Sata Wreck

Location: Urukthapel anchorage, southeast of Koror, 250-yards north of the buoy marking the wreck of the Sata’s sister ship the Iro.

Distance from Koror: 6 miles (10 kilometers) from Koror. 15 minutes by speedboat

Visibility: The visibility in this area varies greatly with the tide. If the tide is running full the current can quickly stir up the silt diminishing visibility on the wreck from the usual 60 feet (20 meters) to less than 15 feet (3 meters).

Level of Diving Experience: Intermediate to Advanced.

Diving Depth Summary: : The wreck is upside down with the bow resting at 120 feet (37 meters) and the stern at 110 feet (33 meters) on a bottom of fine clay and silt. It is 60 feet (18 meters) to the hull.

Currents: None.

General Information: 

Length: 470 feet (143.25 meters).

Beam: 58 feet (17.68 meters).

Tonnage: 14,050 tons.

Built: 1922 by Yokohama Docks, Yokohama, Japan. The Sata was a military fleet tanker; as such she does not carry the additional name of Maru.

The Sata lies 250 yards north of the Iro. Both ships were bombed and sunk during operation DESECRATE ONE, March 30-31, 1944. The Sata and Iro are identical ships; both were bombed and sunk by bomb hits in the stern. The Sata did not go down easily and was bombed repeatedly by the U.S Navy till she suddenly sank and turned over on her way to the bottom. Neither ship carried a name or any other identifying serial numbers nor to this day has anything been found to positively identify which ship is the Sata and which is the Iro. The Sata lies on her superstructure almost flush with the bottom, only her port side offers a small opening into the ship. On the port side toward the stern is large hole that is unusual in that it was blown inward. It is possible to enter one of the holds at this location, but it is not advised due to the ship’s age and the structural deterioration of the ship. The bottom of the ship resembles a large rock covered with coral growth. The ship was never salvaged; the huge propeller with its marine growth offers a unique photo opportunities.

Reef Formation: The ship is resting in deep 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 Angelfish. The bottom of the ship is covered in extensive growth of hard corals, Wire Corals and other sessile growth.

Diving: This is not a wreck for Recreational Divers. It is a difficult wreck to enter and requires serious preparation on the part of the diver; none but the most serious WWII history experts with wreck diving experience should attempt to penetrate this wreck.

Fascinating Facts: : Do not attempt to penetrate this wreck!! Due to the wreck’s position and heavy layers of silt, divers can be easily disoriented attempting to enter this wreck. On this ship, as with all ship and plane wrecks in Palau waters, live ammunition can be found. A word of caution: DO NOT PICK UP ANY AMMUNITION!!!! Due to the age of the bullets, bombs, mortars, etc. these pieces of history are very unstable and can explode.