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|Fate:||Sunk 1 January 1972|
The El Condesito is a vessel that sank on 1 January 1972 near Las Galletas on the south coast of Tenerife in the Canary Islands and is now a well known dive site. The ship was transporting cement for the construction of Los Cristianos.
The ship ran aground about 50 m (160 ft) from the Punta Rasca Lighthouse. When she sank she was carrying bags of cement that have now solidified into blocks. No lives were lost.
There are conflicting accounts of the last voyage. Some sources state that the vessel sank on 25 December 1971 whereas others claim 1 January 1972. Some sources suggest that the sinking was caused by the captain being drunk or that the crew went below deck to drink beer, to celebrate Christmas/New Year, leaving the vessel on autopilot. Other sources suggest the Condesito suffered engine trouble during a storm.
Recreational dive site
The ship now lies in around 18 m (59 ft) of water, with the deepest point at 21 m (69 ft) and its highest point at 6 m (20 ft). Visibility can be in excess of 35 m (115 ft).
Until recently the hull, engine room and cabin were intact with only the bow having been torn away. However, the wreck is increasingly unstable but can still be penetrated from many entry points. Access is easy from the forward hold swimming through the remains of the cargo. This dive is suitable for all levels of divers. All around the site are white solid "stones" that are the now solidified bags of cement.
The wreck is home to a family of trumpetfish and octopus, with the top of the wreck surrounded by sardines. Trumpetfish well over a metre in length are frequently found around the propeller. It is not uncommon to spot barracuda, red sea stars, rays and eels within the wreck.
There is a 36 m (118 ft) drop off nearby which is often dived by more experienced divers to see the famous black coral before ascending to the El Condesito to 'off gas'.