Amatsu Maru

Amatsu Maru

SCUBA Diving the Shipwrecks of Palau

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 502 Foot length, 66 Foot beam

10,000 Ton, Combined Fleet Tanker

Stinging Hydroids cover the marker buoy line to the ship

Her final resting place is just inside Malakal Harbor near Pincher's Lagoon and just south of Ngargol Island which forms the northern arm of Malakal Harbor. She is located at N7 20.311 E134 26.024.

Black Corals, giant clams, beautiful gorgonians, good visibility and easy penetration. Hydroids are all over the marker buoy line float, so watch those hands during DECO and safety stop. I rolled over the stern at 78 feet and dropped down the Amatsu Maru's tail to the giant propeller resting at 130 feet.

She was attacked by aircraft from the Carrier  Enterprise as part of Task Force 58, Operation Desecrate One, on March 30 and finished off the later that day by aircraft from the same Carrier .

The most recent dive is listed first: 21 January 2007

Amatsu Maru Propeller

Today with my dive buddy Erwin, I did a dive on the Amatsu Maru and measured the single propeller across its diameter (two blades). The propeller measured 18 feet from blade to blade.

Dive: 11 December 2006

Pictures compliments of Doctor Cassie Hamilton

I load equipment into ‘Your Just Reward”, more and more equipment. I want to be prepared for a number of possibilities. As I finish, the clock at Sam’s reads 7:50 AM. I walk to my car and drive the short distance to a local hotel where my good friend Dr. Mihnea lives. I will not pick up Mihnea today but a visiting doctor, a doctor of many species. I have worked with these two doctors and many assistants to them for two days, watching them prevent needless pain and death. Their skillful hands guided by a heavily learned brain are the hands of God. They are masters of His creations and how He has set up the rules for life and death. I have walked out of the room when I did not want to see what an owner allowed to happen by not neutering an animal whose babies were not wanted and would not be cared for. All my medically unskilled body could do was to love those in recovery placing drops of water on their dry tongues, rubbing their bodies and talking softly to them.

I walk to Dr. Mihnea’s apartment and softly knock. A cheerful face greets me and we leave shortly. At the docks we unload a marvelous camera with very large lens and several bags of personal diving gear, to load them into position on my boat. Engine starts and we push away from the dock. We glide away from the other boats with a destination of the last days of March 1944. We power past the Urakami Maru deep beneath us and to our port (left) side. We pass the Chuyo Maru to our Starboard with its stern 4.7 inch gun still ‘at the ready’ deep beneath us. A dive guide, J.B. and I had set the surface marker (float) on her several weeks ago.

Dead ahead is a float more or less near the harbor entrance. The doctor grabs the float and I secure Your Just Reward to the line. I lower the ladder to aid our return to your world. We don a pile of equipment.  The Doctor enters the water first and grabs the camera. I throw myself over backwards off the boat holding my mask to my face. I love the rush I get from my equilibrium being messed up for a second and I bleed air from my buoyancy compensator. Doctor Cassie Hamilton and I begin to glide down, a few yards away from and parallel to the line attached to the big ship below. Our bodies would be weightless except then we could not glide down and we have made ourselves slightly negative. Suddenly the 502 foot Amatsu Maru begins to come into view. Built in 1943 as one of fifteen in her class. She was a 10,000 ton, combined fleet oiler for the Japanese Navy. She was only four months old when aircraft from the USS Enterprise dropped 1,000 pound bombs on her fantail and bow on March  30 as part of Operation Desecrate One. The next wave hit her amidships and she blew up sinking immediately. Over the years nature has started taking her back and red and black corals, giant clams, several colors of sponges, oysters and gorgonians (sea fans) cover her body. We swim to the outside of her railing and begin to drop down to the giant propeller. Poor visibility prevents a quality picture that I was posing for as I held on to a giant blade at 122 feet. A beautiful sea turtle captures our eye and the camera’s flash as it gracefully feeds on the growth of a davit. Soon our special breathing gas of 32 percent oxygen is nearly out and we begin our slow return to the surface. We left behind so much life, beauty, violence and death. You can see some of Doctor Cassie’s pictures at: .

This day I had the pleasure of also diving with the doctor on the Ryuko Maru and the Iro. and




The dive below was on 14 November 2006 with J.B. and Mayumi. The deep part is where we dove to the bottom of the huge propeller at 133 feet 40.5 meters.


Click on Picture Below to see her location on a map

Date max Depth Water temp Boat Guide Gas Bottom time dive # tanks
14 Nov 06 131 feet 86 F Your Just Reward   JB / Mayumi Nitrox 32 36 minutes 1 1-95
  104 feet 84 F Your Just Reward Sam Nitrox 31 57 minutes 1 1-95
8 Feb 06 94   Sam's Tours   Nitrox 33 40 Minutes 1 1-80
5 Mar 06 96   Sam's Tours   Air 29 Minutes 1 1-80

Amatsu Maru


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