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Florida Panhandle Shipwreck Trail

Florida Panhandle Shipwreck Trail

San Pablo

San Pablo

The story of San Pablo proves that fact is often stranger than fiction. Launched from Belfast, Ireland, in 1915, San Pablo started her life as a fruit transport running bananas from Central America to the United States. Early during World War II she was sunk by a U-boat in Costa Rica and refloated. In August of 1944 amid rampant rumors of foreign spies and espionage, San Pablo exploded off Pensacola’s coast, hence her local name “Russian Freighter.” Recently declassified documents reveal that San Pablo was actually destroyed in a top-secret U.S. military operation testing an experimental weapon system. American agents sank the freighter with a radio-controlled boat carrying over 3,000 lbs. of explosives. Her wreckage is scattered across the seafloor where divers can explore boilers, refrigeration coils, and huge sections of twisted metal, all home to an impressive array of marine life.

Date of Sinking Depth Length Beam Location
August 11, 1944 80 ft. 315 ft. 44 ft. 30° 11.333’ N
087° 13.057’ W
Date of Sinking August 11, 1944
Depth 80 ft.
Length 315 ft.
Beam 44 ft.
Location 30° 11.333’ N
087° 13.057’ W

Pensacola, FL

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“Take only pictures, leave only bubbles.”