El Penon wreck

Near Santa Cruz de Tenerife, our dive location is in the beautiful ocean view town of Tabaiba. This dive spot has Tenerife’s arguably most famous wreck, El Penon.

This 27m Tug boat was sunk in 2006, for the purpose of becoming an artificial reef and attracting the beautiful marine life back, which it has exactly done. This dive is for more advanced divers as the wreck sits at 20m and descends down to 32m on its far side.
This artificial reef is an incredible example of how the aquatic eco-system can be positively affected by human interaction.

Since the sinking of El Penon, the diversity at the wreck has increased incredibly. You can find all different types of species, from the tiny and beautifully pink Flabellina’s hiding on the chains and pipe lines to the butterfly ray silently gliding past us. Complete diving in Tenerife with a visit to this beautiful wreck.


Wreck details:

Name: El Penon.

Type: Tugboat.

Length: 26.96 meter.

Width: 7.70 meter.

Tonnage: 164 gross tons and 284 tons of displacement. She had a 1,100-horsepower MTM engine with a speed of 11.2 knots.

Sinking date: 20 July 1971 and 11 July 2006.

Built at: Astilleros de Sevilla in 1958, it was a Dutch project ship and fourth in the so-called Ursus series.

Reason sinking: Scuttled as artificial reef.

Location: Tabaiba, Tenerife.

Depth: 20 till 32 meter.


  • In October 1958 CEPSA’s auxiliary fleet was increased with the Cepsa Segundo tug, later renamed in El Penon. She had 49 years of active service in the port of Santa Cruz.
  • The El Penon sank on the afternoon of 20 July 1971 to a depth of 55 meter when intervening in the undocking maneuver of the British ocean-liner Canberra. The 5 crew members were rescued and after the ship was salvaged it was overhauled at the shipyard in Sevilla, the El Penon returned to Tenerife in 1975.
  • The ocean-liner Canberra was used in the Falklands war as a hospital vessel and she appeared in the James Bond movie Diamonds are Forever.
  • The tug El Canarias tow on 11 July 2006 the El Penon to her final resting place off the coast of Tabaiba, she list approximate 38 degrees to starboard side.

Any correction or additional information about the El Penon wreck is more than welcome, please contact us. If you are interested in exploring this wreck in detail, take a look at our Wrecks Mapping Project page.

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