If not for scuba diving in Hawaii I would have never become acquainted with Yap Island located in the Philippine Sea. This is where the YO-257 (YO = Yard Oiler) primarily operated carrying out her duties transporting water based asphalt used for building runways in the South Pacific.
Life on YO-257 was difficult. Because she was not equipped with navigation or radar, during a trip from Guam a plane was sent every afternoon to provide course corrections, keeping her on track to Yap. Lockers and beds for the crew came from mothballed ships. The only water carried onboard was for drinking so good old fashioned ingenuity crafted a bathing solution. The gun mount was sealed to collect rain and a shower head was installed so those seeking relief from the tropical heat could get a reprieve.
- Type: Oil Barge
- Length: 174 feet / 53 meters
- Beam: 33 feet / 10 meters
- Draft: 13 feet / 4 meters
- Propulsion: General Motors Diesel Engine
- Capacity: 200,000 gallons of fuel
- Armament two single 20mm AA Gun Mounts
Now this ship sits in 115 feet of water off the shore of Waikiki and is about a 15 minute boat ride from Kewalo Basin. Since being sunk by Atlantis Submarine company in 1989 it has become a fabulous reef teeming with sea life. Book your Scuba adventure today and check out this nice piece of history while enjoying the aquatic life found when diving in Hawaii.