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April 2017    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Vol. 32, No. 4   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Fancy Bikini?

from the April, 2017 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

Wreck divers have always been attracted to the Marshall Islands and the Bikini Atoll, where in 1946, President Truman ordered the testing of the atomic bomb. More than 80 surplus warships were anchored in the Bikini lagoon while atomic bomb Abel was dropped on them. But the effect was inconsequential. So the Navy detonated a second atomic bomb (Baker), which sank most of the vessels. Subsequently, the U.S. conducted more than 60 nuclear tests at Bikini, including one that vaporized an island.

Bikini Atoll is now the ships' graveyard, which most notably includes Yamamoto's flagship, the Nagato, the USS Arkansas, and the Lexington-class aircraft carrier USS CV-3 Saratoga (at 888 feet long, one of the largest diveable shipwrecks in the world).

With the demise of Bikini Atoll Divers, which was based in Majuro, it's been difficult for divers to visit Bikini, apart from infrequent trips led by Peter Mesley from Australia, but now the Truk Master promises to visit Bikini Atoll in 2018. If diving on famous WWII warships appeals to you, act fast, because availability will be limited, and it will be suitable only if you're happy to dive to 180 feet (55m). www.masterliveaboards.com

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