Depth: 1 - 12m / 3 - 40ft
EANx Recommendation: 32%+ (Not necessary)
The Lusong Gun Boat, suspected to be one of very many “Shofu Maru’s” which were converted fishing trawlers often used as auxiliary submarine chasers, carrying on board depth charges, sonar equipment, and anything they needed to help fend of submariner attacks, which would prove to be quite detrimental to the Japanese Navy. The history of this specific ship is unknown as there were dozens of ships in the same fashion carrying out similar orders. This 30m long wreck is one of the most colourful ships in the bay as it only sits in 12m of water and actually breaching the surface slightly during low tides. The shallow depths allow for great light penetration offering a miraculous infrastructure for coral growth and marine habitation. The wreck is surrounded by incredibly vibrant coral reef and can explored either by snorkelling or by diving. The area just adjacent to this on the west side of Lusong Island has been aptly named “Coral Gardens” as it just that, an incredible reef wall maxing out around 16m and just riddled with incredible stag horn corals, gregorian fans, nudibranches, juvenile barracuda, turtles and more. It is extremely beautiful and gives a happy heart to any divers that are graced by its views.
Points of Interest:
Seeing as the wreck is quite small it gives a good opportunity to explore each nook and cranny. Along the wreck and the seafloor next to it we’ve spotted at least five different species of anemone fish, including the classic nemo (false clownfish). There is a small swim through you can do on the topside of the wreck. The occasional napoleon wrasse will wander by, as well as turtles and moray eels. Everything in coral gardens is beautiful, shallower there is more corals, deeper there can be more macro and sometimes turtles and rays.
Gunboat good for DSD’s and OW or higher, very shallow. Coral gardens recommend only OW or higher as there is nowhere for DSD’s to sit without breaking corals.
Due to the small nature of the ship, in all of the war records of the Japanese refugee fleet to Busuanga, this ship was never recorded as being there, the only records we have to prove that it happened at the same time is reports of Hellcat pilots saying the shot at smaller trawlers as well as the large ships.
Auxilary Submarine Chaser "CHa-42" (?)
(japanese Tokusetsu Kusen-tei)
Allied Type Designator: SCS
Displacement: 238 ts stdd
Length over all: 28.5 m
Draught: 2.35 m
Max. speed: 9.0 kts
Propulsion: 1 x 400 hp intermediate Diesel Engine
Armament: 4 x 2.5 cm type 96, 12 depth charges
Specifications courtesy of Peter Heimstaedt
Operator / Naval Division:
Imperial Japanese Navy (Nihon Kaigun)
(Naval Division unknown)
(Commision date unknown)
Sunk 24 Sep 1944 by U.S. carrier-based aircraft
Coron Bay, Busuanga/Palawan (Philippines)
Position (GPS): 11°58'22"N / 120°01'20"E