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Cuba's warm, waters are full of shipwrecks, but one of the most interesting dive sites lies in off the coast of Santiago de Cuba. Here divers can explore wrecks from naval battle of the Spanish-American War in 1898, led by Spanish Admiral Cervera.
Diving the sunken warships from the Battle of Santiago de Cuba, which met their doom during the Spanish-American War in 1898, is an excellent way to learn about this fascinating period in naval history whilst you explore these magnificent vessels up close.
During this time Cuba was on the verge of independence from Spanish rule, but the United States decided to send American warships in to help its people and destroy the Spanish navy. Led by Admiral Pascual Cervera, the Spanish fleet didn't stand a chance against the American navy but orders were given to fight the American ships blocking the entrance of Santiago de Cuba bay. They failed, of course, and hundreds were killed during this turbulent battle as American fleets quickly destroyed the old Spanish ships.
It's easy to imagine the dramatic battle scenes that took place here as you explore ships that have been wrecked and submerged for over 100 years. Today divers are fortunate enough to be able to explore six vessels in total, thanks to specialist scuba diving tours now available. These include the Spanish armoured cruisers "Cristobal Colon", "Almirante Oquendo" and "Vizcaya" and the destroyers "Furor" and "Pluton", as well as the US steamer "Merrimac", which the Americans scuttled to block the entrance of Santiago Harbour to trap the Spanish fleet and prevent them escaping.
This wreck diving experience is incredible and a must for thrill-seekers looking for something truly unique. The sunken remains are fortunately in very good condition.
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