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Ocean Hunter III - Tauchplätze - Gozan Maru (Bicchu Maru)

Location: Urukthapel Anchorage, southeast of Koror.
Distance from Koror: 7 miles (11.3 kilometers) from Koror. 15-minute speedboat ride.
Level of Diving Experience: Intermediate to Advanced with Wreck Diver Certification mandatory if penetrating the wreck. This dive requires careful monitoring of bottom time and air consumption.
Diving Depth Summary: The ship is laying bow down on her port side. The bow is at 110 feet (33 meters); the stern at 85feet (25 meters) and the top of the starboard deck is at 60 feet (18 meters).
Visibility: Despite the fact that this wreck is in a sheltered location the visibility is only usually fair at this location, 15 to 45 (5 to 15 meters).
Currents: None.

General Information: Type: Naval Transport (October 1943) converted Aircraft Transport (1940).
Length: 305 feet (93 meters)
Beam: 43.7 feet (13.3 meters)
Tonnage: 3,213 tons
Built: 1919 by Ishikawajima SB Co. Ltd., Tokyo
This medium size freighter was bombed and sank during operation DESECRATE ONE, March 30-31, 1944. The Gozan Maru is an old-fashion island freighter; she has a plumb bow and a cruiser stern. The ship sustained considerable bomb damage to the starboard beam and it was reported that she was on fire before sinking. The Gozan Maru sank bow down coming to rest on her port side. The ship is not totally over on her port beam. The tall masts of the ship, despite her heavy list, extend to within 26 feet (8 meters) of the surface. In the early 1990’s the wreck sustained some damage to the bridge area. The wreck lays within a protected area of the harbor that offers diving in all weather conditions.

Reef Formation: Silt/Mud bottom

Marine life: Diverse marine growth of black corals, hard corals, anemones and oysters can be found throughout the bow and bridge areas.

Diving: Cargo holds are all empty but worth exploring. The empty and damaged cargo holds offer plenty of ambient light for photographic opportunities.

Fascinating Facts: There has been considerable debate as to the identity of this ship; originally she was mistaken for the Hokutai Maru. Measurements and other identifying structures of the ship rule out that she is the Hokutai Maru they do not totally confirm her to be the Gozan Maru, but until such time as she is officially identified she will be called the Gozan Maru.

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To explore Ocean Hunter III, see the menus at top and left. For small group diving in comfort, Ocean Hunter I can be found here. Or to explore Palau see the links below.