Truk Lagoon Deep Wrecks (The Chuuk Wrecks For The Tech Divers)


Deep sea wrecks don’t come any better than the deep wrecks of Truk Lagoon

Truk Lagoon Deep Wrecks - The Chuuk Wrecks For The Tech Divers

If you’re a technical diver and love to dive the deepest of wrecks, look no further than Truk or Chuuk Lagoon. Getting to Chuuk Lagoon is not the easiest journey, but it’s a ‘bucket-list’ dive destination worth the trip for wreck lovers.

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Truk Lagoon deep wrecks in excess of 40 metres (131 feet) deep. Some Truk or Chuuk Lagoon wrecks are in deeper waters of 50 and 60 metres plus (164 and 197 feet plus). These deeper Truk Lagoon wrecks are ideal for technical divers who want to explore these World War II ghost fleet.

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Truk Lagoon deep wrecks – Where to begin?

When considering the Truk Lagoon deep wrecks, it’s difficult to know how to decide on ‘how deep is deep?’ For some, scuba diving deeper than 20 metres (66 feet) is deep. Whereas for others, diving deeper than 30 metres (100 feet) is deep.

So for me to decide on what is a deep dive for the purposes of this article, I decided to go with those wrecks that are in excess of PADI’s recreational dive limit of 40 metres (131 feet).

Whilst the starting depth of some wrecks on my article on ‘How deep are the wrecks in Truk Lagoon‘ begin in shallower dive depths that may be less than the recreational dive limit, for the purpose of this article I’m using the deepest depth of that wreck.

If you take a look at the table included in the above article, the last column labelled ‘profile’, the wrecks that are labelled ‘45M‘ and above are what I consider are the Truk Lagoon deep wrecks.

This is a total of 12 wrecks, which are as follows:

Truk Lagoon deep wrecks in excess of 40 metres (131 feet)

The table below is an extract from the main list of depths of the Truk Lagoon wrecks.

  1. Matsutani Maru or Shotan Maru – 37-46 metres deep (120-150 feet) (45M wreck).
  2. Nippo Maru – 37-47metres deep (120-155 feet) (45M wreck).
  3. Hoki Maru – 24-50 metres deep (80-165 feet) (50M).
  4. Ojima Tug – 46-50 metres deep (150-164 feet) (50M).
  5. Seiko Maru – 23-49 metres deep (75-160 feet) (50M).
  6. Aikoku Maru – 24-64 metres deep (80-210 feet) (50M+).
  7. Fujisan Maru – 37-61 metres deep (120-200 feet) (50M+).
  8. Hokuyo Maru – 37-61 metres deep (120-200 feet) (50M+).
  9. Nagano Maru 43-64 metres deep (140-210 feet) (50M+).
  10. Oite Destroyer – 52-62 metres deep (170-205 feet) (50M+).
  11. Reiyo Maru – 53-67 metres deep (175-220 feet) (50M+).
  12. San Francisco Maru – 62-64 metres deep (140-210 feet) (50M+).

The location of these wrecks can be found on the Truk Lagoon wreck map.

Scuba diving Truk Lagoon as a technical diver

San Francisco Maru wreck inside her hold showing ammunition shells

As a technical diver, Truk Lagoon becomes a scuba diving Mecca! Even those wrecks that are in water of less that 40 metres (131 feet) deep, these are also great to scuba dive too.

But due to their depths at 30 metres plus (100 feet plus), in order to spend a reasonable amount of time on them, it’s ideally better to dive on decompression stop dives. This way your bottom time is extended and therefore means more time exploring the wrecks sitting in Chuuk Lagoon.

Of course as an experienced tech diver, working out decompression stops, calculating the amount of air needed for the dive and spending time decompressing is all part of your diver experience and training.

But it’s the dives on the deeper wrecks of Truk Lagoon where the skills of a technical diver really come into play. Wrecks like the San Francisco Maru for example. This wreck is particularly one of the favorites to dive, but more due to its name more than anything. And particularly for the Americans diving Truk Lagoon!

San Francisco Maru Wreck - Truk or Chuuk Lagoon Battle Tank On Its Deck

But it is also a great dive, as there are battle tanks on its deck. The holds contain trucks, bomb shells, torpedoes, bullets and many other World War II artifacts. It’s labelled the ‘Million Dollar Wreck‘ because of all its attractions on board.

More Reading: Recovery of the Junkers Jumo 211 (recovery of underwater artifacts)

The starting depth of this ‘great to explore wreck‘ is 42 metres (140 feet). But it goes to a depth of 64 metres (210 feet), which is in true tech diver territory.

The San Francisco Maru wreck was a passenger cargo ship. She measured 117 metres (385 feet). She was 5,831 tons and operated in world trade operations in minerals such as coal, bauxite, and phosphate for transportation to the Japanese Empire.

It’s wrecks like the San Francisco Maru dive that give you a true sense of what it was like back on the 18th February 1944 when she was sunk during Operation Hailstone. The dive site is good as the water is mostly clear giving divers a good visibility dive.

For more information about each of the other Truk Lagoon deep wrecks, please click on the above individual links in the above list.

To understand more about what happened at Truk Lagoon and it’s name change to Chuuk Lagoon, please take a read of this article…what happened at Truk Lagoon in 1944.

Video of the Truk Lagoon deep wrecks

The video below includes many of the deep wrecks of Truk Lagoon. The video includes the I-169 Submarine wreck.

Whilst this wreck’s deepest point is indeed 43 metres (143 feet), I didn’t include it in this article. My thought behind this is that a recreational diver could dive the I-169, but limit their dive depth to around 40 metres (i.e. stay above the sea bed by 2-3 metres (6-10 feet).

The max depth of the dive shown on this video is actually 139 feet (42 metres), so you could argue it falls within this article.

The same applies to the Momokawa Maru, which lies in a similar depth of water. But you’ll see that the max depth in the video was 130 feet (39.6 metres) for this dive, which keeps it within the recreational dive limit.

Don’t be under an illusions about the depth of these wrecks though. I don’t under estimate dive depths to 30 metres and beyond, especially when decompression stop diving is involved where the risks of decompression sickness increase. These two wrecks, i.e. the I-169 and the Momokawa Maru are still in deep water.

I hope you enjoyed this article about Truk Lagoon deep wrecks

I’d love to hear from you. Tell us about your adventures of diving and snorkeling, in the comments below. Please also share your photos. Either from your underwater cameras or videos from your waterproof Gopro’s!

If this article hasn’t answered all of your questions. If you have more questions either about snorkeling or scuba diving (or specifically about Truk Lagoon deep wrecks), please comment below with your questions.

There will also be many more articles about scuba diving (and snorkeling) for you to read and learn about these fabulous sports.

Have fun and be safe!

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