I’ve just published my latest dive tour video – the Japanese WWII transport ship Hanagawa Maru. She was sunk at Truk on 18 February 1944 by TBF torpedo bombers from the carrier USS Bunker Hill during the surprise 2-day 9-carrier raid by Task Force 58 codenamed Operation HAILSTONE
This should be fun on Thursday 19 November – a one hour chat with the legendary Strikey, a driving force in our tech diving industry for many years. 1030 in the UK.
Thanks to Ewan Rowell for the photo of the deck cargo Type 95 Ha Go tank on the foredeck of Japanese auxiliary San Francisco Maru, sunk by Task Force 58 aircraft at Truk in Feb 1944 during Operation Hailstone
It was a privilege to play a tiny part in the recent detailed survey of the British battleship HMS Royal Oak, torpedoed at the start of WWII with great loss in Scapa Flow by Gunter Prien in U-47.
Here is a link to a beautiful film about the survey released today – it is a fitting tribute to those that perished.
Lest we forget
I’ve uploaded a new wreck dive tour of the destroyer IJN Fumizuki – sunk at Truk during Operation HAILSTONE on 17/18 February 1944.
The report of the Explorers Club flagged expedition I led with Paul Haynes and Ben & Emily Wade to survey the wreck of this famous warship under MOD Licence on the 100th anniversary of its sinking is now publicly available in the downloads section of this site here:
The 2,781grt steam oiler Prudentia sank at Scapa Flow on 12 January 1916. She was lying alongside the oil storage vessel Hermione when, during a severe gale, she dragged her anchor. Her port shell plating was ruptured by Hermione’s anchor – she flooded and went to the bottom of the Flow. This wreck has, for fear of pollution, been off limits to divers since 1977 – however during the survey of HMS Vanguard, the survey team was granted rare access to inspect the wreck. Here’s the link to a short video of diving the wreck.
Series 2 – Pacific Shockwave. National Geographic Channel
It was a pleasure working with the Drain the Oceans team for their Series 2 episode – Pacific Shockwave, which aired last week. My role was dealing with the sinking of the British battleship HMS Prince of Wales and the battlecrusier Repulse to a massed attack by 85 Japanese bombers about 200 nm north of Singapore at the beginning of the Pacific war.
One of the Truk wrecks not a casualty of Task Force 58 fast carrier raid Operation Hailstone, in February 1944, is the large Japanese submarine I-169. She was present in Truk Lagoon loading stores on 4 April 1944 when an alarm for an imminent US air raid was issued. I-169 dived before all her deck hatches were closed. Her control room flooded and she sank to the bottom – with crew still alive inside sealed compartments. Despite salvage attempts over the coming days, they would all perish.
My new stock of Shipwrecks of Scapa Flow chart have arrived in time for Xmas. Beautiful A1 size for framing – I can sign it for you as well. If you love Scapa Flow and want one, Contact me through this site
Both the current print runs of these books have sold out. Reprints are underway for the Xmas market – but meantime if you need a copy desperately for an upcoming trip, Contact me as I keep a small stock of all my books. I can sign them for you.