Deployment ID: ES0001
Deployment Date: 1943
Distance from Pensacola Pass: Approximately 10 miles.
Depth: 84 feet
Relief: 27 feet
Visibility: Up to 100 feet
Latitude: 30° 11.333' N Longitude: 87° 13.057' W
- The S.S. San Pablo was a 315 foot triple deck steel hull refrigerated cargo steamer built in Ireland in 1915. Owned by Central American merchants the S.S. San Pablo was a merchant ship that primarily transported fruits, between the Caribbean ports. In 1942, in an effort to disrupt commerce the German Navy targeted the S.S. San Pablo. Their first attempt to sink the vessel was in May of 1942 near the Yucatan Channel. The German submarine intercepted and fired, upon the vessel, which was able to out maneuver the submarine. Eventually the Florida Key West Command Center transmitted a bluff over radio waves that air support was on its way and the ruse worked. The submarine submerged and S.S. San Pablo was able to escape to safety. In July of that year the Germans made their second attempt to sink the S.S. San Pablo. A U-161 submarine was able to catch the vessel unloading cargo and quickly struck the vessel mid-ship with two torpedoes. The S.S. San Pablo sank quickly, killing all 23 men aboard. In 1943 the S.S. San Pablo was raised and then towed to Tampa to be repaired. The W.S.A. (War Shipping Administration) declared the S.S. San Pablo a complete loss. S.S. San Pablo was towed to her current location and deliberately sank in September of 1943. Locals refer to the ship as the Russian Freighter mostly, because during World War II their were rampant reports of Russian espionage and large scale Russian spy operations in the area. The locals at the time thought the ship was destroyed in a top secret mission, by the US Military.
- Today the wreck is mostly debris with only parts of the boilers and stern reaming partially intact. The wreckage attracts a large community of marine life to include; Sharks, Sting Rays, Turtles, Predatory fish and schools of bait-fish. The San Pablo attracts a wide array of people every year from divers spearfishing or taking photos to fishermen after their next huge catch.