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Diving Truk – Chuuk Lagoon | Micronesia
Nippo Maru
Nippo Maru

Nothing can quite match the experience of scuba diving on the superb wrecks in Truk Lagoon. After a definitive WWII aerial strike, forty or so ship and plane wrecks descended to the lagoon floor.

Each one is now a sumptuous artificial reef. There are the remains of tanks and jeeps, anti-aircraft guns and torpedo tubes and more ammunition than you care to think about. Broken aircraft and abandoned submarines are easy to explore both inside and out. And although some wrecks are beyond sport diving limits, many are easy dives.

There are more dives on the outer reefs, some of which are known for their shark populations but a combination of natural and man-made damage means that these reefs are really not worth diverting attention away from the engrossing wrecks.

TRUK LAGOON image gallery Scuba diving features
Top wreck dives

Fujikawa Maru
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Nippo Maru
The Emily

Seasons year round
Visibility 10 – 40 metres
Water temperature 28 – 30º C
Deco chambers Chuuk
Flights to Manila or Guam with a connection to Palau. The only airline is Continental.
Dive operators and accommodation There are two dive orientated hotels and currently two liveaboard boats.

Chuuk – Truk Lagoon – is not an easy destination to reach. From Europe it will take two days to get there and flights cost a lot more than many people would normally consider paying. However, this is unique diving laced with incredible history so it's worth the trek. Hop on a liveaboard to make the most of your time – and for even better value for money go to Yap or Palau at the same time.

On February 17, 1944 at 0530, Japanese radars detected an approaching aircraft squadron heading for Truk Lagoon. Operation Hailstone began and an estimated 450 American planes blitzed what the Japanese thought was an impenetrable haven.

They believed that Chuuk's completely enclosed lagoon, with so few entry and exit channels, would be easy to defend against a naval attack. However, this also made the lagoon a trap.

The American attack completely annihilated the Japanese Imperial Fleet stationed in Truk Lagoon. Decades later, the view of the perfectly calm lagoon makes it hard to imagine the devastation until, of course, you get below the water.

Generally, conditions in the lagoon are faultless with calm water, little or no current and good visibility. The only difficulty is the depths as some wrecks are beyond 30 metres and several are over 50 metres. Dives require careful planning and decompression time is a must. To balance that, a few plane wrecks sit in less than 20 metres. Also, there are far fewer artefacts than would expect. Sadly, many small items have been systematically stolen either by tourists who think taking a souvenir is clever or by locals who have tried to profit from selling artefacts.
This may well be a once in a lifetime destination but you really have to do it. We planned a three week long trip to do Palau, Yap and Truk together. Combining them wasn't easy as liveaboard schedules for Palau and Truk do not coordinate with each other or inbound flights.
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More diving in Micronesia:
Yap | Republic of Palau
Complete reports on this area are in
Diving the World.

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