Welcome to the Iro Wreck, a fascinating dive site located in the Urukthapel Anchorage, Southeast of Koror in Palau. This shipwreck is a must-visit for intermediate to advanced divers with previous wreck diving experience. Here's what you need to know before planning your dive at the Iro Wreck.

Location and Accessibility

The Iro Wreck is located just a 15-minute boat ride from most dive shops in Koror. This site is situated in the Urukthapel Anchorage, a perfect place to explore the underwater world. You can easily reach the dive site with the help of a local dive operator.

Diving Depth and Visibility

The Iro Wreck is resting upright in 120 feet (40 meters) of water. The deck is at 85 feet (28 m) and the top of the forward tower is at 25 feet (8 m). The visibility at this site can vary from 100 feet (30.4 meters) to 30 feet (10 meters). The forward half of the wreck usually offers better visibility than the aft section.

Level of Diving Experience

The Iro Wreck is suitable for intermediate to advanced divers with wreck diving experience. Penetrating the wreck requires extra care and monitoring of bottom time and air consumption. Therefore, it's essential to have proper training before exploring the inside of the Iro Wreck.

Marine Life

Although there are no coral formations around the wreck, you'll find various lagoon fishes, including different species of reef fish, lurking around the site.

infographic of the pro wreck a dive site in Palau

Diving Highlights

The Iro Wreck offers an unforgettable diving experience to explore history and see how nature has overtaken the ship over the years. Follow the mooring line to the forward tower and onto the wide deck. The bow, which is pointing east, has a large gun mounted on a circular platform, encrusted with corals and marine life. If you are interested in the bow damage, follow the starboard anchor chain down to 80 feet (24.4 meters) to see the torpedo damage, now covered with black coral growth. Swim up again to deck level and examine the deck, fuel pipes, hatches, and portholes. The bridge is open and easily accessible due to fire damage from bombing. Further down the deck, you will reach the engine room, where you can identify the boiler, catwalks, and railings. As you near the stern, you'll see another big loading tower and the identical aft gun to the bow gun.

Safety Precautions

As with all ship and plane wrecks in Palau waters, live ammunition can be found around the Iro Wreck. Do not pick up any ammunition, as it can be unstable and dangerous to handle.

Fascinating Facts

The Iro Wreck was a fleet oiler and supply ship built-in 1922 by the Osaka Iron Works. On March 22, 1944, the ship was torpedoed by the USS Tunny and later bombed during Operation DESECRATE ONE, causing a massive explosion in the engine room that sent it to the bottom. Interesting to note that the term MARU, usually added as a suffix to the name of a Japanese ship, is not added to the name of this ship. This is due to the military origin of the Iro, as the term Maru is used to identify civilian ships.

In summary, the Iro Wreck is a must-visit site for wreck diving enthusiasts who want to experience history and see how marine life has overtaken this once-mighty vessel. With proper training and precautions, exploring the inside of the wreck is an unforgettable experience. Book your dive today to explore this unique and exciting site in Palau!