If you ever went diving, then you know what beauty is hidden underwater. I personally enjoy that silence, just slowly paddling and watching the scenery hidden below the surface. You can see something new, over and over again. But, apart from the beautiful sea life, it is always interesting to discover shipwrecks lying on the sea bottom.

The mystery, the story of each sunken ship is seducing every diver. Diving and watching those wrecks is like walking through history. Each shipwreck has a story. I stumbled around a few. I’ll add more when I manage.

Baron Gautsch

One of the most popular wrecks is Baron Gautsch, locally known as “The Titanic of the Adriatic”. This giant is from Austria. It was built in 1908. and could transport 300 passengers. While travelling to Pula in 1914., it got a wrong turn and ended up in the minefield after which it sunk within six minutes. At least 177 people lost their lives.

The exact location of the shipwreck is near the coast of Rovinj, on the 22 to 41m depth. The bottom is sandy and the wreck lies upright.

Baron Gautsch has a status of underwater museum. Diving is possible only with an authorised diving centre. Video on Youtube of divers diving: Baron Gautsch – Titanic of the Adriatic Sea

baron gautsch
Image source: diving-rovinj.com

Kaiser Franz Josef

The famous cruiser Kaiser Franz Joseph sailed North and Baltic Seas, Crete, then through Lisbon and Asia for 27 years. The ship was Austro-Hungarian and participated in WWI. After the defeat and dissolution of Austro-Hungarian Empire it was given to the French. While armed with explosives, it sunk on a stormy night in 1919. near Prevlaka on the far south of Croatian coast. The cannons were removed in the last century.

The wreck is visible at 15m depth. Best way to explore it is from it’s mid section. Divers can explore the interior and the bow where the explosives still lie.

Kaiser Franz Josef wreck
Image source: epidaurum.com

Hans Schmidt (Istra)

The wreck’s name was unknown for a long time so it was just called Istria. It was built 1920. and called Albiero. After being sold to a new owner it got renamed. While transporting the weapons and ammunition, an explosion of underwater mine ripped it in two in 1943. near Pula.

It stands in right position on the seabed 10m away from second part of the ship. The interesting thing is that the ship’s anchor has great historical value because it was not in production for over a century. This wreck is under protection of Ministry of Culture so diving here is allowed only through diving centres with permission.

Hans Schmidt wreck
Image source: diving-shark.hr

Szent Istvan

SMS Szent Istvan was a Austro-Hungarian dreadnought from Tegetthoff class ship. It is a type of warship built in 1914. It was named after Hungary’s first Christian king Saint Stephen.

It’s first and last mission was 1918. It sunk because of torpedo hit by Italian battleship. The sinking lasted three hours and took 89 lives. This is a first warship whose sinking was filmed. You can see it here: Sinking of the Austrian Battleship SMS Szent István

The wreck was discovered in the mid 70s near island of Premuda. It is the largest sunken navy ship in the Adriatic (152m long and 28m wide). The wreck is lying upside down at 66m depth. It has been declared a protected site so casual diving is forbidden.

Two holes from a torpedo are visible on the side of the ship. Since the sinking was unexpected, the crew’s personal items as well as ship’s equipment remained and sunk. The expedition recovered various archaeological items which are now preserved in a museum in Pula. Those items are crystal glasses, admiral’s dishes, candle sticks, binoculars, personal items: wall clocks, lamps,…

Szent Istvan wreck
Image source: diving-shark.hr

Lina

Divers enjoy the most visiting this Adriatic wreck. This italian merchant ship sunk 1912. during strong winter storm near northern cape of Cres island.

Lina was built in 1879. in British town Newcastle. It is cargo ship which transported lumber.

Fishermen discovered the ship in the 60s. Their nets kept breaking because of the wreck. Now it is lying on a sandy and steep bottom with her bow pointing towards the shore. The front of the ship is at 20m deep and helm is 55m deep so it’s suitable for advanced divers.

Looking at a ship, even on the 20m deep, it is still impressive. You can see the front of the 70m long ship, it’s interior, cargo space covered with fishnets, main boiler and steam engine. On its chimney you can still see letter G. It stands for Adriatic company logo and family Granato. Enjoy the Youtube movie: Dive to the popular Lina wreck in Croatia

Lina wreck
Image source: scubacenter.de

Destroyer TA-36 (“Stella Polare”)

It was an Italian (named Stella Polare) and later German (named TA-36) destroyer which struck a mine at Brestova in 1944. It happened after only 8 months of sailing. The German commander gave the order to go through mine field. The mine exploded and split the ship in half. It sunk after 2 min and pulled 46 sailors with it. Today the wreck is at depth of 45-65m.

It is a warship, remnant from World War so it is under protection. Diving here is possible only with diving centres with permission. Check out the video made by Miloš Smola: Wreck – Stella Polare

Destroyer TA 36 Stella Polare wreck
Image source: paluba.info, diving-shark.hr

If these spots seem extreme to you and you just want to explore your surroundings, check out watersports and diving equipment at Sportsdirect.com. You’ll find various styles and quality equipment there.

Please, feel free to let me your likes. Do you enjoy diving and exploring sea bottoms or you stick with shallow waters? Did you visit any of these shipwrecks?

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