Wreck Diving Chuuk Lagoon

Chuuk Lagoon (also known as Truk Lagoon) in the Federated States of Micronesia is a wreck diver’s paradise. The enclosed lagoon is sheltered by wild, mountainous islands and a fringing barrier reef extending a whopping 140 miles. But the real reason divers come to this remote archipelago is to step (or swim) back in time exploring the WWII Japanese fleet sunken in 1944.
Chuuk Lagoon's History During WWII

During World War Two, Chuuk Lagoon was a base for much of the Japanese fleet - that is, until 17 February 1944. Known as Operation Hailstone, the United States launched an aggressive naval air and surface strike against the fleet, sinking over 50 ships and 275 aircraft over two days and decimating the Japanese stronghold.

Diving Chuck Lagoon's WWII Wrecks

Fast forward to today, and Chuuk Lagoon has emerged as one of the best wreck diving destinations in the world. As the lagoon is protected, there are no strong currents and most wrecks lie in depths of 30 - 40 metres, providing the prefect conditions for recreational divers. Most of the wrecks are intact and filled with eerie relics of the past, including tanks, artillery guns, discarded bullets and even skeletons. Many of the wrecks are also carpeted in soft and hard corals that harbour all manner of marine life, from rare leopard sharks to huge shoals of juvenile fish.

Top Five Wrecks in Chuuk Lagoon

While there are over 50 wrecks scattering Chuuk Lagoon, here are our recommendations for five of the best…

1. Fujikawa Maru

Descending from five metres down to 37 metres, Fujikawa Maru is a favourite among divers and snorkellers alike. The armed aircraft transport ferry still houses the Zero aircraft as well as a prominent bow gun. Divers can explore the engine room to find small artefacts scattered around as well as the air compressor 'R2D2'.

2. Rio de Janeiro Maru

A sunken passenger liner still featuring its stern gun, the Rio de Janerio Maru is perfect for both open water and advanced divers, descending from 12 metres down to a max depth of 33 metres. Divers with their wreck specialisation can also access the engine room inside, which is littered with unopened sake bottles and gun barrels.

3. Betty Bomber

Reaching a maximum depth of 19 metres, Betty Bomber is perfect for open water divers. The Mitsubishi G4M Japanese Navy bomber is largely intact, bar the front of the cockpit, and is home to huge clouds of glassfish providing some great photography subjects

4. San Francisco Maru

Possibly the most famous wreck to rest in Chuuk Lagoon, the San Francisco Maru is also one of the deepest, resting upright from 42 - 64 metres. While there might not be much marine life, divers can see tanks, mines, large trucks, artillery, airplane engines, aircraft bombs (you get the gist). Worth getting your technical speciality if you ask us

5. Kensho Maru

Kensho Maru was being repaired when it was attacked, therefore divers won't find any cargo onboard. The real point of interest is the engine room, which divers penetrate at 18 metres revealing a huge cavernous room with gauges, valves, thermometres lining the walls, a galley and radio room.

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Jacqui is our 'Wreck Diving Chuuk Lagoon' expert and as a seasoned traveller has the inside track on the most memorable adventures.

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