Nagisan Maru

Distance from Koror: 7 miles (11 km), 15 minutes by speedboat.

Level of Diving Experience: Intermediate to advance. Wreck Diver Certification is mandatory if penetrating the wreck. This dive required careful monitoring of bottom time and air consumption. 

Diving Depth Summary: The ship is sitting upright in 110 feet (33 m) of water on a muddy bottom; the main deck is at 85 feet (26 m). 

Visibility: 15-45 feet (5-14 m).

Current: None.

Location: Urukthapel anchorage, southeast of Koror.

General Formation: 

Type: Combined Fleet Passenger Cargo Ship

Length: 362 feet (110 m).

Beam: 50 feet (15 m).

Tonnage: 4, 250 tons.

Built: 1931 by Mitsui Bussan Kaisha, Tokyo.

The Nagisan Maru is medium size freighter that was restructured prior to the war to carry bulk cargo. She was sunk by a bomb hit on her stern during operation DESECRATE ONE, March 30-31, 1944. The Nagisan Maru was carrying barrels of aviation fuel and oil when she was hit.  The ship burned for two days before sinking. The fire weakened the bridge and decks have collapsed into the holds of the ship. Some of the fuel drums can be seen on the ocean floor surrounding the ship. Penetration of this wreck is extremely difficult due to the damage she sustained from the bombs and ensuring fires. Visibility on the wreck is usually poor despite the fact the wreck lies within a protected area. 

Reef Formation: The ship is resting in a bottom of silt. No coral reef structures are near the ship.

Marine Life: The wreck has an abundance of fish life. Rainbow Runners, Sergeant Majors, Moorish idols, Batfish and an occasional barracuda patrols the remaining structures of the ship. Plums of Black Coral, Wire Corals, hard corals and other sessile growth now adorn the structures of the wreck. 

Diving: Diving this wreck should be attempted ONLY by those divers who are serious wreck divers. The damage the Nagisan Maru from the bombing and fires caused extensive damage to the structures of the ship. On this ship, as with all ship and plane wrecks inn Palau waters, live ammunitions can be found. A word of caution: DO NOT PICK UP ANY AMMUNITION!!!! Due to the age of the bullets, bombs, and mortars, etc. these pieces of history are very unstable and can explode. 

Fascinating Facts: In August 1943, a torpedo fired by a U.S. submarine near Tinian Island struck the Nagisan Maru. The damage was minor; the ship was repaired and returned to service later that year.