Baron Gautsch

baroon-gautsch 1"Baron Gautsch" was a passenger ship of the Austrian Lloyd, which carried passengers from 1908 to 1914 Dalmatia to Trieste and other ports on the northern Adriatic coast. With the outbreak of World War I, merchant ships of the Austrian-Hungarian Monarchy were drafted into military service. They were painted in camouflage colours and now served as an auxiliary cruiser, troop carriers or supply ships. Many officers were reservists and entered the service of the Navy. "Baron Gautsch" was affected by this. On four runs, it brought supplies and troops to Kotor, Montenegro. On all the return trips civilians were evacuated into the ports of the Northern Adriatic.

baron-gautschOn 13 August 1914, at 14:45 by local time "Baron Gautsch" ran into a minefield laid by Austro-Hungarian Navy and sank within 5 to 7 minutes, West-North out side off the island of Brijuni on the coast of Istria. The ship was due to arrive at Trieste at 6pm and on this voyage was under the command of Captain Paul Winter. The Gautsch steamed directly north course, which brought much closer to the coast of Istria than allowed by the instructions of the Navy. Either it was taken no consideration or it was not registered. By the new findings 320 people died. The minelayer "Basilisk" saw the passenger ship steaming directly into the danger zone and sent warning signs that were not noticed. The wreck of the ”Baron Gautsch” is at coordinates 44 ° 56 '25' N, 13 ° 34 '40' E in 28 to 40 meters depth. It lies on an sandy ground, and is overgrown by algae and sponges.

Today is considered one of the most popular diving destinations for wreck diving in the Northern Adriatic.

  • Depth - 40 m
  • Description - wreck diving from the boat
  • Categories - AOWD and more
  • Distance - 7 Nm
  • coordinates 44 ° 56 '25' N, 13 ° 34 '40' E


Hans Schmidt 1istraThere is not so much known about the sinking of the „Hans Schmidt", for a long time, this wreck was known as „Istria wreck“, because its true name was not known. Today „Hans Schmidt“ is one of the more popular wrecks for divers that come to Istria and dive in the sea near Pula, that once was the major harbour of the Austro-Hungarian Navy.

Hans schmidt 1„Hans Schmidt“ was built in 1920 in the Netherlands (under the name of the Albireo), but it carries the name of its last owner from Germany. This cargo steamship was ripped in two by an explosion when it struck an underwater anti-watercraft mine on 23 January 1943. On its fatal voyage, it was transporting armament and ammunition. On the seabed, the wreck is in two parts: a 10-m prow, and the rest of the wreck some 10 m away. Particularly interesting and of historical interest is the special type of anchor that has not been in production for more than 100 years.

Today is considered one of the favorite diving destinations for wreck divers in the Northern Adriatic.

  • Depth - 41 m
  • Description - wreck diving from the boat
  • Categories - AOWD and more
  • Distance - 9 Nm
  • coordinates - 44 ° 54 '00' N, 13 ° 35 '00' E


Varese wreckThe merchant steamship "Varese" was built at the Humphrys & Pearson Shipyard in Hull, United Kingdom in 1871 and was owned by Bailey & Leetham Shipping Company. In 1905 the ship has been sold to Filli Orland Shipping from La Spezia, Italy. On January 18th 1915 the vessel was on its way from Sfax, Tunesia to Venice, Italy. Becouse of stormy weather in the northen Adriatic, the captain decide to seek refuge in the port of Pula. Sailing to the harbor ship struck a mine that destroyed a prow. Only one crew member survived the explosion and sinking of the "Varese", even though two ships came to rescues, but they came too late.

vareseThe steamer was caught in an Austrian mine belt that had been placed to protect the main Austro-Hungarian naval port of Pula. This minefield also caused the sinking of the "Baron Gautsch", the torpedo boat TB 26 and another merchant steamer, the "Josephine", other smaller vessels also hit the mines and sunk around port of Pula. Many of the ships that hit the mines weren’t war ships. Also, the captains of the “Baron Gautsch” and the “Josephine” knew for the mines but hit them because of neglect or bad judgement. “Varese” sunk because it sailed to close to the west coast of Istria when it hit the mine. Italy was not at war with the Austro-Hungarian Empire at the time the "Varese" sunk, but it declared war only months later in May of 1915.

The wreck lies upright on the ground. The bow is broken off by the mine explosion, while the bridge and superstructure are in ruins. Sediments of mud cover the steam engine which is freely accessible and visible from above. The wreck is at present heavily overgrown with sponges, mussels and seaweed. It is possible to dive inside the wreck, which is quite wide and safe in the enter length. The Wreck is now on a depth of 33-41 meters.

Perfect adventure for perfect holiday

  • Depth - 41 m
  • Description - wreck diving from the boat
  • Categories - AOWD and more Distance - 13,5 Nm
  • Coordinates –


Maona Wreck„Maona“ a small cargo ship located at a depth of 30 – 35 m not far from the “Sv. Ivan na Pučini” lighthouse near Rovinj. The ship sinked becouse of stormy weather in mid 1960, caring sand as a cargo.

maonaWith its 40 m of length, this wreck presents a fairly straightforward dive in conditions of good visibility. Many lobsters and scorpion fish can be seen along the ship’s bottom and stern. Similar to any artificial structure, the wreck attracts large numbers of small fish, and its vicinity to the shore makes it a favourite dive site in the tourist season.

  • Depth - 32 m
  • Description - wreck diving from the boat
  • Categories - AOWD and more
  • Distance - 4 Nm
  • coordinates -

John Gilmore

John GilmoreVery little is known about the sinking of the "John Gilmore", not even the name of the ship that is one of the popular wrecks for divers that come to Istria and dive in the sea near Pula. "John Gilmore" wreck is one of fourteen shipwrecks including destroyers, merchant ships, minesweepers and submarines which divers can explore near Pula waiting to be explored from dive centres around nort Istra coast. During its history the ship is believed to have changed names and owners numerous times. It has therefore not yet been determined what the real name of the ship was when it sunk, sometime in the second half of the 19th century. The wreck has gotten its name from a metal plate that was found on it and which read "John Gilmore", but that is not the real name of the ship but an English engine producer of that time. However, that is the name under which the wreck is now known. Even though the wreck of this unfortunate merchant steam ship is thought to be one of the first ships that sunk at the beginning of World War I (it has also not yet been determined what caused the ship to sink).

john-gillmore„John Gilmore“ is one of the best preserved wrecks around. The thing that makes this wreck popular among divers is that diving is possible inside the well preserved wreck so many divers return to the site and bring fellow divers along. The visibility around the wreck and inside of it is usually very good and there is no strong current so diving is enjoyable around and inside this fifty meters long and 8 meters wide wreck.

  • Depth - 44 m
  • Description - wreck diving from the boat
  • Categories - AOWD and more
  • Distance - 12 Nm
  • coordinates -

Giuseppe Dezza

Giuseppe-dezza„Giuseppe Dezza“, was an italian War Ship built in 1913 and at first named „Pilade Bronzetti" because of a mutany on the ship. During World War I it was used as a minesweeper. Later on the ship was rebuilt and used as a destroyer. The ship was named after Giuseppe Dezza (1830 – 1898) who was an Italian general and patriot. In 1895 he was elected member of the Italian Parliament as deputy and, from 1889, senator. He died in Milan in 1898.

Giuseppedezza2During World War II the "Giuseppe Dezza" has been converted into a destroyer. In 1943 the ship was seized by the German Navy, like many other Italian ships after the capitulation of Italy. After it has been seized, the name of the ship was changed into „TA 35“. After little more than two months in German military service, the TA 35 was at one of her escorts trips on 17 August 1944 between Pula and Rovinj in Fažana channel and she stroke a mine. At coordinates 44 ° 53 'N / 13 ° 47 `E . The effect of the mine was devastating. The bow section was torn from the ship and the now two pieces of the TA 35 sank rapidly. Another version of the sinking of the ship speaks of a torpedo attack by Allied aircraft. However, according to Italian wreck research, the sinking was caused by a mine. The ship fell apart in two pieces after hitting the mine. The two parts of the ship are now about 50 meters apart. 71 German Navy soldiers died from the explosion or drowned.

Divers mainly dive at the stern part, being the more interesting part. Tt lies in a right position with a well noticeable stern gun and antiaircraft heavy machine-guns. The upper part is located 30mtrs deep with well preserved guns and covered with multi coloured seaweed and inhabited by various species of fish. The current at the location of the wreck, may sometimes cause bad visibility.

  • Depth - 36 m
  • Description - wreck diving from the boat
  • Categories - AOWD and more
  • Distance - 15 Nm
  • coordinates -

Contact - Diving Center

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