canary islands

Mysterious ship found sunken 30 meters beneath Tenerife’s coastline

The opportunity to explore a submerged ship is inherently captivating. Furthermore, if it's situated off the shores of Tenerife, the intrigue deepens, particularly considering that this particular wreck offers a dive of "moderate difficulty." But the question remains: how did this ship find its way to the depths off Tenerife's coast?

The narrative is indeed intriguing, as it thankfully lacks any connection to accidents or unfortunate incidents. This ship’s presence off the Tenerife coast is not a result of mishaps; rather, it was deliberately planned to enhance the marine ecosystem of the region. Such was the purpose behind the intentional sinking of El Peñón, the vessel’s name.

In the summer of 2006, this 35-meter-long ship was carefully sunk, tilted at a 30-degree angle to starboard, reaching a maximum depth of around 30 meters. Prior to its submersion, all potentially polluting elements, including paints, were removed, a measure taken to establish an artificial reef—a practice commonly embraced in various parts of the world to nurture marine life. Additionally, this initiative aimed to encourage diving activities within the area.


Interestingly, El Peñón, the chosen ship destined for the seabed off the Tenerife coast, had previously experienced a shipwreck. In the 1970s, it had sunk in the waters near Santa Cruz de Tenerife. On the afternoon of July 20, 1971, during its involvement in the undocking process of the British liner “Canberra,” the tug “CEPSA Segundo” met its demise due to an erroneous maneuver. The incident was witnessed by numerous tourists gathered on the port side at that moment.

The ship was subsequently salvaged and returned to service, resuming its duties in the Bay of Algeciras and Santa Cruz de Tenerife. Its ultimate sinking, this time for the explicit purpose of enhancing the seafloor, marked its conclusive chapter.

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