Oryoku Maru

Subic Bay, Luzon

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Dive Oryoku Maru


The Oryoku Maru was a Japanese ship sunk by United States Navy fighter planes during World War II.

Oryoku Maru left Manila on December 13, 1944, with moe than 1620, mostly American, prisoners of war (POWs) packed in the holds. US Navy planes from the USS Hornet attacked the unmarked ship, over the next two days, causing it to sink on December 15. About 280 died of suffocation aboard the ship or were killed or shot in the water as they tried to escape.

The survivors were loaded on the Japanese ship Enoura Maru. The Enoura Maru took a direct hit from a US Navy bomber killing or wounding about 500 men. The survivors were put aboard the Brazil Maru which arrived in Moji, Japan on January 29, 1945. Only 550 of the original 1620 were still alive.

The wreck is situated near the inner channel marker of Ilanin Bay. A small freighter, the El Capitan lies on its port side with its stern in 5 meters while its bow rests in 20 meters. Starting the dive from 18 meters there's a nice swim through the accommodation area and one can expect to encounter the average tropical fish species of the shallows in this area. Visibility is 5-20 meters depending on tide.

This tangled artificial reef is home for all species of shallow water marine life, clown fish, angel fish, spotted sweet lip, lobster and with regular schools of barracuda and talakitok swimming overhead.

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