Kinugawa Maru

On the evening of the 15-16th November 1942 one the major naval battles of the Solomons was being conducted near Savo Island known as the “Barroom Brawl”. The Japanese Navy was to provide cover for a Transport convoy of some 7,000 troops. While the capital ships were involved in the melee off Savo, the transports slipped by un-noticed and commenced unloading troops and supplies.

The next morning, reconnaissance by Marine pilots discovered the Hirokawa, Kinugawa, Yamatsuki and Yamaura Marus close to shore. The ships came quickly under attack from the Marines' SBDs. As loss was inevitable the ships were when beached so that more supplies could be disgorged from their holds.

Also known as the Bonegi 2 it is only 100m up the beach from the Bonegi 1 which is the site of the Hirokawa Maru. The engine block protrudes from the water and stern lies in 26m. The Kinugawa was beached higher than the Hirokawa so most of the super structure is now gone as result of both salvage and 70 years of storm erosion and earthquake damage. There are still significant features clearly visible like the engine block. The site is covered in soft coral and anemones - it is a very pretty dive and will satisfy both wreck divers and non-wreck divers alike. The aft section of the engine room is in only 8 metres of water, and as light enters the area you will see why we call it the cathedral. You will also likely see lots of blue spotted rays on the sand, they're quite used to divers so please don’t accidentally sit on any.

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