diving San Andres

The wreck of Ribera el Miño, a paddle steamship made of steel was mistakenly named San Andres after some of the parts of the ballast recovered from the wreck. Presumably these lead sheets were cast in the Foundation of the San Andrés de Málaga, whose owner was related to one of the crew members. Ribera el Miño was build in England in 1853 and sank just three years after in a collision with English frigate HMS Minden. She sank in just few minutes taking with her 64 of the 85 passengers.

San Andres is usually dived by anchoring on the plateau in front of El Boquete at 4m. From there we can descent directly to 18 meters and take the direction S-SE (210) leaving the wall on our right shoulder and continuing to descend slowly. There is plenty to see on the way but it is advisable to dive directly to the wreck which can be found at the depth of 25-32m. Pay constant attention to the currents and prepare to alter your dive plan accordingly.

If the conditions permit and the visibility is good, the column structure of San Andres can be seen far away. The first part you actually come across is the destroyed bow with its large steel plates giving a refuge to morenas, congrios and spider crabs. Right behind the bow there is an apparent column formation which was once supporting the two 6m diameter paddle wheels. The columns are surrounded by schools of anthias and boga, and you have a great possibility to see meros or even a sunfish here. The wheels now lie on both sides of this underwater temple. One of the well preserved boilers can be found by further descending from the main wreck to the depth of 36m. The depth will soon eat up your bottom time and air so we can return the same way or directly to north and continue the dive following the wall inhabited by various marine species.

Alternatively this dive can be done starting a bit further up in the direction of Punta Marroqui descending directly behind San Andres to the depth of 38-40 meters. At this depth it is common to find langostas and lobsters hiding between the rocks. From there we continue directly to the boiler and further on to San Andres.


1 - El pecio del "San Andrés" por Salvador Magariño

2 - La leyenda del San Andres

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Sun fish

Nice article... have you actually ever seen a sun fish in San Andres?

sun fishless

Actually you caught me there! I've done about 10 dives to San Andres, but never seen one there, nor in Tarifa actually. But heard of many sightings... Sorry!

sun fish yes!

I can confirm there are sunfish to be seen at the San Andres; I've seen them a few times!

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