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TERUKUNI MARU

ALTERNATIVE NAME:  36214
DESCRIPTION + /

Remains of 1939 wreck of Japanese passenger liner and cargo vessel, which foundered approximately 3.7 miles NNE of the present-day Sunk Head Tower light, after striking a mine bound for London from Yokohama, last from Casablanca, with passengers and a general cargo including fish, ochre, coconuts and gum arabic. All the crew and passengers, including a passenger's dog, were rescued. An unusual stowaway, a falcon which had flown onto the ship off Beirut, was also rescued and placed in London Zoo.

This wreck is unusual in being a Japanese casualty of the Second World War prior to the attack on Pearl Harbour in 1941, and her loss resulted in the Japanese government lodging an official protest with both the British and German governments (though the loss was thought at the time to be attributable to a mine laid by a German U-boat). Constructed of steel in 1930, she was powered by diesel engines, and the site was dispersed in 1950. Contemporary recordings at the time of loss and the vessel's dispersal suggest that the vessel's position and identity have never been in doubt.

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