The Cristobal Colon is Bermuda’s largest known shipwreck. Built in 1923 for the Transatlantica Spanish Line, the Cristobal Colon was one of the most luxurious cruise ships of the time. She had three decks, was around 499 ft in length and displaced over 10,000 tons.
Although the Cristobal Colon usually operated between New York and Central America, it was on a journey between Cardiff, Wales and Vera Cruz, Mexico on 25 October 1936 that she came to grief. She was travelling at a speed of fifteen knots when, eight miles north of Bermuda at North Rock, she crashed into a coral reef. At the time of her wrecking she was carrying 160 crew members but no passengers and it is believed that she was en route to Mexico to collect arms for the Spanish Civil War. Her Captain, Crescencia Narvarro Delgado, blamed the accident on the fact that the North Rock Beacon was not working. It had been out of order since 18 October with repairs beign impeded by bad weather.
Today what’s left of the ship lies in fifty-five ft of water, split into two with half the wreck on one side of the reef and half on the other. The wreckage is scattered across an area of around 100,000 square ft.