Built in 1908, this Austrian passenger ship sank after hitting a mine in 1914 while carrying the families of Austrian officers on the Boka Kotorska – Mali Lošinj – Trieste route. Wanting to shorten the voyage, the ship attempted to pass through a minefield, nine nautical miles off of Rovinj, because, allegedly, a merchant ship had managed to do so shortly before. The Baron Gautsch touched a mine midship portside, and the ship quickly sank. Diving is allowed only through diving centres that hold a special permit of the Croatian Ministry of Culture, and for safety reasons, entry to the ship is allowed only through the first two decks.
text: Željko Kamerla in collaboration with the Istria diving centres