticed her oil slick, on a flight into Truk in 1976. She now lies in 210 fsw.

    Fujisan Maru
    Displacement: 9,524 tons
    Length: 512 feet
    Beam: 61 feet
    Engine: 1 diesel
    Max Speed: 18.79 kts.
    Launched: 31 MAY 1931. Crew: 48.

    Fumizuki Destroyer dive site

    Fumizuki Destroyer

    Fumizuki Destroyer

    Fumizuki Destroyer

    Experienced/advance divers
    Boat dive
    Dive depth: 27 - 43m
    Visibility: 10 - 30m
    Water temperature: 29 - ℃
    Dive type: Wreck
    The IJN Fumizuki Destroyer was a Mutsuki Class destroyer built for the Imperial Japanese Navy and launched 16 FEB 1926. She was built by Fujinagata Zosen of Osaka and was nearly obsolete when sunk. The ship’s name means “Month of Rice Ears” in Japanese.

    During the war the IJN Fumizuki Destroyer participated as part of the famed “Tokyo Express” to relieve Japanese forces engaged in the battle for Guadalcanal. Throughout the conflict she was repeatedly damaged in various aircraft attacks. Finally after being severely hit by B-24 bombers while at Rabaul, she was sent to Truk for repairs.

    During the “Hailstone” attack, Fumizuki was pulled over and put alongside the hospital ship Hikawa Maru to avoid attack until her engine crew could raise steam and reassemble one turbine for single screw propulsion. Throughout the first day the aircraft were buzzing the Hospital ship to get rid of her consort or risk damages. Finally, by near end of daylight she cut loose and proceeded at about 15 knots speed to the west with hopes of escape through a west pass opposite to the NE direction of the attackers. Nearly safe, she was spotted by last torpedo bomber to fly that afternoon when spotting her wake, gave chase and put a torpedo directly under her stern, uplifting her counter, killing all engine room staff, and leaving her on end with bow high in the sky to slowly drop straight downward before the tearful eyes of her survivors in the water. Her gunnery office related these tales to us as to how sad they all felt after so much work to save their beloved ship. She now lies with a port side list but mostly upright. On earliest viewings of her after receiving details of her position, she was beautifully preserved with a full bridge in place and two rakish funnels along with all deck gear and guns visible. Unfortunately some vandals blew her bridge away to remove a big security safe under the bridge floors, and later anchor moorings from certain dive vessels tore away both funnels, and later her bow has been separated from attaching to fragile structures. She is however still a great site, with large volumes of colorful corals and fish on her remains.

    IJN FUMIZUKI MUTSUKI CLASS DESTROYER
    Displacement: 1913 tons
    Length: 330 feet
    Beam: 30 feet
    Engine: 4 Kanpon Boilers on 2 Parsons geared turbines, 2 shafts
    Max Speed: 37.5 kts.
    Mission: Antisubmarine/Transport.
    Armament: 2-4.7″ .50 cal dual purpose guns; 10-25 MM anti-aircraft guns; 6-24″

    Yamagiri Maru dive site

    Yamagiri Maru

    Yamagiri Maru

    Yamagiri Maru

    Experienced/advance divers
    Boat dive
    Dive depth: 15 - 33m
    Water temperature: 29 - ℃
    Dive type: Wreck
    The Yamagiri Maru was built in 1938 by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries as a passenger/cargo carrier for the Yamashita Kisen Line. Requisitioned by the Japanese Navy in September 1941 she was converted to a military transport for moving special cargoes.

    The ship saw service transporting war material between Solomons and the Caroline Islands until she was hit with two torpedoes from the USS Drum in 1943. The repair of this damage can still be seen on the port side of hold number two. She was one of 4 ships anchored at Rabaul along with Seiko, Kiyosumi, and Amagisan, that were being bombed/strafed by planes from Guadalcanal. Later after approval for repairs at Chuuk, they left with a two destroyer escort, but were badly damaged by torpedoes from two US subs in the famous ‘slot’. They all managed to continue, but were in need of massive repairs on arrival at Chuuk, only to be later sunk during ‘Operation Hailstone.’

    Some of the Yamagiri Maru’s high interests are in #5 hold with numbers of large 16-18 inch armor piercing shells carried for the fleet’s leading battleships. These were the world’s largest naval guns surpassing even the 16 inch guns of famous USS Missouri. Each shell weighs 3219 lbs from guns with a range of 36-40 miles. The Yamagiri Maru was sunk by dive bombers from the carriers USS Yorktown and Bunker Hill. They reported several hits and left a huge hole portside amidships that took her down quickly, killing most of her crew. One unfortunate engineer’s skull and body were driven by the blasts into a storeroom’s screens and is regularly viewed today when passing through that section. She now lies in 110 fsw.

    Displacement: 6,439 tons
    Length: 436.4 feet
    Beam: 58.3 feet
    Engine: 1 MAN diesel
    Max Speed: 17 kts
    Launched: 3 MAY 1939.

    Sankisan Maru dive site

    Sankisan Maru

    Sankisan Maru

    Sankisan Maru

    Beginner divers
    Boat dive
    Dive depth: 3 - 27m
    Visibility: 10 - 10m
    Water temperature: 29 - ℃
    Dive type: Wreck
    The Sankisan Maru in Truk Lagoon is one of the finest coral and artifact sites. This small to medium sized freighter with brimming holds of ordinance and ammunition, was originally anchored close off Uman Island’s west shores, cowering close to other larger empty ships drawing the American’s main concentration of bombs and torpedos. Her Captain wisely gathered his crew to shore, abandoning their floating bomb, to permit fighting for the Emperor another day.

    No American flyers reported attacking this ship, but someone strafed her, after dropping their cargoes elsewhere. A fire aft set off monstrous explosions that ripped entire aftship away from its forepart. Huge metal sections lie strewn to the sides of a 500 ft diameter crater.

    The stern frame sits upright at crater bottom of 160 ft supported by two propeller blades, rudder, and severed shaft. The foreship remains nearly intact, draped in magnificent shrouds of hard and soft corals with every hue of tiny fish swimming in and out. One forward hold is nearly half filled with machine gun and rifle shells originally securely boxed, but today divers have pried most crates open, leaving a huge array of lethal materials spread loosely throughout.

    It is recommended to avoid touching loaded shells due to highly unstable compositions today. Four truck frames, aircraft engines, and propellers are found in balance of holds, and a jumbo mast running up to surface is festooned with some of the world’s prettiest coraline structures.

    An easy, mostly open Truk Lagoon dive, this wreck suits everyone’s tastes with its many attractions and accessibility.

    We’d love to have you come see the wonders of “Shipwreck City.”

    Find out more about the Sankisan Maru and our other famous wreck dives in Truk Lagoon.

    Nippo Maru dive site

    Nippo Maru

    Nippo Maru

    Nippo Maru

    Experienced/advance divers
    Boat dive
    Dive depth: 28 - 47m
    Visibility: 10 - 30m
    Water temperature: 29 - ℃
    Dive type: Wreck
    The Nippo Maru is always a great dive due to its relatively shallow depth providing plenty of coral growth, its proximity to the main islands providing pelagic action and the huge amount of war memorabilia and ship remains including tanks, trucks and stacks of guns and ammunition.

    So this morning, after some preparation, we made the 10 minute boat journey to the Fourth Fleet Anchorage to find that a mild current was running from the north.

    Having previously not met much current in the lagoon, I first thought of the annoyances that such processes bring, however, after descending onto this phenomenal dive site, such things were completely forgotten.

    The divers were first guiding towards the fore ship which holds the trucks hanging over the port beam and light tank on deck, and were again intoxicated by the fish life the lagoon has to offer. The usually schools of game fish were present amongst the high masts rising up to shallow water, and with tuna circling the bow, playing in the current, we knew this dive was going to be a good one!

    A quick look in hold #1 revealed mines and shell casings and moving aft onto the machine gun we could see towards the stern, two large sized grey reef sharks being followed by schools of jacks.

    As they circled above us on top of the bridge, the larger one made several close passes allowing us to get some fantastically close photos. Still surrounded by life we made a final stop to see the artillery guns on the aft deck and made our ascent along this spectacular mast.

    Usually eagle rays are seen on the bow but with the current running, we saw them hovering behind the stern, capping off one of the best dives of the trip so far.

    IJN Futagami Tug dive site

    IJN Futagami Tug

    IJN Futagami Tug

    IJN Futagami Tug

    Beginner divers
    Boat dive
    Dive depth: 9 - 30m
    Visibility: 5 - 15m
    Water temperature: 29 - ℃
    Dive type: Wreck
    The IJN Futagami was a Hashima Fleet Class salvage tug built for the Imperial Japanese Navy and launched 1939. She was built by Harima Sanbashi Company of Aioi. The vessel was equipped with two 2-ton and one 5-ton salvage derricks. She was fitted with de-watering salvage pumps and many hoses still stored in aft hold.

    The tug’s official designation was “Kyunan-sen ken Eisen”. She was instrumental in performing many salvage and towage tasks in and around Chuuk, Some of the more noteworthy was towing in the damaged Sutsuki running astern from the Coral Sea engagement, towing in the torpedoed and burning Hoyo Maru from outside North Pass, and tending to derricks attempting salvage of sunken ‘I-169’ sub. She was frequently at work with barges, towing damaged ships, and tending to many normal duties within the lagoon. Twin sets of anti-aircraft machine guns were mounted in aft corner tubs of her bridge house. She was a unique and powerful vessel of her day with twin six cylinder Unaflow enclosed reciprocating steam engines of 3,000hp, with steam supplied from two coal or oil fired water tube boilers. A large internal towing winch and hydraulic tow hook completed much of her tow gear. Large 6”diam manila hawsers are stowed forward in way of foc’sle crew bunks. .

    The Futagami was undamaged during hostilities, surviving the war, to be left anchored but unattended in channel west of Dublon. Little information is known of her eventual sinking, whether by vandals or inattentions. It could have been easily salvaged but as with many other ships here, few if any came back to the surface. The wreck starts in shallow 30ft water at the stern and descends to 100 fsw at the bow, and is lying at about a 45 deg list to port. Many interesting artifacts are found aboard including an undamaged engine room with great photo opportunities of gauges, valves, and controls.

    Visibility in the channel is often limited to about 20-30 ft and then good at other times.

    IJN FUTAGAMI HASHIMA CLASS FLEET SALVAGE TUG
    Displacement: 625 tons
    Length: 131 feet
    Beam 32 feet
    Engine: 2 coal/heavy oil fired reciprocating engines, 2 shafts
    Max Speed: 14.5 kts.
    Mission: Salvage. Armament
    2-25 MM anti-aircraft guns; depth charges. Crew: 59. Launched: 1939.

    Seiko Maru dive site

    Seiko Maru

    Seiko Maru

    Seiko Maru

    Experienced/advance divers
    Boat dive
    Dive depth: 20 - 50m
    Visibility: 10 - 30m
    Water temperature: 29 - ℃
    Dive type: Wreck
    The SS Seiko Maru was launched July 17, 1940 for original owners, Dairen Steamship Co. as a modern cargo vessel of a then unique design with engines aft rather than amidships. This design offered increased cargo hold space eliminating a space robbing propeller shaft tunnel and a need for extended shaft and bearings. Resembling an oil tanker layout, it was reported as a tanker loss by US aircraft pilots during the attack of Feb 1944.

    The Seiko had been requisitioned by the Imperial Japanese Navy for its design advantages along with heavy cargo lifting gear for use throughout their Pacific campaign. She was accompanied by 3 other partially damaged ships on a voyage from Rabaul PNG to Truk, for expected repairs when intercepted in the Solomon Island’s ‘slot’ by two patrolling USN subs that fired nearly all of their torpedoes into these vessels. Each ship managed to survive and progress on to Truk with gaping holes in flooded cargo spaces temporarily eliminating further use as freight carriers.

    The Seiko was repaired and positioned at Truk’s 4th Fleet Anchorage awaiting service when her luck finally ran out during the February attack with an aerial torpedo into her portside boiler room, taking her quickly down by the stern.

    Lying with a slight list to starboard, she is an impressive intermediate depth wreck site accessible to most divers at depths between 20 – 50m.

    Sutsuki - Patrol Boat No. 34 dive site

    Sutsuki - Patrol Boat No. 34

    Sutsuki - Patrol Boat No. 34

    Sutsuki - Patrol Boat No. 34

    Beginner divers
    Boat dive
    Dive depth: 7 - 14m
    Visibility: 10 - 30m
    Water temperature: 29 - ℃
    Dive type: Wreck
    IJN Sutsuk, later Patrol Boat N0. 34 was a Momi Class destroyer built for the Imperial Japanese Navy in the early 1920’s. Originally one of the fastest ships of their period, they were top heavy at high speed, and could only be used as second class destroyers or torpedo boats. Although nearly obsolete at the start of the war, the Imperial Japanese Navy decided their speed would be useful in reinforcing their forces at Guadalcanal. Several of the vessels were converted to carry Daihatsu landing craft on the stern.

    During the war Sutsuki participated as part of the famed “Tokyo Express” to relieve Japanese forces engaged in the battle for Guadalcanal. During this period she was heavily damaged in collision with another destroyer while laying protective smoke around their aircraft carrier line. While losing 80ft of her bow, her able skipper backed his vessel out of the war zone, running astern halfway to Chuuk, before a tug arrived to tow her in and receive temporary plating repairs to facilitate her running back to Japan in convoy to receive a new section. However while awaiting a convoy, she was pressed into temporary service patrolling Chuuk’s outer perimeters for US subs and re-supplying outer reef island garrisons via her Daihatsu landing crafts. She was to later continue in that capacity and renamed as Patrol No. 34.

    During Ops Hailstone, several US planes reported damage from brisk anti-aircraft fire when passing over the Fefan /Tonoas Channel and was verified to be arising from the anchored Sutsuki, near Tonoas’s west shores.

    A bevy of US aircraft joined to remove the menace and she went down very quickly under their intense attack, as reported later by a Wing Commander of USS Bunker Hill’s torpedo squadron while diving from Thorfinn.

    IJN SUTSUKI, later PATROL No.34, details:

    Displacement: 935 tons
    Length: 280 feet
    Beam: 26 feet
    Engine: 2 turbines, 2 shafts
    Max Speed: 35 kts.
    Mission: Transport. Crew: 110.

    Hoki Maru dive site

    Hoki Maru

    Hoki Maru

    Hoki Maru

    Experienced/advance divers
    Boat dive
    Dive depth: 21 - 43m
    Visibility: 10 - 30m
    Water temperature: 29 - ℃
    Dive type: Wreck
    The Hoki Maru is another wreck sitting upright in the Fourth Fleet Anchorage loaded with cargo. At the time of the Hoki MaruUS attacks she was carrying a large amount of aviation fuel in the forward holds which caused a huge explosion now leaving only remains of the forward part of this ex-New Zealand ship.

    On this glassy morning we therefore decided to focus on the aft end of the wreck and after the short boat ride, we tied up to the mooring buoy and descended onto the mid-ship area. We first made our way to the stern and to the two large propellers and rudder which are at 160ft/50m.

    I had already briefed the divers to keep an eye out for sharks and as we approached the sand we were welcomed by two medium sized grey reef sharks and a large black-tip reef shark who seemed very interested in one of our divers who was using a re-breather. They made several extremely close passes and continued their search for breakfast, meaning we could move on and inspect the area more closely.

    After a good look around the props and rudder which is over 5m in height, we made our way round to the port hull and entered holds 1&2 through the large torpedo hole. With two levels of construction equipment such John Deere bulldozers, and Japanese trucks, steam rollers and tractors the remainder of the dive was taken up with photos and exploration.

    It is amazing to think that this machinery has been down there so long but is still in such fantastic condition and seems still good enough o be put into action!

    Once the divers were on 70bar/1000psi we left the holds and made our way back to the line where we were greeted by a large school of jacks circling in the current, and we ascended to our first stop at 60ft/18m.

    From there until our 15ft/5m safety stops, a school of batfish came up and brought us great entertainment for the remaining decompression time.

    Once everyone was back onto our dive tender Downrider 2, it was back to the Thorfinn for coffee and cookies fresh from the oven.

    Unkai Maru dive site

    Unkai Maru

    Unkai Maru

    Unkai Maru

    Experienced/advance divers
    Boat dive
    Dive depth: 18 - 40m
    Visibility: 10 - 30m
    Water temperature: 29 - ℃
    Dive type: Wreck
    The Unkai Maru was built in 1905 by the W. Grey Shipyard of England as the freighter S/S Venus. The ship was sold in 1911 to the Japanese Nakamura Kisen Line and later requisitioned for use by the Japanese Navy as a general cargo transport.

    Unkai Maru survived several of the “Hailstone” raids before being sunk. She was struck by an aerial torpedo from planes of the USS Bunker Hill and later by bombs from aircraft launched from the USS Yorktown. The fires and flooding finally put her on the bottom.

    Interesting objects are a prominent bow gun, boxes of huge foot sandals that must have been suited only to a Sumu wrestler team, great numbers of glass fish, and a most accessibly interesting engine room. At one time earlier she had boxes of San Francisco newspapers dated in 1941 prior to the Pearl Harbor event. They displayed Hitler’s advances into Poland.

    The Unkai Maru is one of the oldest ships in the lagoon and was found by Klaus Lindemann in 1980. She now rests upright at a maximum depth of 140 fsw.

    Displacement: 3,188 tons
    Length: 305 feet
    Beam: 44 feet
    Engine:1 reciprocal steam / coal
    Max Speed: 12 kts.
    Launched: 1905.

    Amagisan Maru dive site

    Amagisan Maru

    Amagisan Maru

    Amagisan Maru

    Experienced/advance divers
    Boat dive
    Dive depth: 30 - 58m
    Visibility: 10 - >30m
    Water temperature: 29 - ℃
    Dive type: Wreck
    The Amagisan Maru was originally built as a cargo/passenger ship serving the Japan-New York Line. The Japanese Navy took her over in 1943 for use as a special transport.

    In February 1942, she was torpedoed by the USS Swordfish near Davao sustaining damages she went over to repair at Rabaul. She was later one of the four ships escorted to Truk for repairs along with Seiko, Kyosumi, and Yamagiri. During the Truk attack she was sunk by an aerial torpedo while carrying aviation fuel and diesel oil drums in her holds. Some of this fuel still leaks to the surface from time to time.

    The ship is one of the largest wrecks in the lagoon. Her most interesting features include a photogenic bow gun, torpedo holes and “staff cars” in hold No. 2, a tank truck on the sea floor, mine sweeping paravanes on deck, and a matching stern gun deep at stern. The Amagisan Maru was discovered in 1973 and now rests at a maximum depth of 190 fsw at her stern.

    Amagisan Maru:
    Displacement: 7,621 tons;
    Length: 450 feet;
    Beam: 69 feet;
    Engine: 1 diesel;
    Max Speed: 18.8 kts. Launched: 6 NOV 1933. Crew: 48.

    Kiyozumi Maru dive site

    Kiyozumi Maru

    Kiyozumi Maru

    Kiyozumi Maru

    Beginner divers
    Boat dive
    Dive depth: 12 - 30m
    Visibility: 10 - 30m
    Water temperature: 29 - ℃
    Dive type: Wreck
    The Kiyozumi Maru was built in 1934 by the Kawasaki Dockyard as a freighter with luxurious passenger accommodations. The Japanese Navy took control in November 1941 converting the Kiyozumi Maru to an armed merchant raider. Six inch guns, cannibalized from old cruisers, two twin torpedo launchers and various anti-aircraft machine guns were added. Her success as a raider was uneventful, so in October of 1943 she was reclassified as a transport. Kiyozumi Maru’s most noteworthy mission was as a troop carrier for invasion forces during the Battle of Midway.

    During the war she was repeatedly damaged by aircraft bombs and left with her escort from Rabaul to Truk for hopeful repair when struck by three torpedoes from two American submarine in 1943. She was towed to Truk and was undergoing repairs at time of the “Hailstone” attack. Although having extensive damage from the submarine attack, it was aerial bombs in her mid-ship superstructure and abeam Hold #2 that finally took her down to lay on portside at 100 fsw.

    Her huge engine is easily viewed through bomb hole atop the house, but divers are advised not to swim under an engine weighing at least 200 tons as it will definitely come down off its most irregular prch one day in the future. Most armaments were removed after arrival at Truk for use by others. The aft torpedo man’s hut is still in view along with the launchers. Remains of a bicycle is viewed in hold below.

    Tonnage: 6,983 ts
    Length: 137.16 m ( 450 ft)
    Breadth: 18.59 m( 61 ft)
    Depth: 12.19 m ( 40 ft)
    Draught: 8.30 m( 27 ft)
    Engine: 1 x Sulzer Diesel
    Horsepower: 8,375 hp
    Speed: 18.73 knots maximum;15.00 knots service
    Launching: 30 June 1934
    Service: 05 October 1934
    Builder:Kawasaki Dockyard
    Owner: N/A
    Service: 05 October 1934
    Builder:Kawasaki Dockyard
    Owner: N/A

    Gosei Maru dive site

    Gosei Maru

    Gosei Maru

    Gosei Maru

    Beginner divers
    Boat dive
    Dive depth: 9 - 30m
    Visibility: 10 - 30m
    Water temperature: 29 - ℃
    Dive type: Wreck
    The Gosei Maru was built in 1937, by the Tsuromi Iron Works Dockyard as a medium coastal freighter for the Koun Kisen Line. Her lines are unconventional, but were adopted as the Standard D Freighter, built in quantity during the war.

    The Japanese Navy took control and utilized her as a supply ship for Sixth Fleet submarines. She carried torpedoes and depth charges. In 1976 many of the torpedo bodies were destroyed to reduce the chance of unpredictable explosions and danger to divers.

    During the “Hailstone” attack, Gosei Maru was attacked by aircraft from the light carrier Monterey and sunk by a torpedo. She now lies on a slope with her stern at 8 fsw and her bow in 100 fsw.

    Gosei Maru
    Displacement: 1,931 tons
    Length: 270 feet
    Beam: 40 feet
    Engine: 1 reciprocal steam / coal
    Max Speed: 12.7 kts.

    Rio de Janeiro Maru dive site

    Rio de Janeiro Maru

    Rio de Janeiro Maru

    Rio de Janeiro Maru

    Beginner divers
    Boat dive
    Dive depth: 9 - 30m
    Visibility: 10 - 30m
    Water temperature: 29 - ℃
    Dive type: Wreck
    This extremely large wreck sits on its starboard side in shallow water meaning coral growth is heavy on the port beam and marine life is plentiful. With the largest bow and stern guns on offer in Truk, the Rio De Janeiro was the after lunch dive on this particularly beautiful afternoon on the lagoon.
    As always, the journey over to Uman island was a little wet with the wind in our faces but being close to the island, upon arrival conditions were good. We geared up, cameras ready to go and with lights fully charged the target was the engine room of this huge ex-passenger/cargo liner.

    Usually 30 minutes is needed to fully explore this monstrous diesel engine room, powering twin screws with over 7,500 horsepower each, but with only 3 divers, penetration was made easier and after 25 minutes of weaving through the devastation, we were out and on our way to the stern and the propellers.
    The holds of the Rio contain items such as artillery and china, but it is hard to overlook the infinite supply of Saki and wine that the Japanese military seemed to hold. After the holds we were heading for the stern and there it was, the 16ft/5m long stern gun mounted high, and covered in corals and sponges.

    Further on we made our way to housing covering the stern and below the telegraph that seems to have been placed in an upright position and shell casing sitting next to it.

    Once at the stern, ascending onto the starboard beam, we made our way back to the boat, making necessary stops on our way up, still able to see the outline of this truly enormous underwater shipwreck.

    Shotan Maru dive site

    Shotan Maru

    Shotan Maru

    Shotan Maru

    Experienced/advance divers
    Boat dive
    Dive depth: 37 - 58m
    Visibility: 10 - 30m
    Water temperature: 29 - ℃
    Dive type: Wreck
    We decided this morning would be a good day to try for this deep, medium sized ex-cargo freighter lying on even keel in 50m of clear blue water. It can be difficult to hook as it is positioned between two ridges but after a 10 minute boat journey on this beautifully calm, still day, we had no problem and within 30 minutes of our departure from the ship, the wreck was in clear view as we descended.

    Once on the deck we headed straight for the deepest part which is hold #1 and 2 and after a quick look at the truck that fell overboard sitting at 60m,we entered hold #1 and 2 which are linked and contain trucks and plenty of ammunition. Out of the hold and moving aft, anti-aircraft guns, huge bomb damage and the stern gun covered in soft corals made for some great photography and as the group began to approach 70 bar, we began our ascent. With big game fish such as trevally, dogtooth tuna and barracuda snacking on the abundant fish populations as they swarm and pulsate around the soft corals on the funnel and masts, the ascent was just as entertaining. Once on our 5m stop, the divers were signaling each other their air supplies and checking deco times expecting a drawn out 10 minute stop, but to everyone’s excitement, a small pod of bottlenose dolphins who seemed just as excited as the divers came in for an routine inspection. Amongst the pod was a new mother, her baby no longer than ½ m, who seemed to do extremely well to keep up with the group and after a few minutes of darting and eye to eye contact, they swam off into the blue leaving nothing but some very big smiles on the faces of our small group.

    Shinkoku Maru dive site

    Shinkoku Maru

    Shinkoku Maru

    Shinkoku Maru

    Experienced/advance divers
    Boat dive
    Dive depth: 9 - 38m
    Visibility: 10 - 30m
    Water temperature: 29 - ℃
    Dive type: Wreck
    The Shinkoku Maru was built in 1939 by the Kawasaki Dockyard for the Kobe Sanbashi K.K. Line as a modern tanker. Her construction was subsidized by the fuel starved Japanese Navy and her first voyages were carrying oil from the United States to Japan, prior to the embargo.

    The Imperial Japanese Navy then converted her to a fleet oiler and Shinkoku Maru’s most noteworthy mission was her participation in the Pearl Harbor attack as part of Admiral Nagumo’s strike force. Later she participated in the attack on Ceylon and then performed general re-supply duties. In August 1942, she was torpedoed by an American submarine. She was at anchor in Truk at time of the “Hailstone” attack, surviving two days of attacks and two aerial torpedo hits until finally sinking in mid lagoon at center of then abandoned Combined Fleet moorings.

    The ship is one of the most interesting in the lagoon with vivid corals, and fish life along with fine arrays of shipboard artifacts. Night dives are supreme and rank with ‘best ever’. The soft corals and hydroids that emerge after dark turn Shinkoku Maru into a hanging garden and her medical bay is always an interesting diversion along with arrays of engine and docking telegraphs on an upper bridge level. Huge diesel engines and guns fore and aft round out the attractions. Her depths range from 32 ft at bridge deck to maximum 125 fsw at her stern.

    Shinkoku Maru
    Displacement: 10,020 tons
    Length: 500 feet
    Beam: 65 feet
    Engine: 1 MAN diesel
    Max Speed: 19.8 kts.
    Launched: 13 DEC 1939.

    Betty Bomber dive site

    Betty Bomber

    Betty Bomber

    Betty Bomber

    Experienced/advance divers
    Boat dive
    Dive depth: 18m
    Visibility: 10 - 30m
    Water temperature: 29 - ℃
    Dive type: Wreck
    Betty was the Allied code name for the Mitsubishi G4M bomber. This aircraft designed in 1939 for the Imperial Japanese Navy, was quite successful during early part of the war, due long range and good carrying capacity. Unprotected fuel tanks proved their greatest undoing, even leading to death of famous Admiral Yamamoto ambushed while aboard one flying out of New Caledonia.

    The G4M was operated throughout the war as both a tactical and torpedo bomber. There were a considerable number of them based at Chuuk’s Param Island, the newest of 5 airports located here. It was a broad duty plane similar to a US Mitchell and was utilized for many purposeful missions. Later reports from eyewitnesses, say there were few pilots at the field, on morning of Feb 16, 1944, and Japanese commanders were pushing mechanics at bayonet tips into the cockpits of close to 50 aircraft sitting vulnerably exposed to incoming attackers.

    Most were destroyed on the ground, but several got off only to be forced down shortly thereafter. The illustrated, badly shot-up craft appeared to be attempting an emergency but failed landing on Eten Island’s fighter strip, crashing into the lagoon on approach, and now lying in 60 ft .

    Mitsubishi G4M: Crew 7
    Wingspan: 85 ft.
    Length: 66 ft.
    Height: 20 ft.
    MATOW: 29,000 lbs
    Engines: 2- 14 cylinder MK4A-11 1530 HP each
    Speed: 266 mph at 14,000 ft
    Ceiling: 29,000 ft
    Range: 1875 NM.
    Armament: 4 x 12.7mm machine guns, 1 x 20mm cannon, 1-1750 lb bomb.

    Heian Maru dive site

    Heian Maru

    Heian Maru

    Heian Maru

    Beginner divers
    Boat dive
    Dive depth: 9 - 28m
    Visibility: 10 - 30m
    Water temperature: 29 - ℃
    Dive type: Wreck
    The Heian Maru was built in 1930, by Osaka Iron Works for the Nihon Yusen Kaisha Line (NYK) as one of three identical large passenger cargo liners. Her maiden voyage was from Hong Kong to Seattle. While on a routine voyage in August 1941, she was abruptly recalled to Japan, where Japan’s Navy took her and sisters for conversion to submarine tenders.

    They operated in unison with one ship at Truk tending up to 35 submarines, while another would be in Japan for resupply, while the 3 rd was transiting in supply convoys. The convoys took huge losses from wolfpacks of US submarines and after loss of both sisters, the Heian was retained at Truk inspite of lacking supplies, to provide lodging for the reduced numbers of sub crew remaining.

    The Heian Maru was sunk on the second day of the “Hailstone” attack, by Avenger torpedo aircraft from the carrier Bunker Hill. A torpedo struck the engine room amidships setting most of the vessel afire to burn furiously for balance of the day, sinking on her side by day’s end.

    At nearly 12,000 tons, she is the largest ship in Truk Lagoon’s “Ghost Fleet”, after postwar salvage of the much larger oiler ex whale factory, SS Tonan Maru of 22,000 tons. She now lies in 90 fsw.

    Heian Maru
    Displacement: 11,616 tons
    Length: 510 feet
    Beam: 66 feet
    Engine: 2 B & W Diesel Co. diesel
    Max Speed: 18.38 kts.
    Launched: 16 APR 1930. Crew: 150.

    Fujikawa Maru dive site

    Fujikawa Maru

    Fujikawa Maru

    Fujikawa Maru

    Experienced/advance divers
    Boat dive
    Dive depth: 9 - 37m
    Visibility: 10 - 30m
    Water temperature: 29 - ℃
    Dive type: Wreck
    The Fujikawa Maru was built in 1938 by the Mitsubishi Company as passenger/cargo carrier for the Toyo Kaiun Line. Her peacetime duties consisted of carrying raw silk and cotton between South America and India.

    The Japanese Navy took control in December 1940 converting her to an aircraft ferry. As part of her conversion she was fitted with six inch guns at bow and stern. These guns were from the Russo-Japanese War and had been “cannibalized” from decommissioned cruisers. The breech plate on the forward guns displays an 1899 manufacture date.

    Just prior to ‘Hailstone,’ Fujikawa Maru had arrived in Truk and off loaded thirty “Jill” B5N2 bombers onto Eten Airfield. Since these aircraft had been disassembled for shipment, they were unable to help defend Truk and were destroyed on the ground. The Fujikawa Maru was sunk by a single aerial torpedo striking amidship in hold 4, opening to the engine room and causing the eventual sinking . Although the torpedo failed to run properly, its momentum carried it into the ship to detonate. The Fujikawa Maru has long been a favorite amongst Truk’s “Ghost Fleet”. Her magnificent guns, Japanese bathtub and the Zero aircraft still in her hold, make her a “must see” wreck lying on a 120 fsw floor.

    Fujikawa Maru
    Displacement: 6,938 tons
    Length: 435 feet
    Beam: 58.5 feet
    Engine: 1 diesel
    Max Speed: 16 kts.
    Launched: 15 APR 1938. Crew: 48.

    USS Sgt Major Wm J Pugh dive site

    USS Sgt Major Wm J Pugh

    USS Sgt Major Wm J Pugh

    USS Sgt Major Wm J Pugh

    Beginner divers
    Boat dive
    Dive depth: 7 - 14m
    Visibility: 10 - 30m
    Water temperature: 29 - ℃
    Dive type: Reef and Wreck
    The Pugh is a former USN YFR, a type of vessel designed and built to supply the anchored fleet at large congested naval stations/bases. Three types of vessels were in her class …

    one being a YO for Yard Oiler carrying special lubes to large ships, another was a YF for supplying dry stores, and the a YFR such as this vessel for transporting refrigerated cargo as a Yard Freighter Refrigerated. At end of hostilities she was left to the Philippine government along with other craft, and years later under Gen Marcos’ era was utilized for the leader to transport 11 tons of his gold collections clandestinely over to Tinian Island in the Northern Marianas Islands where the large B29’s had flown from to finish the war against Japan.

    After offloading to a waiting boat for loading onto a clandestine aircraft flying the cargo to Switzerland and into vaults that have yet to be located, the Pugh was ordered to proceed to Truk Lagoon, and leave the ship to return home. The ship sat afterwards for several weeks before locals began to see what they could ’borrow’ from her. About 6-8 months later after being viewed to be slowly sinking, some volunteers towed her down to a location off the South Field former seaplane base to open seacocks and let her settle upright onto a 50ft floor. Today nearly 45 years after sinking, there are many fine corals and fish collecting around a still interestingly intact little reefer ship. Maybe a few grains of gold lying behind those reefer coils in the holds..?

    …at a quick glance,

    Length: about 160ft, beam about 35 ft, 12 ft draft
    Configuration: Accommodation house aft, two holds forward with deck winches, cargo masts
    Machinery: Twin GMC ‘Cleveland 2 stroke engines on twin screws, at 500 hp each
    Refrigeration: Four GMC Detroit 6-71 diesels driving refrigeration compressors
    Probable Speed: 9-10 knots

    Aikoku Maru dive site

    Aikoku Maru

    Aikoku Maru

    Aikoku Maru

    Experienced/advance divers
    Boat dive
    Dive depth: 40 - 64m
    Water temperature: 29 - ℃
    Dive type: Wreck
    On a windy day here in Truk Lagoon, the Aikoku Maru is close by and makes for a more comfortable 10 minute boat ride. After anchoring, we were secure on the wreck and with safety checks done, the ascent onto this deep, legendary technical site was magnificent. Schools of barracuda, dogtooth tuna and jacks flooded the deck and small reef fish taking whatever cover they could find. The first task was to stage our 95% oxygen stages and get to the stern where you will find one of the largest guns Truk Lagoon has to offer. We swam around one of the anti-aircraft guns situated aft of the stack to find a white-tip reef shark sleeping next to the memorial for all of those Japanese men killed at the time of the war. We of course startled it and when out of view we secured our stages and moved towards the stern. Surrounded by activity, and slightly affected by narcosis, it seems surreal to be weightless on these wrecks and have such an array of artillery and ammunition. It is difficult to truly understand this feeling until you have experienced it for yourself. When we finally reached the large stern gun at around 160 ft / 50m we were greeted by a curious hawksbill turtle perched wonderfully at the base of this monstrous gun angled high into the sky, blissfully unaware of what was being used as an elevated viewpoint!

    Once we were all satisfied with photographs and encounters, our ascent was again flooded with pelagic encounters on one of the most magnificent wrecks Truk Lagoon has to offer.

    Momokawa Maru dive site

    Momokawa Maru

    Momokawa Maru

    Momokawa Maru

    Experienced/advance divers
    Boat dive
    Dive depth: 27 - 43m
    Visibility: 10 - 30m
    Water temperature: 29 - ℃
    Dive type: Wreck
    The Momokawa Maru was built in 1940, as a timber transport, and near twin to Nippo Maru. They are both remarkable in having steel bridge houses instead of normal wood or aluminum to avoid compass deviations.

    Her peacetime service consisted of carrying lumber from Siberia to Japan. The Japanese Navy took control of her in late 1943 and utilized her as a bulk cargo carrier.

    During the “Hailstone” attack, Momokawa Maru was bombed by aircraft from the carrier Bunker Hill. In their strike reports they indicated they had hit a large freighter that exploded and sank during the raid.

    Lying on her port side in 140 ft of water, she has interesting cargo of Betty Bomber parts, wheels, and truck frames, plus the most intact bridge house within all wrecks of Truk Lagoon. By holding a camera on its side some remarkable pictures are gained.

    The Momokawa Maru was found by Klaus Lindemann in 1982.

    Momokawa Maru
    Displacement: 3,829 tons
    Length: 352 feet
    Beam: 50 feet
    Engine: 1 turbine steam / coal
    Max Speed: 14.9 kts.
    Launched: 17 AUG 1940.

    Kansho Maru dive site

    Kansho Maru

    Kansho Maru

    Kansho Maru

    Experienced/advance divers
    Boat dive
    Dive depth: 12 - 33m
    Visibility: 10 - 30m
    Water temperature: 29 - ℃
    Dive type: Wreck
    The Kansho Maru was built in 1938 by the Mitsui Dockyard Company as a passenger/cargo carrier for the Mitsui and Kawasaki Lines. The Japanese Navy took control of her when the war began and she was put to work shuttling supplies between Japan and the Marshall Islands. Eventually she was retrofitted with a deck gun and augmented with a Naval gun crew and medical staff for transporting wounded.

    Just prior to the “Hailstone” attack, Kansho Maru was in Kwajalein Atoll delivering supplies, when she was bombed by carrier aircraft and took a hit to her engine room. Unable to get underway, Kansho was towed to Truk by the Momokawa Maru and arrived around January 5, 1944. Both ships were located in the Repair anchorage when the “Hailstone” attack began and after losing their protective air cover, were unable to defend themselves from attack and final sinking. The Kansho Maru was sunk by at least one bomb and an aerial torpedo. She now lies in 130 fsw.

    She is always a favored site within her interiors as a great engine room and machine shop, galley, and other quarters including the Captain’s room where heavy radio equipment have tumbled through from wasted floors of a bridge above. Her empty holds have a few sights of repair/salvage pumps and acetylene torches/welding equipment. Bicycles lie in forward hold.

    She rests on a 105ft floor.

    Kansho Maru
    Displacement: 4,861 tons
    Length: 380 feet
    Beam: 52.5 feet
    Engine: 1 B & W diesel
    Max Speed: 16.8 kts.
    Launched: 30 JUN 1938.

    A6M Zero Fighter dive site

    A6M Zero Fighter

    A6M Zero Fighter

    A6M Zero Fighter

    Beginner divers
    Boat dive
    Dive depth: 5 - 7m
    Visibility: 10 - 30m
    Water temperature: 29 - ℃
    Dive type: Wreck
    Zero was the Allied code name for the Mitsubishi A6M fighter. The Zero aircraft was designed in 1937 by Jiro Horikoshi for the Imperial Japanese Navy.

    The plane saw action throughout the war and was unmatched in speed and maneuverability until 1942 when modern Allied fighters began to appear. Later the aircraft was found to be very vulnerable due to unprotected fuel tanks and easily caught fire. Approximately 11,300 aircraft where built in various models.

    The A6M was operated throughout the war in various models by the Imperial Japanese Navy. Primarily a fighter, it was also used as a tactical bomber and Kamikaze attack aircraft. However, after the “cream” of Japanese Naval Aviators were lost at the Battle of Midway, there were never enough experienced pilots available to fly the Zero to its full potential.

    This Truk aircraft wreck is believed to have crashed on takeoff from Eten Island. Whether it was shot down or suffered from mechanical failure is unknown. She now lies in 20 fsw.

    Mitsubishi A6M3 Naval Carrier Fighter: Crew 1
    Wingspan 29.7 ft.
    Length 29.7 ft.
    Height 9.6 ft.
    MATOW 2644 lbs
    Engine: 1 supercharged Sakae1130 HP each
    Speed 338 mph at 6,000 ft
    Range 2380 NM.
    Armament: 2 x 7.7mm machine guns, 2 x 20mm cannon.

    Hokuyo Maru dive site

    Hokuyo Maru

    Hokuyo Maru

    Hokuyo Maru

    Experienced/advance divers
    Boat dive
    Dive depth: 40 - 64m
    Visibility: 10 - 30m
    Water temperature: 29 - ℃
    Dive type: Wreck
    The Hokuyo Maru was built in 1937, by the Uraga Dockyard Senryu as a medium coastal freighter for the Kita Nikon Kisen Line. She was designed to operate between North Korea, Hokkaido and other Japanese islands and as a result had a very strong bow to penetrate ice flows.

    During the “Hailstone” attack, Hokuyo Maru was attacked by aircraft from the carrier Essex and sunk by a bomb that struck her starb’rd aft side of 3rd hold. The subsequent explosion blew out a closely adjacent starb’r boiler leaving twin gaping holes in both the hold and boiler room. She sits upright with an intact housework and funnel and is a very enjoyable, but deep dive, now lying on a 200 fsw floor.

    Hokuyo Maru
    Displacement: 4,217 tons
    Length: 354 feet
    Beam: 50 feet
    Engine: 1 low pressure steam turbine / coal
    Max Speed: 15.85 kts.

    Nagano Maru dive site

    Nagano Maru

    Nagano Maru

    Nagano Maru

    Experienced/advance divers
    Boat dive
    Dive depth: 40 - 64m
    Visibility: 10 - 30m
    Water temperature: 29 - ℃
    Dive type: Wreck
    The Nagano Maru was built in 1917 by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries for the Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK) Line as a freighter. In the fall of 1937 she was drafted by the Imperial Japanese Army to carry troops to China for the war in Manchuria. She was returned to civilian service until 1941 when the Imperial Japanese Navy took her over. She served on Naval command, until again being placed under control of the Army in 1942.

    During the days leading up to the “Hailstone” attack, Nagano Maru was sent south to Morotok (Mortlocks) to supply the airfield there. She returned to Truk just in time for the “Hailstone” fighter sweep and was observed firing on attacking aircraft. This resulted in her being strafed on the first raid and bombed on the second attack. Several near misses severely damaged the vessel and fragments from one bomb killed her Captain. The sinking vessel was finally abandoned and sank on the first day of the operation. Nagano Maru now rests upright at a maximum depth of 220 fsw.

    Nagano Maru
    Displacement: 3,810 tons
    Length: 345 feet
    Beam: 50 feet
    Engine: 1 coal driven steam turbine
    Max Speed: 14.3 kts.
    Launched: 25 APR 1917.

    Hanakawa Maru dive site

    Hanakawa Maru

    Hanakawa Maru

    Hanakawa Maru

    Beginner divers
    Boat dive
    Dive depth: 30 - 35m
    Visibility: 10 - 20m
    Water temperature: 29 - ℃
    Dive type: Wreck
    The Hanakawa Maru was built in 1943 by the Kawasaki Dockyard as special transport for the Japanese Imperial Navy, similar in construction to Nippo and Momokawa. This Standard B freighter served from 25 October 1943 until being sunk on the second day of the “Hailstone” raids, while over replenishing the garrison at distant Tol Island Harbor.

    During the air strikes, Hanakawa Maru was attacked by aircraft from carriers Bunker Hill and Cowpens. An Avenger torpedo bomber from the Bunker Hill sunk her with a torpedo hit on her starboard bow setting her cargo of chemical gasoline drums ablaze. Like the Hoki Maru, the chemical substances were toxic and she was not dived for years until bubbles finally ceased to rise.

    She has many soft and brilliant corals on her topsides and masts, although often a murky location at her upright position with depth of 110 fsw to her keel.

    Hanakawa Maru
    Displacement: 4,793 tons
    Length: 368 feet
    Beam: 52 feet
    Engine: 1 coal fired turbine
    Max Speed: 15 kts.
    Launched: 31 AUG 1943.

    IJN Eissen 761 dive site

    IJN Eissen 761

    IJN Eissen 761

    IJN Eissen 761

    Beginner divers
    Boat dive
    Dive depth: 6 - 12m
    Visibility: 10 - 30m
    Water temperature: 29 - ℃
    Dive type: Wreck
    IJN Eissen 761 was a 110 ft steam powered harbor tug that also survived the war, to be left anchored in a small cove at west side of Dublon Island.

    She now lies upright in just 25 ft of murky water, but has several interesting artifacts to view and photograph. Her tiny bridge house contains two horizontal movement engine telegraphs for maneuvering orders to her twin triple expansion engines driven by steam from a big single Scotch type boiler. She appears to be on a size scale of many New York railway tugs of that era and likely had about 1,000 total horsepower judging by engine sizes. Her accommodations are small and difficult to enter, although some divers succeed at doing so.

    She suits as a final dive at day’s end for curious divers to view.