The Seian Maru was built in 1938 along with her sister ship the Hokuan Maru by ship builders Tama Zosensho K.K Tamano. She was built as a merchant cargo liner but her time in civilian service was short lived as the ship was requisitioned by the Imperial Japanese Navy in September 1940 and classified as an anti-submarine net layer and patrol boat. The vessel was then re-classified in August 1942 as an auxillary transport and then again in January 1943 as a emergency tanker.
Not much is known about the ships active service during World War 2, what we do know is that there were 3 ships with the same name used and sunk during the war. We can definitely confirm that she is indeed the Seian Maru as her name is still faintly visible on her bow.
The ship ran a ground outside Subic Bay on November 17th 1944 and met her eventual fate at the hands of US aircraft artillery on the 19th of November 1944. She now sits 150 metres from the USS New York between the Alava Pier and the Subic Bay International Airport. The vessel was believed to have been used as demolition practise by the US military which resulted in further localised damage. The wreck lies in 16-27 metres of water and is home to large Jack Fish, Barracouta and loads of other marine life.
Unfortunately, the Subic Bay Freeport Zone (SBMA) administration has closed the Seian Maru for scuba diving at all!
- Depth: 16-27m / 53-89ft
- Diver Level: Advanced Open Water
- Length – 106 metres
- Width – 15.24 metres
- Draught – 7 metres
- Displacement – 3712 tonnes
- Engine – 1 x Mitsui B & W diesel engine, 1 x propeller
- Power – 1400 horsepower
- Speed – 13 knots.