Diving Tours of Sunken Spanish-American War Vessels in Cuban Waters

The state-run Cubatur tourism firm plans to open underwater excursions to view six sunken vessels wrecked in 1898 off Cuba’s shores during the Spanish-American War. As a recent article states, tourism is Cuba’s main earner, ahead of medical services. The island receives 2.4 million tourists annually.

From October 1, visitors will be able to dive around the wrecks of five Spanish warships—“Cristobal Colon,” “Almirante Oquendo,” “Vizcaya,”  “Furor,” and “Pluton”—which were trapped in Santiago bay in and sunk by US warships in a running naval battle on July 3, 1898. The sixth sunken vessel was the US steamer “Merrimac,” which the Americans scuttled at the mouth of the bay to block the escape of the Spanish fleet.

The Spanish suffered 371 dead, 151 wounded and 1,670 prisoners, including Spanish admiral Pascual Cervera, who called the mismatch “a sacrifice as sterile as it was useless.” The US side suffered one dead and two wounded.

For full article, see http://www.caribbeannetnews.com/news-23288–5-5–.html

Photo of the “Almirante Oquendo” from http://www.oz.net/~markhow/pre-dred/bits.htm

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