The name Minnewaska comes from the American Indian word meaning clear water. Minnewaska had made 66 voyages from London to New York between May 1909 and January 1915. She was requisitioned by the British Government for service in World War I as a troopship. She sailed the Avonmouth – Alexandria route during this period in her career. She was defensively armed with a gun mounted on her stern and made five voyages ferrying troops and artillery to the Dardanelles. She had some narrow escapes involving submarines. In 1916, she struck a mine in Souda Bay, Crete, in the Mediterranean sea. With 1,800 troops on board and badly damaged, she was beached and written off as a total loss.
The ship took on a rapidly increasing list and threatened to capsize after the explosion but Captain Gates, who ordered everyone into their life belts and had lifeboats and rafts at the ready, managed to keep control of the ship and decided to steam at full speed to the nearby shore. He successfully ran her aground 46 meters west of Cape Deutero at the entrance to Suda Bay where she came to rest. It took about two hours to evacuate the ship and the men were rescued without loss by the trawler Danestone, the drifters Principal, Trustful and Deveronside, and the destroyer HMS Grampus. Due to his prompt action, there was no loss of life from the 1800 soldiers and 200 sailors on board at the time. He was subsequently awarded the Order of the British Empire for his actions.
Average depth (m): 16
Maximum depth (m): 20
Level of diver training: All Levels
Access Easyness: Easy
Diving type: Dive training, Photography, Marin life, History
Dive time (min): 46-50
Diving period: Whole year
Visibility max: 10 – 30m
Water temperature: 14-26°C
Available from: Boat