Jake Seaplane in Palau is a must-visit dive site for scuba divers and snorkelers alike. Located just northwest of Palau Pacific Resort and a five-minute boat ride from most dive shops in Koror, this historic site is visible from the surface, making it an easy and popular spot for diving and snorkeling.

History of Jake Seaplane Palau

This seaplane is a well-preserved Aichi E13A-1 Japanese Navy Seaplane, also known as the JAKE. It was one of the few JAKEs on Palau and was spotted by a Palauan fisherman in 1994. He informed Mandy and Shallum Etpison, owners of Neco Marine dive shop. Together with Paul Tzimolis and Gerry Merphy from Skin Diver Magazine, they were the first to dive and photograph it.

The plane apparently crashed during takeoff or landing after the engines had stopped. Interestingly, the propellers are straight, which indicates that if the airplane hit the water while the engine was running, the props would have bent. On impact, the tail section, engine, and one of the pontoons broke away. The tail section and the missing pontoon can be found about 20 feet (6.1 meters) north of the plane. They are difficult to find because they are now covered with thick layers of coral and marine growth.

infographic of Jake Seaplane a dive site in Palau

Jake Seaplane Palau Specifications

The JAKE seaplane was powered by a Mitsubishi Kinsei 43 fourteen (14) cylinder air-cooled radial engine. It had a length of 37.875 feet (11.3 meters) and a wingspan of 47.6 feet (14.5 meters). The crew consisted of three members.

Location & Distance from Koror

Jake Seaplane is located 500 yards west of Meyuns Seaplane Ramp and is a five-minute boat ride from most dive shops in Koror.

Diving and Snorkeling at Jake Seaplane Palau

The dive site is suitable for novice divers, and visibility is usually excellent, ranging from 60-90 feet (20-30 m). It is recommended to dive this wreck during high tide for the best visibility. The wreck is resting in 45 feet (15 m) of water, and the plane is upright, with the starboard wing bent downward at a 30-degree angle and the engine broken off from the fuselage.

Reef Formation at Jake Seaplane Wreck Palau

The plane is resting on a large coral head in about 45 feet (15 m) of water. The reef slopes up from a 120-foot (40 m) sandy bottom, and divers can spot various coral formations such as Staghorn, Lettuce, Brain, and Table as well as many varieties of soft corals.

Marine Life & Underwater Photography

After visiting the seaplane, divers can explore the area and observe the abundant marine life. The reef is home to octopus, cuttlefish (Sepia sp.), nudibranchs, and colorful tropical fishes that abound among the corals. Due to the shallow depth and clarity of the water, the seaplane is a photographer's paradise.

Diving the Wreck of Jake Seaplane Palau

The JAKE seaplane wreck is a fascinating and historically significant site to explore. The wreck is relatively intact, and divers can still spot many artifacts inside and around the seaplane, such as radios, ammunition, and a small bomb inside the cockpit to the right of the aft seat. However, it is important to note that visitors should not take any artifacts. Live ammunition can be found on this dive site, as well as with all ship and plane wrecks in Palau waters. Therefore, it is essential to exercise caution and not pick up any ammunition. Due to the age of the bullets, bombs, and mortars, they are unstable and can explode.

Conclusions of Diving Jake Sea Plane Palau

In conclusion, the Jake Seaplane Palau is an easy and popular dive site suitable for all divers and snorkelers, including beginners. The wreck offers excellent visibility, fascinating history, and abundant marine life, making it a photographer's paradise. Visitors can explore the area and observe various coral formations and marine creatures such as octopus, cuttlefish, nudibranchs, and colorful tropical fishes. It is important to note that visitors should exercise caution and not pick up any artifacts or ammunition found on the site.

If you wish to explore the Jake Seaplane Palau and other popular dive sites in Palau, we offer Palau Best Price Dive Packages that you can book through our website. We look forward to welcoming you to Palau and helping you experience the beauty and excitement of diving in this amazing destination.