As part of the 21st Wewak re-supply convoy, the Teshio Maru was attempting to escape Palau waters ahead of Operation DESECRATE ONE on March 30, 1944.
- Minimum/ Maximum Depth: Port side is at 45 feet deep; starboard side is at 75-80 feet
- Suitable for: Wreck Diver certification needed for wreck penetration. All divers should carefully monitor air consumption and bottom times.
- Location: 5 miles west of Koror
- Time/Distance from PDA: 15 minutes by speedboat
History of the Teshio Maru:
In the weeks previous he Teshio Maru was bombarded coming back from Wewak and again on this fated day the Teshio was heading north into the Toachel Mlengui Passage and was eventually strafed and crippled by USS Bunker Hill SBD’s (Navy single-engine planes).
The Teshio Maru was not directly hit, but bombs were exploding alongside the ship bent the prop shaft and put a hole in her side.
Teshio drifted down the main channel and was abandoned.
After being beached for a couple of years, it then slipped off the reef and sunk where it now lies on its starboard side facing southwest in 75 to 80 feet (23 to 24 meters) of water.
What can you expect to see when exploring the Teshio Maru?
After the war and while, the ship was still lying on the reef it was salvaged, but divers can still see a small gun and two anchors still in stow mounted on the bow.
The aftermath of a torpedo caused a hole in the hull just between the two forward holds for the curious divers to peek inside and explore. Adding to the splendor of this beautiful wreck are the multicolored corals, sponges and shells that blanket the structure.
Covering the wreck is a multitude of stony staghorn corals, colorful plate corals, and soft black and whip corals. Match these colorful corals with the plentitude of fish that surround the wreck, combine that with the light piercing through the 90 feet of visibility and most photographers agree the wreck is ripe for the perfect shot.
Words of Caution:
Although the Teshio Maru has come to rest lying on a coral slope with a sandy bottom, it is not advised to penetrate this wreck because the structures are very unstable.
And like most other ship and plane wrecks found in Palau waters live ammunition may still be present today.
Picking of live ammunition can be extremely dangerous due to their age and volatility; they can explode or leech unsafe products if disturbed.
Would you like to scuba dive the the Teshio Maru here in Palau with us?
Photo credit: Paul and Lissa Hogger