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The Toa Maru wreck

Near the island of Ghizo in the northern part of the Solomon Islands is a remarkable wreck; the Toa Maru.
One of the relatively few Solomon Island wrecks which is wholly to be found in shallow water, this makes for a wonderful and relatively safe penetration dive for even quite inexperienced divers. The Tao Maru was attacked by American dive bombers and hit in the forward hold and engine room. Set afire and slowly sinking, the ship drifted for a day or so before finally settling on its side in its present location. We dived this ship often when on the "Eye" as it is such an attractive and relatively safe dive site, but yet still has all the hall-marks of an "adventure" dive.

Unfortunately like all sunken ships it is slowly decaying and between our visit in 1985 and again in 1986, deterioration in the form of collapsed internal bulkheads was all too evident.

Two divers approaching the wreck - click to enlarge!
Two divers approach the ship

exploring the wreck funnel - click to enlarge!
The funnel of the Toa Maru makes an interesting spot to explore.

The wreck from outside - click to enlarge!
A length wise shot of the exterior of the ship. Even though this is not an especially large ship, it is never the less impressive.

The engineroom of the wreck - click to enlarge!
The engine room shows all of the devastation of a direct bomb hit.

stirring up sediments in the wreck - click to enlarge!
Penetrating such wrecks is never totally without risk. This image shows how quickly sediment can be stirred up by a single flip of the fin.

The former promenade deck - click to enlarge!
Like many ships of the era there is a promenade deck running the length of the superstructure. This always provides a great photo-opp.

Peter Maynard
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