Within a short boat drive from the quay in Salgar, in front of Cala Rafalet, we can reach the final resting place of the Santa Clara, a side trawler that was sunk in 1988 – Scroll down for the full story on her sinking.
Santa Clara is sitting perfectly upright, ready to sail, on a sandy bottom of 47m. However, contrary to the Junkers88, also lying at the same depth, the Santa Clara can be observed from a lesser depth, as the top of the wheelhouse is at 41m and the forward mast at 35m. There is no need to scrape the bottom on this dive.
However, it is a deep dive, beyond the recreational limits permitted by Spanish Law, hence a number of prerequisites have to be met by any diver wishing to dive the Santa Clara. Please check your own maximum depth certified. For safety and responsibility reasons, we can not make any exceptions.
Pre-Requisites by Law – You will have to be/present /possess:
- Min age: 18+
Certification that allows you to go deeper than 40m such as but not limited to:
- PADI Tec Rec 50
- CMAS 3*** + Nitrox
- FEDAS B3E + Nitrox
- BSAC Diveleader + Nitrox
- TDI Extended Range
- TSA Technical Deco Diver
If not by nature included in your Certification, you have to be EaN certified.
- Medical Certificate
- Dive Insurance
Pre-Requisites by Salgar Diving
Previous, recent experience diving 40m+ or alternatively have previously dived with us to a lesser depth.
This dive requires some planning and preparations on both sides, yours and ours. Upon arrival at the center, you will fill in a registration form, sign a disclaimer and check and confirm the %-age of O2 in your tank. This and other preparations take a little bit more time than usual, calculate around 3 hours from start to finish.
For this dive, there is a supplement of € 20,00 which covers the extra preparation time, reduced number of divers on the boat, longer turnaround time and the fill of EANx.
- 15-liter steel tank (single or double valve, DIN or INT)
- 25% Nitrox fill / EANx25
- 20,– supplement
- Anything not mentioned above
What you will need to bring
- Current diving certifications (50 metres)
- Nitrox Certification
- Medical Certificate
- Dive Insurance including hyperbaric treatment
- Dive Computer
Other important information
- To oblige current Spanish Law, we dive the Santa Clara with 15L tanks filled with 25% Nitrox ( PO2 @ 1,4 bar).
- You will need to bring your Computer, Torch, Knife, SMB.
- Let us know in advance what, if any, rental equipment you´ll need to hire.
- If you prefer to dive with 2 regulators, let us know and we´ll fill you a tank with a double valve.
- Safety is paramount. When we set off to do a deep dive, the sea conditions have to be such as to allow safe practice for the divers as well as the captain and the boat.
- During the dive, the only things we take from this dive are pictures and memories, the only thing we leave behind are bubbles.
A vessel of many names | Wreck Diving with S’Algar Diving, Menorca
The Santa Clara, formally named the “Ulia” (1947) and later the “Isla de Santa Clara” (1949), was built in 1947 in Bilbao, Spain. The vessel was a side trawler working out of Pasajes in northwestern Spain until 1982 when she changed owners and was renamed to Santa (1982).
Little is known of the vessel following this change, until the 20th of April 1983 when she suffered an engine failure 45 miles to the northeast of the Balearic island of Menorca during a severe storm. A rescue effort was reportedly held away for some time as she presumably dumped contraband tobacco overboard. She was later towed to Mahon harbour where she was immediately abandoned by her crew.
After remaining at the naval base in Mahon for some years, she was finally towed out to sea and scuttled by the Navy in July 1988. For 9 years, the Santa peacefully rested undisturbed, until she was discovered on the 10th of October 1997 by Oceanic Research, following many months of research into her history and possible location. The first exploratory dive was on the 22nd of October 1997.
The wreck of the Santa today lies 1.3 km off the south-east coast of Menorca, close to Salgar. Ironically, for all the years she spent fishing the Atlantic, she has now become a home and haven for myriad Mediterranean species, an artificial reef laying peacefully off Menorca.
Looks like she is still sailing
The ‘Santa’ is a steel vessel with a wooden deck and measured 25 metres in length, 5,3 metres in width, with a moulded depth of 3,15 metres. She lays at a depth of 47m, upright on a seabed of course sand into which she is partially buried, hence having a maximum depth of 49m. The top of the wheelhouse is at 41m and the forward mast at 35m.
Whilst her last years may remain a mystery for a very long time, confirmation that the ship’s data was correct came from the Lloyd’s Register of Shipping. A fax dated 20th of February 1999, said:- we have deleted the vessel from our publications as scuttled after being arrested for smuggling.
If you are into detailed information, have a look at the original report of the first dives conducted with the help of Salgar Diving: http://www.oceanic-research.com/ocean/scuba/santa.htm