Wreck dive sites

Here is a map including the wreck and major Palau reef dive sites. Wreck sites are marked in red, and reef dive sites in blue. You may recognize that most wreck sites are near our dive center, DayDream which is marked as a yellow star in Malakal island.

* Those are not everything. It will be updated to show more wrecks at all times.



Amatsu maru

* Length: 160 m / 526 ft
* Beam: 20 m / 65 ft
* Tons: 10,576 t
* Bottom depth: 40 m / 130 ft
* Boat ride from DayDream: 5 min
* Wreck damage level: very small

Expected total dive time:
* Recreational air diver: 25 to 30 min
* Recreational nitrox diver: 30 to 40 min
* Tec diver: ~ 60 min
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More about Aamatsu maru:
Amatsu maru was an oil tanker which is lying perfectly upright position. She is one of the biggest wreck in Palau. She has only small damage at the engine room and normally good visibility comparatively, no currents. Average depth will be around 30 m / 90 ft. Good site for a short dive for recreational divers, and sure for tec divers.

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Teshio maru

* Length: 98 m / 321 ft
* Beam: 13 m / 45 ft
* Tons: 2,828 t
* Bottom depth: 24 m / 80 ft
* From DayDream: 15 min
* Wreck damage level: middle

Expected total dive time:
* Recreational air diver: 30 to 40 min
* Recreational nitrox diver: 40 to 50 min
* Tec diver: no deco normally
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More about Teshio maru:
Teshio Maru, a standard Type 1C cargo ship that was built during 1942-1943. Her design is very similar to her sister ships Ryuko Maru and Raizan Maru who also sank in Palau. Teshio Maru arrived in Palau in the end of March. With the information of the large group of the American “Task Force 58”, the Japanese decided to make an attempt to leave Palau with a big number of ships and in that way escape the upcoming attack. If they could escape from Palau waters without being discovered by the Americans, they would head for Takao in Formosa. A convoy was formed, including Teshio Maru, Ryuko Maru, Raizan Maru, Kibi Maru, fleet oiler Akebono Maru, the destroyer Wakatake and some other ships. The convoy was given the name “PATA-07” and was supposed to leave on the evening of March 29, but they were delayed and could not departure until early morning the following day. What they did not know by then, was that the American task forces were already in the air, closing in on Palau. In front of the convoy was the destroyer “Wakatake” together with some smaller patrol boats. They did not get far until the American bomb-planes spotted the large convoy and started their attacks by bombing and strafing while some of their planes were dropping mines into channels, blocking the convoys escape route out of Palau.

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The ships in the “PATA-07” group now had no other choice then to turn around and try heading back to Koror for support. Kibi Maru got stuck on the reef while trying to navigate in the chaos of the attack and became an easy target. The Teshio Maru was under heavy attack from several American bombers, she got hit in one of the cargo holds, and also a fatal hit was made in the stern, damaging her steering, making her unable to navigate. Without any opportunity to steer the ship, Teshio drifted with the strong current until she landed on top of the reef were she stayed for some years before finally slipping of the reef and sinking down to the seabed. She came to final rest with her starboard side down.

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Today, Teshio Maru is definitely one of the most beautiful wrecks to dive, since the visibility is generally very good and she is also one of the shallowest wrecks in Palau with a maximum depth of 24 meters and her portside and top of bridge being at around 12 meters, making her bathing in sunlight throughout the year! This is a wreck you want to spend a lot of time to explore and taking pictures of. Due to the shallow average depth even diving with air will give you a lot of bottom dive, even though of course with nitrox you can stay even longer. With a wreck SP certification, you are gonna love penetrating this wreck since the ways and rooms to explore are plenty. Some highlights are the gun in the bow which will make a great wide-angle shot together with the bow structure, the bridge with a lot of holes allowing an easy access inside and also the mess of structure in the back of the ship where you can find a lot of interesting things looking around in the piles of metal.

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Nagisan maru

* Length: 110 m / 362 ft
* Beam: 15 m / 50 ft
* Tons: 4,391 t
* Bottom depth: 35 m / 115 ft
* From DayDream: 15 min
* Wreck damage level: middle

Expected total dive time:
* Recreational air diver: 25 to 30 min
* Recreational nitrox diver: 30 to 40 min
* Tec diver: ~ 60 min
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More about Nagisan maru:
Nagisan maru was middle size carge ship which is sinking upright position. She is in between Rock Islands, so water condition is always very calm. She has damage at its stern portion but others area in good condition. The king posts are nice photo motifs. Not quite deep but average depth will be 20 m / 65 ft plus, so nitrox is strongly recommended.

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Ryuko maru

* Length: 98 m / 321 ft
* Beam: 13 m / 45 ft
* Tons: 2,764 t
* Bottom depth: 37 m / 120 ft
* From DayDream: 5 min
* Wreck damage level: very small

Expected total dive time:
* Recreational air diver: 25 to 30 min
* Recreational nitrox diver: 30 to 40 min
* Tec diver: ~ 60 min
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More about Ryuko maru:
Ryuko maru was a middle size cargo steamer ship which is sinking upright position. She is close to the Ngargol island. The engine room destroyed, otherwise wreck is good condition. It is a good penetration dive site for both recreational and technical divers but nitrox is real recommended for recreational divers.

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Raizan maru

* Length: 98 m / 321 ft
* Beam: 13 m / 45 ft
* Tons: 2,828 t
* Bottom depth: 35 m / 115 ft
* From DayDream: 10 min
* Wreck damage level: hard

Expected total dive time:
* Recreational air diver: 25 to 30 min
* Recreational nitrox diver: 30 to 40 min
* Tec diver: ~ 60 min
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More about Raizan maru:
Raizan maru was a middle size cargo ship, same as Ryuko maru. The midship has hard damage for bombs also engine room. But you can see interesting parts of Raizen maru on the wreck. Not many divers dive in there and location is little distance from island, so it is seen for school of barracudas and/or batfish often.

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Urakami maru

* Length: 118 m / 387 ft
* Beam: 16 m / 52 ft
* Tons: 4,317 t
* Bottom depth: 35 m / 115 ft
* From DayDream: 5 min
* Wreck damage level: hard

Expected total dive time:
* Recreational air diver: 25 to 30 min
* Recreational nitrox diver: 30 to 40 min
* Tec diver: ~ 60 min
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More about Urakami maru:
Urakami maru was a salvage and repair ship which lists 60 degrees starboard side. She has been severely damaged at the midship and bow. You can find 140mm guns at stern and bow, also can see the repair machines in the hold. The average depth is around 30 m / 100 ft, so good for tec divers.

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Chuyo maru

* Length: 87 m / 285 ft
* Beam: 12 m / 40 ft
* Tons: 1,900 t
* Bottom depth: 35 m / 115 ft
* From DayDream: 5 min
* Wreck damage level: small

Expected total dive time:
* Recreational air diver: 25 to 30 min
* Recreational nitrox diver: 30 to 40 min
* Tec diver: ~ 60 min
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More about Chuyo maru:
Chuyo is one of the most well-preserved wrecks in Palau. Many wrecks were salvaged after the war and a lot of artifacts were removed. Some of the wrecks have also gained additional damage as an effect off the salvage operations were they sometimes had to blast holes in the ship to get out large equipment.
Chuyo Maru however, was not thought to be worth salvaging after the war. When the “Helmet Wreck” seemed to be missed by the salvagers due to an unknown location, Chuyos position was well known to salvagers but became forgotten until the end of the 80´s.

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Chuyo Maru is located very close to another famous wreck in Palau, the “Amatsu Maru”. They were anchored just about 500 meters apart. When the American airstrikes started, Amatsu Maru was one of their priority targets due to its size and importance for the Japanese Navy. Chuyo however, being a medium-sized coastal freighter could just watch from distance when the bombs started falling on Amatsu, doing their best to help protect Amatsu and scatter the American airstrikes with its AA gun mounted in the stern. Probably they realized that when Amatsu was sunk, Chuyo would be next in line. However they were still afloat on the end of the first day of the airstrikes, but got attacked again early in the morning on March 31 1944. Chuyo Maru was reported as sunk on April 1 around 20:00.

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Today Chuyo rests on the seabed in a perfectly upright position. She is still very intact and only has some fire damage around the bridge superstructure. Due to her excellent condition and not being salvaged after the war, Chuyo Maru is a very interesting dive experience. Her bridge area were the telegraph can be found resting on the floor structure of the navigation level, the stern structure containing wheelbarrow, kitchen and a very well intact engine room are some of the highlight areas of this ship.

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Recreational diving on Chuyo is possible both with and without nitrox. Diving on air is going to give you a short but yet interesting dive. With nitrox and Wreck SP certification, you will be able to fully enjoy this wreck, inside and out! Also good for technical diving, giving the tec diver some interesting penetration opportunities and a lot of time to explore the ship.
The Dive usually starts at the buoy attached to the king post, going down to 12 meter. From there you either- stay and explore the bridge structure or you follow the guideline attached to the kingpost, leading you backwards to the stern where the engine room and other interesting artifacts are located.
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Sata

* Length: 143 m / 471 ft
* Beam: 17 m / 58 ft
* Tons: 14,050 t
* Bottom depth: 38 m / 125 ft
* From DayDream: 15 min
* Wreck damage level: small

Expected total dive time:
* Recreational air diver: 25 to 30 min
* Recreational nitrox diver: 30 to 40 min
* Tec diver: ~ 60 min
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More about Sata:
Sata was a oil tanker Which is sinking starboard side up. Sata is sister ship of Iro. You can see its big propeller easily, and the gun and gun platforms which are on both of bow and stern, also you can access to bridge. Average depth is over 30 m / 90 ft, so must have nitrox and will be good for tec divers.

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Iro
Iro

* Length: 143 m / 471 ft
* Beam: 17 m / 58 ft
* Tons: 14,050 t
* Bottom depth: 40 m / 130 ft
* From DayDream: 15 min
* Wreck damage level: very small

Expected total dive time:
* Recreational air diver: 25 to 30 min
* Recreational nitrox diver: 30 to 40 min
* Tec diver: ~ 60 min
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More about Iro:
The Oil tanker Iro, probably one of the most dived wreck in Palau and a favorite dive site by many. Iro is definitely a world class wreck site and with its astonishing length of 143 meter (471 feet) there is a lot to explore and not possible to accomplish in one dive (unless diving technical but even then we strongly suggest more dives if you fully want to explore and enjoy this wreck).
Iro together with its sister ship Sata does not include the name “Maru” in their ship name as most of other wrecks in Palau. Most of ships sunken in Palau were originally civilian ship designed for transportation or likewise and later equipped with various guns, bombs and other war equipment and therefore given the name “Maru” in its title in connection to the original name. “Maru” in Japanese means “circle” referring to the fact that transportation ships usually moves in a circle like movement, returning to its port. Warships on the other hand, as we all know do not always return again after leaving port… Iro and Sata were originally built for warfare. In the 1920´s building programs ten Shiretoko- class fleet oilers were ordered by the Japanese Navy, including the Iro and Sata.



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Iro was travelling with a convoy of ships for Palau when they were spotted and surprised by US submarine “USS Tunny” who managed to hit the Iro with a torpedo in the bow, making a big hole through the front of the ship. However Iro was a well-constructed ship and managed to keep water from flooding the ship. Damaged but still afloat she made her way to Palau for repair.
Due to their highly explosive and flammable cargo, both Iro and Sata were anchored on a safe distance from the Malakal Harbor were a lot of other ships were anchored. Iro was still at anchor on March 31 1944 when the Americans attacked Palau during “Operation Desecrate One”. Today she rests at the very same location she was first anchored when arriving to Palau.
One hit on the Iro was reported from the “Bunker Hill dive bombers” However, the ship was still reported to be afloat on the day after the attack and another airstrike was being made. This time Iro took a fatal hit from a 1000 lb bomb, finding its way through a crew compartment into the engine room and with its delayed fuse causing a big explosion, setting a big part of the ship on fire.

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Today, Iro rest in a upright position on a bottom of 40 m/130 ft depth. There is a buoy attached to the very front of the ship were the dive usually begins. When descending down along the buoy-line the first thing that comes in sight is the bow of the ship together with a big gun mounted on top of the forecastle, now completely covered in beautiful corals. Diving depth starts around 18-20m/65ft at the bow and varies from 18m/65ft to 30m+/98ft+ depending on where you go. Continuing past the gun you will reach the main deck with a big open cargo hold in three levels that are mostly empty except for some sake bottles and rope. The forecastle has some doorways to the starboard side and there one can take a look inside and discover a huge bathtub. Between the forecastle and bridge superstructure you will see the kingpost rising like towards the surface, a truly impressive sight and your perfect wide angle wreck photo object!
The superstructure can be entered from starboard side and a swim through a corridor will take you through the superstructure while passing the crew compartments and out on the other side towards the stern of the ship. Here another mast rises from the deck and after passing you will reach the stern of Iro. The engine room is accessible through a hole in the roof and inside you can see a lot of damage caused by the 1000 lb bomb and the following fire. Catwalks and metal lies around everywhere in a tangled mess. Through a doorway on starboard side inside the engine room you can access another corridor with crew compartments and here one will find remains of beds and a smaller bathroom with toilet and bathtub still intact. The stern of Iro also contains a mounted gun.

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Iro is a wreck suitable for all skill levels. One can enjoy just cruising over main deck and around the big structures or for the one experienced in wreck penetration there is a lot of spaces that would be worth exploring. Nitrox will make your bottom time longer, giving you more time to explore but even on an air cylinder you will time to explore some of the most interesting parts of Iro. Technical divers, you are going to have a great time exploring this wreck inside and out and your extended bottom time is going to give you a lot of time to explore everything in a nice and slow pace but as mentioned before, you probably gonna want to do more dives at Iro to cover what you missed at the last dive.

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Bichu maru

* Length: 113 m / 367 ft
* Beam: 15 m / 52 ft
* Tons: 4,667 t
* Bottom depth: 40 m / 130 ft
* From DayDream: 15 min
* Wreck damage level: small

Expected total dive time:
* Recreational air diver: 25 to 30 min
* Recreational nitrox diver: 30 to 40 min
* Tec diver: ~ 60 min
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More about Bichu maru:
Bichu Maru was a Japanese Naval transporter Type 1B and was built in 1943 together with 16 other class 1B ships that year. As many other standard ships built after the war started, her design was simple since Japan had a need to build a large number of ships and they needed to be fast built to supply Japan´s strongholds in the Pacific.
On December 29 Bichu Maru was attacked and torpedoed by the American submarine “USS Silversides”, just outside New Guinea. Temporary repairs were made on Bichu and on the 10th of March she arrived to Palau together with the repair ship Akashi, to make her repairs more solid. On March 28, just two days before the start of “Operation Desecrate One” the repairs were completed and she was moved away to make space for other ships in need for repair. She was anchored in a small bay, not far from the tankers “Iro” and “Sata”. Bichu was anchored closed to the Island to make potential attacks from above more difficult.

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A total number of four US bomb planes were attacking Bichu when the strikes started, scoring nothing but misses. The shelter from the jungle-like rock islands seemed to really make it hard for the US planes. However, a second attack was being made and this time a hole was being blown up in one of the cargo hold below the surface. Since her cargo holds were empty, a big amount of water quickly filled up the holds, making her loose her buoyance more and more, finally sinking to rest on the seabed.

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Today Bichu Maru lies on her port –side in a bottom depth of 25-28 meters. She was for a long time identified as actually being the “Gozan Maru” but is today known as being the Bichu. Although her cargo holds are empty, exploring them inside is rewarding due to their large size and the great photo opportunities from penetrating light. Also the hole being blown up inside one of the holds can be seen swimming through the holds. The ship engine room can be entered through a hole in the roof or through a doorway on her starboard side. Inside the engine room is a big mess of catwalks and metal twisted around, making it hard to navigate inside. Entering the engine room is not recommended unless you have good experience for wreck penetration.
Moving past the engine room to the back of the mid-ship superstructure a kitchen can be seen through an open hole. Continuing towards the stern, two more cargo holds can be seen and explored, and then finally reaching the stern gun on top of the stern structure. Passing around the stern and swimming towards the bottom the huge propeller will come into vision, making a great opportunity for some nice photos!

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Bichu Maru is a great wreck dive for both recreational and technical divers. As most of wrecks in Palau, average depth is around 20 meters or more so use of Nitrox is a good option to get more exploring time! The starboard side and bottom of Bichu Maru is today covered in a lot of corals facing the surface, giving them a lot of sun and light, also making them great for photos!
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Kamikaze maru

* Length: 113 m / 369 ft
* Beam: 16 m / 54 ft
* Tons: 4,918 t
* Bottom depth: 35 m / 115 ft
* From DayDream: 15 min
* Wreck damage level: middle

Expected total dive time:
* Recreational air diver: 25 to 30 min
* Recreational nitrox diver: 30 to 40 min
* Tec diver: ~ 60 min
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More about Kamikaze maru:
Kamikaze maru was a torpedo transport and repair ship that why modified for it. You can see the torpedo bodies and ammo in the holds. It is not good visibility normally but there is considerable for fish life around this wreck. Average depth is over 25 m / 82 ft, so must have nitrox and will be good for tec divers.

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Helmet wreck (also known as the “Depth charge wreck”)

* Length: 60 m / 200 ft
* Beam: 7 m / 23 ft
* Tons: t
* Bottom depth: 30 m / 100 ft
* From DayDream: 2 min
* Wreck damage level: very small

Expected total dive time:
* Recreational air diver: 25 to 30 min
* Recreational nitrox diver: 30 to 40 min
* Tec diver: ~ 60 min
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More about Helmet:
Helmet wreck is definitely a “must do” wreck in Palau. The post war salvage operations did clearly miss this one and thanks to that, it is still very intact and contains a lot of interesting stuff to explore. The name “Helmet wreck” comes from the amount of Helmets that can be seen stacked together in the ship. Since identifying the ship has been without any success, the name is still used. At discovery in the 80´s wreck researcher also called it the “Depth charge wreck” referring to all the depth chargers lying around in the wreck holds.

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The dive depth varies from 15-35 meter with the shallowest parts at the stern and then getting deeper towards the bow. The holds are easy accessible through since they are all wide open. Inside the hold in the bow you can see engines for the Zeke fighter planes together with electronic equipment. The stern hold contains a big number of depth chargers. Other interesting things to see on the wreck are ammunition, gas masks, lanterns and old sake bottles. Remember to not touch anything since there still are explosive ammo and depth chargers lying around.

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This wreck is available for any kind of skill level but if you want more time to explore the wreck we strongly recommend using nitrox. For the more experienced wreck diver there are some interesting penetrating opportunities into the engine room and wheelhouse area.
This Japanese coaster of a wreck is still a bit of a mystery in Palau. Why is it not registered in any navy records? According to records it took 7 bombs and 4 torpedoes to sink the ship. The bomb finally making the fatal strike seems to be the one hitting the aft hold, ripping it wide open on its starboard side. It is quite remarkable that the huge amount of depth chargers did not go of during this strike.

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Hafa Adai

* Length: m / ft
* Beam: m / ft
* Tons: t
* Bottom depth: 20 m / 65 ft
* From DayDream: 5 min
* Wreck damage level: very small

Expected total dive time:
* Recreational air diver: 30 to 40 min
* Recreational nitrox diver: 40 to 50 min
* Tec diver: no deco normally
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More about Hafa Adai:
Hafa Adai was a small ferry wreck but also she has a cargo area. She is lying starboard side down little bit. It is very popular wreck dive site but hard to find the historical documents about this wreck. Anyway, it is quite good for recreational divers, and good training for wreck diver course.

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Wakatake maru

* Length: 85 m / 279 ft
* Beam: 10 m / 33 ft
* Tons: 1.100 t
* Bottom depth: 29 m / 95 ft
* From DayDream: 20 min
* Wreck damage level: large

Expected total dive time:
* Recreational air diver: 25 to 30 min
* Recreational nitrox diver: 30 to 40 min
* Tec diver: ~ 60 min
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More about Wakatake maru:
Wakatake maru was a destroyer which is very rare as Palau wreck. She had not small damage but It is adorned with many corals so you can see many kind of fish. Also some wreckages blown next to the shore of Babelthuap Island, it is good marker to find the location of Wakatake maru.

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LST-T1

* Length: 95 m / 311 ft
* Beam: 10 m / 33 ft
* Tons: 1,800 t
* Bottom depth: 29 m / 95 ft
* From DayDream: 10 min
* Wreck damage level: middle

Expected total dive time:
* Recreational air diver: 25 to 30 min
* Recreational nitrox diver: 30 to 40 min
* Tec diver: ~ 60 min
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More about LST-T1:
LST-T1 was transporting tanks and small boat. Bow side is upright but stern side is upside down, this means LST-T1 is laying twisted. So you can see the rudder and bare shaft, but propeller has removed. You can see the 22 mm gun and gun base on the wreck also.

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Jake seaplane

* Length: 12 m / 40 ft
* Beam: m / ft
* Tons: t
* Bottom depth: 12 m / 40 ft
* From DayDream: 15 min
* Wreck damage level: middle

Expected total dive time:
* Recreational air diver: 25 to 30 min
* Recreational nitrox diver: 25 to 30 min
* Tec diver: no deco dive
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More about Jake seaplane:
This is an unique wreck in Palau, a seaplane wreck. Normally visibility is good, and you will be able to see the whole of this plane from the surface. Jake seaplane was a 3 seat, single engine and twin float seaplane.

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DayDream Palau
Since 1994

contact:

email: info@palauwreck.com
phone: (680)488-3551
fax:(680)488-2199
Location: behind Koror state ranger office, Malakal Island