Ship Cemetery in Truk Lagoon in 360 format, Micronesia. 8K underwater video

In the south-eastern part of the Pacific Ocean
lies the Caroline Islands archipelago. The most recognised place of this archipelago
is the Truk Lagoon. These waters are considered to be the biggest
«ship cemetery» in the world. During World War II the Truk islands were
the most powerful military base of the Japanese Imperial fleet. Experts compare this base with the American
Pearl-Harbor. In February 1944 during Operation «Hailstone»
the base was destroyed by the US Army. Two days of bombardment ended in the sinking
of 46 ships and the destruction of many airplanes. Our colleague Alexey Tishchenko has performed
dives here several times to create a 360°-video showing the remnants of different objects
that sank during this operation. Each one has its own story. Fujikawa Maru which 152-mm cannon is now covered
with corals was initially a cargo ship. Built in 1938 it was used as an armed aircraft
carrier since 1940. Fujikawa Maru was damaged in the end of 1943
and was taken to the Truk Lagoon for overhauling, where it later sank. Diving experts consider Fujikawa Maru to be
one of the world’s most interesting diving places in the world. The fate of the auxiliary cruiser Kiyosumi
Maru is identical to the first vessel. Being a passenger liner before war in 1941
it was converted for wartime needs. Kiyosumi Maru was damaged even earlier, in
January 1944. She was tugged to the Truk Islands for further
overhauling, but didn’t manage to serve again. Now her shipwreck is scattered on the depth
of 12-33 meters. The well-preserved lower hold and the engine room
leave a lasting impression. Webs of pipes, many ladders and stairs, as
well as engine remains look fantastic in the ray of our flashlight. The blue light that comes from above through
the cracks in the hull makes the scenery more unreal. A similar fate befell the Yamagiri Maru, a
former merchant ship. Her ruined hold still contains artillery shells. Out of all the ships of the lagoon Fujikawa
Maru is the most photogenic one. When you swim through the long still remaining
halls, the beauty of the underwater scenery astonishes you: white and pink corals, different
kinds of sea sponges completely cover every bit of the ships’ surface. Heian Maru was constructed in 1929 as an ocean
liner cruising to the USA. During the war it was converted into a submarine
tender. It took two days for the US Army to destroy
this ship: the damage of the first day was repaired, but on the following day Heian Maru
was on fire and sank. Heian Maru is the biggest ship that sunk in
the Lagoon. She was 155-meters long. Nowadays it is one of the most popular vessels
for divers. Lying from 12 to 33 meters deep in the clear
waters it is accessible for divers with even medium experience. Cannons, artillery shells and many other interesting
objects are seen distinctly on the deck and holds of the ship. They say that the Japanese tried to evacuate the golds that they have found on the island on one of the sunken ships. It still hasn’t been found yet. Neither we had much luck in that, but that was not a pity, because taking any artifacts may result in confiscations, large fines and jail time. And, finally, a new 360°-video by AirPano
also demonstrates one aircraft – Betty Bomber. The crash of this aeroplane is a mystery – it
is possible that it had fell into the ocean on its own, just before Operation Hailstone
began. Unlike the ships, this airplane had aluminium
coating. That’s why there are no corals on its surface,
allowing to examine it in details. Parts of the airplane and its engines are
scattered around in several hundreds of meters. We thank you for diving with AirPano into
the world’s biggest ship cemetery that is now a home for many inhabitants of the sea.

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