The Sarawak Maru was a Japanese tanker built Yokohama in 1943 during the midst of the war.
She spent most of her service in S.E. Asia running between Manila, Singapore and Hong Kong, and had an eventful if brief service.
She was torpedoed in the bow in June 1944 by the USS Bang along with the Miri Maru, but managed to limp into Manila for repairs. In Jan 1945 she was again torpedoed, this time by the USS Besugo off the coast of Malaysia, and again managed to limp along without sinking. However, her respite was brief, and she struck a mine and sank off Singapore in March 1945.
We have dived the wreck a few times now and we are impressed with what we saw – despite being quite close to Singapore, visibility was fairly good at 6-10m. The wreck is siting upside down, the stern is complete but the bow is broken up but still easily recognizable in very accessible 23m deep water.
The starboard bow side is mostly damaged and can only be from the mine she stuck. There is loads of twisted steel on the sand, which could be part of the super structure or something this Maru was carrying.
There is some easy fun penetration, you can enter from the starboard bow and exit around midships on the port.
And she is stocked with plenty of fish life, including a massive and very inquisitive grouper that followed us quite closely during our entire dive, sometimes coming within half a meter or us or nearer.
|Tonnage:||5136 GT, 10,425 DWT|
|Max Speed:||11.5 knots|
|Launch Date:||Nov 1943|
|Sinking Date:||Mar 1945|
|Max Depth:||28m to bottom|
|Min Depth:||16m to top|
|Orientation:||resting on her starboard side, a bit broken up|