Prince of Astúrias shipwreck, in Ilhabela Island, São Paulo – Brazil

In the state of São PauloSão Sebastião channel separats the land from the famous Ilhabela Island. Considered the most beautiful part of northern coast of the state, the archipelago hides mysterious shipwrecks in its waters, 200 km far from the largest metropolis of Brazil, São Paulo city.

One of them sank in 1916, in the region seas. The “Príncipe das Astúrias” (Prince of Astúrias) is the largest shipwreck in Brazilian waters. Officially, only 143 people survived and 440 died. In extra-official, people said that about 1000 illegal immigrants were aboard, escaping from World War I.


At the time, the ship, due to bad weather and low visibility, lost its original route and was heading to the coast. When the captain, José Lotina, saw a ray, which showed how close the ship was of the land, immediately ordered all focuses on the reverse and the rudder was deflected. However, it was too late.

The ship hit violentaly on the rocks of Ponta do Boi, in São Sebastião Island and sinks in about 10 min, at 4h20min a.m.


The plankton, a microscopic organism that lives in cold water, turn the sea to dark and with poor visibility. The proximity to the channel of the São Sebastião Docks also implicates on it, since every boat that passes raises more mud from the seabed. Even so, it remains a good place to dive.

Find, from 10 to 50 meters deep, the wreck of the “Prince of Astúrias”, which are scattered in various parts. The diver must have ongoing technical divinguse of trimix and dry clothes, since the water is cold and the depth is great.

After 100 years, the ship turned into an artificial reef. It is common to find gardens of corals, algae and sponges in various shapes and colors, as well as squids, jellyfishes and different kinds of fishes.

Enjoy and discover Ilhabela, its waters, its shipwrecks, its charms!

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