Ossie, Dave and Mark visit Chuuk

Online Presentation – Chuuk Lagoon and Bikini Atoll

We are excited to announce that we will be joining the Southern Divers on what we hope, will be the last of the Saturday “no dive” lockdown presentations that we have enjoyed over the past year. The topic of this presentation is the historic shipwrecks of Chuuk Lagoon and Bikini Atoll.



We will be joined by Aron Arngrímsson founder and managing director of The Dirty Dozen, a compnay that does specialise in providing diving tours and expeditions to Chuuk and Bikini.
Whether you have visited these location before, are planning a future adventure or have a keen interest in their place in global history, then this is the presentation not to miss.
Aron Arngrimsson
Aron Arngrímsson

Aron began diving in 2005 and much of his career has been focused on seeking out some of the most remote, untouched parts of the world. He’s active within the diving community, making frequent appearances at dive shows, and is an Explorers Club member. Aron’s passion for diving also includes his experience as a technical dive instructor, underwater still photography, and videography. Aron is the true embodiment of an ‘adventure diver’.

The Scuba News

Chuuk Lagoon - Operation Hailstone

Rising up from the steep blue oceanic depths of the western Pacific Ocean, Chuuk State is one of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), an independent sovereign sovereign island nation formed in 1979 that consists of the four states of Yap State, Chuuk State, Pohnpei State and Kosrae State. Together the four states comprise some 607 islands scattered over some 1,700 miles just north of the equator to the north east of New Guinea.
Divers Haven Chuuk State
Truk Lagoon, or rather Chuuk Lagoon as it has been known since 1990 (or confusingly simply ‘Truk’), is a natural harbour ringed by a protective reef some 140 miles in circumference and 40 to 50 miles in diameter. It is one of the many lagoons and atolls that make up Chuuk State.
Chuuk State is the most populous state of the FSM with 50,000 inhabitants on 120 square kilometres (46 square miles). Chuuk Lagoon is where most people live. Weno Island in the Lagoon functions as state capital and is FSM’s biggest city.
A US navel assault force, known as Task Force 58 was put together on 16th February 1944 consisting of battleships, cruisers, nine aircraft carriers and 500 combat aircraft.
Diver Dave Blowing Bubbles on the Betty Bomber
Diver Dave taking controls of the Betty Bomber
The following day on 17th February 1944, Operation Hailstone began. Designed to destroy Japanese air power, Grumman F6F Hellcat fighters made sweeps of the lagoon at dawn. With uncanny parallels to the attack on Pearl Harbour, the Hellcat sweep was so swift and unexpected, the Japanese aircraft were caught by surprise and caught on the ground. Others scrambled, but with insufficient time they were shot down as they lifted off. Today, Japanese aircraft lay all around the lagoon, some in shallower water just metres from the airstrips.
Escorted by Hellcat fighters and throughout 17th and 18th February, US carriers now launched wave after wave of Douglas Dauntless dive-bombers, Curtiss Helldiver diver-bombers and Grumman Avenger torpedo-bombers to attack the now vulnerable Japanese shipping and land fortifications. In a one sided battle, more than 50 ships were sent to the bottom of the lagoon over these two days of Operation Hailstone.

Bikini Atoll - Operation Crossroads

Bikini Atoll is one of the 29 atolls and five islands that compose the Marshall Islands. These atolls of the Marshalls are scattered over 357,000 square miles of a lonely part of the world located north of the equator in the Pacific Ocean. They help define a geographic area referred to as Micronesia.
In February of 1946 Commodore Ben H. Wyatt, the military governor of the Marshalls, traveled to Bikini. On a Sunday after church, he assembled the Bikinians to ask if they would be willing to leave their atoll temporarily so that the United States could begin testing atomic bombs for “the good of mankind and to end all world wars.” King Juda, then the leader of the Bikinian people, stood up after much confused and sorrowful deliberation among his people, and announced, “We will go believing that everything is in the hands of God.”
The two atomic bomb blasts of Operation Crossroads were both about the size of the nuclear bomb dropped on Nagasaki, Japan. Eighteen tons of cinematography equipment and more than half of the world’s supply of motion picture film were on hand to record the Able and Baker detonations, and also the movement of the Bikinians from their atoll.

To Whet Your Appetite

As former cruise director on MV Trukmaster, Aron will take us on a historic and pictorial tour around the both the Chuuk and Bikini Atolls, explaining the history of the events that surround these locations. He will take you tough guided tours of these wonderful shipwrecks that are on the Bucket List of most divers. As expert in organising trips and tours to these more remote destinations of the world, Aron will be happy to answer your logistical question. We do not want to steal his thunder, but in the interim and to whet your appetite,:


How to Join?

This is an invitation only presentation. Please keep an eye out on the club’s Buddy mailing list for the Zoom meeting room ID and password to login nearer the date.


Hourly Schedule


10.15 - 10.30
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10.30 - 11.30
Chuuk Lagoon and Bikini Atoll
Presentation by Aron Arngrimsson
11.30 - 12.00
Questions to Aron, banter and close


Mar 27 2021


10:15 am - 12:00 pm



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