GPS: S 22° 31.053'
E 113° 39.779'
Location: Point Billie, Ningaloo Station
Site depth: 10 metres
Divable conditions: <1.0 metre swell
Visibilty: 5-15 metres
Vessel: Steam Powered freighter
Tons: 4,498 tons
Vessel length: 117 metres
Wreck event: Wrecked on reef 1931
The 117 metre long, 4498 ton steam ship went aground on the Ningaloo Reef while attempting to render assistance to the aground SS Shunsei Maru. The Chofuku Maru was carrying a cargo of wheat which began to swell when seawater entered the hold, the swollen wheat began buckling the hull plating and the ship was considered lost. After her crew were evacuated to the nearby whaling station, a fire broke out on board the Chofuku Maru. The vessel was left with its port side awash and while still smouldering it was stripped of anything that could be used to re-float the still salvageable Shunsei Maru.
A great dive only two miles offshore from Point Billie on Ningaloo Station, the wreck sits behind the outer breakers in 10 metres of water amongst numerous coral bommies. Towards the south west of the site, easily distinguishable is the rudder, steering quadrant and huge four bladed propellor with the shaft proceeding for 40 metres to the huge 3 cylinder triple expansion engine collapsed on its side. Nearby, its two large boilers sit to the north and the bow - still partially intact, laying on its starboard side further to the north east.
Chofuku Maru Site. Images captured by divingwawrecks.com processed by the Maritime Archaeology Association of Western Australia. maawa.net