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The San Pablo sank in Puerto Limon, Costa Rica after being attacked by a German U-boat.

Name Dive Site:San Pablo or Russian Freighter
Depth: 52-82ft (16-25m)
Accessibility: Boat
Inserted/Added by: lars, © Author: Lars Hemel

Rated 4.7, 3 votes
GPS:N30°11.305', W87°13.095'

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One of the better known wrecks offshore Pensacola is the San Pablo at only nine miles southeast of Pensacola Beach. She is also known as the Russian Freighter but nobody actually knows how and when she obtained that name as there is no historic evidence what so ever that points in the direction of Russia. She was built in Belfast, Ireland in 1915 as a cargo steamer transporting refrigerator goods. She was 315 feet long, had three decks and was mainly shipping fruits throughout the Caribbean.


Its final days started when they were under attack by a U-boat in the channel of Yucatan. They were saved then because the submarine stopped its attack after reports that a strong air force was on the way. Later in the harbour of Puerto Limon, Costa Rica they were offloading the ship. Two torpedos from a German U-161 submarine struck the vessel amidships at its stern, which quickly filled the several compartments with water. One crewmember and 23 locals got killed on that tragic night on July 2, 1942. During World War II German torpedo boats liked disrupting merchandise of allied forces across the world and the San Pablo was just one of them.

On Jan 9, 1943 she was raised and transported for repairs to Tampa by a tugboat named Crusader. When she arrived in Tampa she couldn't be repaired anymore and they sank her as an artificial reef on September 25, 1943. A lot is unknown about how, why and when she was sunk. Some say that the Army sank her for target practises, while others think she was sunk while on tow to some other location. Whatever the reason the San Pablo is a great wreck for diving with a lot of aquatic life.

This wreckage is spread out across a wide area splintered in several pieces. The east side of the wreck is known because of its high relief and recognizable boilers. Its stern is still intact situated on its port side, while its bow lies in an upright position. It is also popular for fishermen as species such as groupers, snappers, flounders, cobia and other baitfish are numerous. Enjoy this spectacular dive site.

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- Bay Breeze Dive Center, 49 Gulf Breeze Pkwy, Gulf Breeze

Bay Breeze Dive Center

Bay Breeze Dive Center
 49 Gulf Breeze Pkwy
Gulf Breeze


Liveaboard, Charter

- Dr Dive, 600 S. Barracks St, Pensacola, FL

Dr Dive

Dr DIve
 600 S. Barracks St
Pensacola, FL

Dr Dive is a fast catamaram, six-pack charter to the Oriskany and over 100 dive sites near Pensacola Florida. We offer excellent customer service, a comfortable ride and an unforgettable dive experience.

Even though The USS Oriskany has become a most popular dive site, Pensacola, FL. has had numerous sites and wrecks for many years. The Gulf of Mexico, off Pensacola holds over 100 charted wrecks, artificial and natural reef sites. It is the closest approach of deep, clear water on the Florida Gulf Coast. Home to the USS Oriskany, the USS Massachusetts, planes, structures and natural bottom, this area has something for every diver's skill level. Reservations can be booked online at our website, . Come dive with us.
- Scuba Shack/Wet Dream Charters, Inc., 711 S. Palafox St., Pensacola

Scuba Shack/Wet Dream Charters, Inc.

Scuba Shack/Wet Dream
 711 S. Palafox St.

Full service dive shop - sales, rentals, repair service, air & nitrox fills, SSI dive classes of convenience (recreational sport, specialty classes, technical, kid


[Add Message]Messages from readers:

Name: jackson

I also dove this site on 9/26/08. The visibility was only 20 feet or so due to the recent storms. It was still a very interesting site with lots to see. The wreck is very spread out so you need to use caution in navigating, especially if you cross from side to side. It is recommended to use the boilers as a point of reference and only try to see one side of the ship per dive / tank. I'm told that not many can make a complete loop on one tank.

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