Only half of the Sankisan Maru remains in shallow water. The other half was obliterated by a bomb strike. The stern section and prop are at 150 feet and were not visited on this trip. The ship at one time had hundreds of wooden crates full of ammunition as well as detonators and depth charges. Most of the explosives were removed in the 1970's for safety.
Today cargo hold #1 is still full of bullets scattered on the floor. We found medicine bottles in hold #3 and several truck frames in hold #2. Aircraft engines can be found in the second hold as well. On the deck there were three truck frames and a large machine gun resting on an air vent. The forward mast no longer protrudes above the water as it did when I was last in Truk ten years ago. The double king post is covered with a rainbow of soft corals. The fore mast is also beautiful and has a dense reef of hard corals. Blue, red, and green fish swarm over the masts and make the shallow ascent a real treasure.
© Mark Etter Underwater Photography