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.