The Nippo Maru was originally built as the Ningpo in Sweden in 1937, and only managed a few years of service before she was seized by the Japanese when they invaded Hong Kong in 1941. The Japanese refitted her, renamed her the Nippo Maru, and used her for transporting war supplies around S.E. Asia.
She was sunk on 29 June 1944 after being torpedoed 2-3 times by the American submarine USS Flasher, with 87 of her 628 passengers killed in the attack. This despite traveling with a convoy bound from Manila to Singapore consisting of a full 22 cargo vessels and 6 escorts. The Notoro was also hit by several torpedos, but managed to remain afloat.
The Nippo Maru is a lot of fun to dive, with a ton of interesting things to see. Her holds are open and her cargo of trucks, jeeps, motorcycles, and live ammunition are all easily accessible. There are also a number of nice penetrations, and it is possible to swim through the entire wreck from one end to the other. Her large engine room is a fun dive in and of itself, and the large gun on her bow and her intact prop are also worth a visit. Despite having so much to offer, she is unfortunately rarely visited due to her somewhat remote location.
|Name:||Nippo Maru (orig Ningpo)|
|Cargo:||Ammunition, Vehicles, and other war supplies|
|Tonnage:||6,079 GT, 10,100 DWT|
|Max Speed:||15.5 knots|
|Launch Date:||Sep 1937|
|Sinking Date:||Jun 1944|
|Max Depth:||48m to bottom|
|Min Depth:||28m to port deck railing|
|Orientation:||Resting with a +45 degree list to starboard|