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"Santa Fe" German Cargo Ship


Depth: 20 метров.
Date of sinking: 1943

  Captured by French warships during her voyage from South America to France on 3 October 1939 , she sailed under the French flag as the St. Andre until 1942. Following the German occupation of southern France she returned under former control in November and was recomissioned again as the Santa-Fe. In 1943 this transport was dispatched to the Black Sea.

  November 23, 1943 convoy Wotan sailed from Constantsa, Romania for the port of Sevastopol in Crimea. The Santa-Fe was escorted by destroyer Marasti, the Q-ship Lola, in company with the minelayer Admiral Murgescu and the German minesweepers R-165, R-197 and R-209. She had 12 StuG III assault guns, 2 Jagdpanzer tank destroyers and 1278 tons of different war material ( shells, air bombs, petrol in casks ) in her cargo. Early in the morning an explosion sounded near the fore hold. The transport caught fire. This was followed by a second explosion inside the Santa-Fe, which broke her into 2 pieces and sank within some minutes. 28 crew members were killed while 16 missing.

  Now this wreck is very spread out over the sea floor covering a vast area of 250-300 meters where cranked metal debris is scattered. The hull has been heavily damaged, protruding parts of frames and the ship's plating are scattered everywhere. The torn off stern is visible a bit aside and the remains of the assault guns can be seen. The bow, propellers and remnants of the cargo including materiel ( road wheels of the assault guns, tracks and casks ) have been preserved with little degradation.

  According to the data obtained from the Black Sea Fleet following the war the wreck was explored by Navy divers who conducted underwater blasting for demolition of explosives on   board. The reason of the ship's loss is forever hidden behind numerous explosions.

  The wreckage of the Santa-Fe has been a frequent target of amateur scuba divers. The ship stands 10 meters high in a depth of 20-21 meters below. Visibility is in the 2-10 meters range depending on water temperature.

  On images : one of the StuGs on the sea bottom.
"Santa Fe" German Cargo Ship
Santa Fe German Cargo Ship
"Santa Fe" German Cargo Ship
Santa Fe German Cargo Ship
"Santa Fe" German Cargo Ship
Santa Fe German Cargo Ship




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