MDI Divers


A Japanese Seaplane Tender

118 m long located between Culion&Busuanga Islands, near Manglet Island. N 11*59. 218′, E 119*58. 417′ The IJN Akitsushima was a seaplane tender/carrier. The ship displaced 4724 tons, had a length of 118 meters and was 15.7 meters wide. The ship was powered by four diesel engines driving twin props, a total of 8000 shp, giving a maximum speed of 19 knots. Akitsushima was armed with 10 25 mm anti-aircraft guns, four five inch (50 cal) guns and carried one large Kanwanishi flying boat.

The Akitsushima is a very big warship lying on her port side. She was hit near the stern where the flying boat rested on the metal tracks and sank immediately. The ship was almost torn into two pieces. The flying boat disappeared. Only half of the metal on the starboard side and half of the metal on the bottom of the ship kept the stern from separating from the rest of the ship. The internal damage is impressive.

The crane used for lifting the seaplane out of the water is intact. The crane is lying on the sandy bottom and attracts schools of giant batfish and barracudas. One mounting of a 3-barreled AA (anti-aircraft) gun is still present at the front of the flying boat tracks. This is a fascinating dive where you can see giant groupers, schools of barracuda hiding under the bow, and yellow fin tuna.

Due to depth and metal hazards within, no swim through are allowed without wreck diver certification. Wreck divers can make an impressive penetration into the engine room to see the four engines. The gears and machinery for operating the crane are the main objects of interest for a penetration into the stern.

The following is credited to David Hendricks from Guam who is a great dive buddy as well as a great guy.

“Say, you are aware, aren’t you, of the Akitsushima wreck. That it was bombed twice in Truk, but survived? A great picture and write up are in Dan Bailey’s book, ‘WWII WRECKS OF THE KWAJALEIN AND TRUK LAGOONS’. Dive bombers from the carrier USS Enterprise dropped two 1000 pound / 454 kg bombs. One hit forward of the bridge and the other at the extreme stern at 0620 on 16 Feb 1944. The next day, it was hit again. One bomb hit just aft of amidships. An explosion resulted in a large fire. Akitsushima was reported to be an aft engine ship. Painted grey, it was originally mistaken to be a tanker. It must have been repaired and made it to Coron. Neat stuff.”

Japanese Navy Seaplane Tender
118m long, 16 wide, draught 6.5 m
Max depth: 38m / min 17m
Average 26m
GPS ca. N 11° 59,226´ / E 119° 58,412´
Bow heading 110° SE
For experienced divers
This dive is best made while breathing 31% or 32% Nitrox for a 50% increase in allowable bottom time.