Amatsu Maru (Palau — 130 fsw)

The Amatsu is the longest wreck in Micronesia (502 feet) which is saying a lot given all the cargo ships and oil tankers that sank in that area during WW II.

Ship type similar to the Amatsu Maru

She was obviously a highly prized and prioritized target during Operation Desecrate 1 since she was large and an oil tanker. There were two bombing run conducted against her by SBD Dauntless bombers from the USS Enterprise dropping 1,000 pound bombs.

It is relatively deep compared to most other wrecks in the lagoon (130′) and has been partially salvaged. We did two dives on the wreck (4 Aug, 8 Aug) in order to explore a good portion of it. She sits upright and is easy to navigate.

For me, the highlight was the massive engine room and boiler room. In addition, near the stern, there is a cool steering gear mechanism. She was salvaged but remains relatively intact. There are also a ton of pipes and valves on her deck that were used to route and pump the oil.

The Amatsu was an oiler and has a very cool pump room on the deck that was used to pump oil to other ships; however, I didn’t really get a chance to dive it. The space is rather tight and each time I went to take a look, another team had already visited it and it was silted out. On the second dive, we did go in and I got a picture when I first entered but once we descended just a little bit, it was a complete silt cloud.

We had planned to photograph the very large propeller and rudder on the second dive; however, there was a “fog” below a certain depth that basically complete obscured the area.


I took numerous pictures during both dives on the wreck. The visibility was somewhat limited on the second dive and it was also getting near the end of the day so not much light. The ship, like others in Palau, also has a lot of silt so photography can be challenging.

Engine Room / Boiler Room

The rooms are very large with some portions salvaged but still plenty to see with some really nice gauges, etc.

Pump Room

The pump room is immediately to the stern of the bridge and is a one-story high structure with skylights similar to what you would see in an engine room. It drops down several decks once you enter.

Auxiliary Steering

Miscellaneous Pictures

Below are some other miscellaneous photos of the wreck including a safe and communications equipment on the bridge, evidence of the fire deep within the wreck, and pips/valves on the deck.

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