She was built in 1938 as a passenger / cargo ferry, but was taken over by the Japanese navy and a 3 inch bow gun was fitted. She was used for transporting supplies and was bombed in Kwajalein. Her engine room was damaged and she had to be towed to Truk by the Momokawa Maru. Both ships anchored in the repair anchorage on their arrival and both were sunk in the Hailstone attacks. The Kansho Maru was hit by a torpedo and sank in 40 metres of water. She is upright, with a 20 degree list to port.
We did this as a dusk dive, and as we dropped down in daylight, there was a nice little turtle swimming along the wreck. We headed into the engine room, which is 3 storeys high with ladders leading you down. Following the guide we went through too quickly to see it as much as we wanted, something we corrected later in the week.
Swimming forwards we had a look at the bow gun before heading back to the 4 storey superstructure. We had a good look in a number of rooms including the radio room and the galley. We went up to the navigation deck where there is a well-preserved telegraph. We finished up our safety stops on the funnel, where we inadvertently picked up a spare diver from Fong’s group who had arrived 20 minutes after us. I suppose all divers look the same in the dark!
- Displacement: 4,861tons
- Length: 380 feet
- Beam: 52.5 feet
- Engine: 1 diesel engine
- Depth: 8 – 40 m.
- Depth: 35.1 m.
- Time: 54 minutes
- Gas: Air
Graphic courtesy of Captain Lance Higgs of S.S. Thorfinn.