Monday, 6 August 2007

Worlds Best Dive Sites #5 - Chuuk Lagoon

Chuuk Lagoon, often known as Truk Lagoon, is widely accepted as being one of (if not the) worlds finest wreck dive site. Located in the Federal Republic of Micronesia, Chuuk Lagoon is the home to over 50 shipwrecks, which are scattered over the seabed on this beautiful, peaceful lagoon.

The large number of wreck dive sites at Chuuk Lagoon, are predominantly the result of Operation Hailstone, were the US navy launched a massive attack on the Japanese naval and airbase located at Truk. During the sustained attack, which lasted a total of two days, the US navy sank three Japanese light cruisers, six destroyers, three other warships and 32 merchant ships. As well as the large loss of ships, the Japanese also lost over 250 aircraft in the attack on Chuuk Lagoon, sinking only 25 US aircraft.

The result for scuba divers, is that Chuuk Lagoon now offers one of the largest wreck dive sites in the world, with not only a huge number of individual wrecks, but also the most diverse range to be found anywhere.

Today, scuba divers can visit these wrecks in Chuuk Lagoon, cruising over the decks which have nowadays been overtaken by coral and marine life. Each wreck has its own unique character and personality, ensuring that Chuuk Lagoon has something to offer every scuba diver.

Of all the wrecks in Chuuk Lagoon, the most popular by far is the wreck of the Fujikawa Maru. Initially built as a passenger/cargo carrier, the Fujikawa Maru was taken over by the Japanese navy in December 1940. She was sunk during Operation Hailstone by a single torpedo stike amidships.

Today, the Fujikawa Maru sits upright in the waters of Chuuk Lagoon, in shallow water. Still in relatively good condition, it is still possible to see the Japanese Zero fighters in the hold.

Overall, Chuuk Lagoon lives up to its billing as one of the worlds finest wreck diving sites, and is steadily becoming more popular with the diving masses. For those divers who are really seeking that more unique scuba diving holiday, Chuuk Lagoon certainly delivers for those who are willing to get there. Why not visit the Scubaworld web site for more information on scuba diving in Chuuk Lagoon.