This short article about the Yamagiri Maru wreck provides you with a few basic details about this Japanese World War II ship. She is one of the many Truk Lagoon wrecks for scuba divers to enjoy in Chuuk Lagoon (formerly Truk Lagoon).
Scuba dive the Yamagiri Maru Truk Lagoon wreck: The Yamagiri Maru wreck of Truk Lagoon is a good recreational scuba dive because the maximum depth is 33 metres (110 feet). This passenger cargo ship is one of the many wrecks in Truk Lagoon where scuba divers can penetrate its hull. But beware the human remains and skull inside her holds.
Truk Lagoon is the name these Pacific lagoons and islands were known as in 1944 when they were under Japanese occupation. However, the name of Truk Lagoon was changed in 1990 to Chuuk Lagoon.
Scuba divers seem to use these two names synonymously, but the correct name is Chuuk Lagoon. These famous wrecks are now dived by scuba divers across the world.
Details of Yamagiri Maru the largest Truk Lagoon wreck
- The Yamagiri Maru wreck of Truk Lagoon was a 133 metre (439 feet) passenger cargo ship.
- She was 6,438 tons.
- Built in 1938 for Kobe-based Yamashita Steamship Company.
- She was requisitioned by the Japanese Navy in September 1941.
- She was then converted to a military transport ship for moving special cargoes.
- The Yamagiri Maru’s main service was in transporting war material between Solomon Islands and the Caroline Islands.
- Yamagiri was at Truk Lagoon for major repairs from previously being hit by American torpedoes.
- Yamagiri Maru is lying in 12-33 metres (40-110 feet) of water on her port side.
- This makes her a great recreational diving wreck, as she’s in less than 40 metres (131 feet) of water.
- There are huge shells and construction equipment in her aft hold.
- Scuba divers can also penetrate the superstructure to see her interesting and very large engine room.
- She was finally sunk on 18th February 1944, on the second day of Operation Hailstone during World War II.
However, 33 metres (110 feet) is still deep enough to severely limit your bottom time. But if you use Nitrox on your dive, at 32% your bottom time can be up to 30 minutes based upon a no stop decompression dive.
This assumes you can make your air last that long at this depth. But you may need to consider a twin-set or dive tanks. But also make sure you conserve your air well.
The word ‘Maru’ in Japanese ship naming protocol designates a merchant vessel.
Scuba dive Truk Lagoon and Yamagiri Maru wreck by liveaboard:
Comments on Yamagiri Maru Truk Lagoon wreck
The Yamagiri Maru lies approximately one mile from shore North North West of Fefan Island. This can be seen on the Truk Lagoon wreck map.
One of the main highlights of the Yamagiri Maru is the large artillery shells. These can be found in Hold No. 5. The artillery shells are about 1.07 metres (3 ½ feet) long. These are 16-18 inch armour piercing shells, where each shell weighs 3,219 lbs. They were fired from guns with a range of 58-64 kilometres (36-40 miles).
This ammunition was being carried by the Yamagiri Maru as replacements for the main-armament guns of the IJN battleships. One of these battle ships at Truk Lagoon was the Kamikaze Class Destroyer Oite wreck.
To understand more about what happened at Truk Lagoon, please take a read of this article what happened at Truk Lagoon in 1944.
Yamagiri Maru wreck – Human remains and skeletons
The Yamagiri Maru wreck is one of the Truk Lagoon wrecks where human remains can be found.
You’ll see in the above image part of a human skeleton, which is the skull of one of the crew who lost their life when the Yamagiri Maru when down. This is thought to be the skull of one of the engineers.
There are other parts of human skeletons to be seen in other sections of this wreck too. But please make sure you respect this, as these human remains demonstrate how this dive site is war grave.
Yamagiri Maru wreck video
This is a video of Yamagiri Maru Truk Lagoon wreck:
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