Austrian express steamboat near Pula
Data & Description
Local dive center:
Diving Center Petra
Last content update:
~35 minutes from Rovinj
Type of vessel:
Port of registry:
August 13th 1914
accumulated on a sea mine laid by its own merchant navy
7 nautical miles north of the Brionian Islands
Description dive spot:
The ship is named after Baron Paul Gautsch of Frankenthurn from Carinthia, minister of education at the end of the 19th century, later Minister President and Minister of the Interior of the k.u.k. Monarchy. The Baron Gautsch was one of three identical ships and carried out passenger rides between the seaside resorts of the Northern Adriatic and Trieste at the time of the accident.
Due to a navigation error Baron Gautsch ran into the newly laid minefield of his own navy, which was to serve the protection of the port of Pula. Two explosions tore the port side, the Baron Gautsch sank within 7 minutes. There was much speculation about the cause of the accident, as several warnings and hints not have been considered. When sinking, about 150 people were killed.
Today you can perform wonderful wreck dives at the Baron Gautsch. The wreck is considered the most beautiful of the Adriatic. The wreck is overgrown all over, lots of fish is around and in the wreck, you meet congers everywhere. Current is usually present, it can also be strong. The visibility varies, of course, due to the current from very good to rather moderate or bad. Much of the wooden construction is rotten, so divers can dive safely through the three decks. The lowest level is heavily silted and dark and is not necessarily worth it, especially not for air divers. The bow area and superstructures are also interesting. The propellers were recovered long ago, when you visit there you only find the big rudder. One of the chimneys is missing, the other is bent over and protrudes into the ship's interior. Even engine rooms and holds can be dived.
All in all, you should plan several dives on this wreck, due to the depth and the variety of things to discover there.
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