Published On: Tue, Dec 4th, 2018

The MV Superior Producer: Curaçao’s Iconic Christmas Shipwreck

December Featured Dive Site by the Curaçao Dive Task Force

DSC_5621On September 30th, 1977, the MV Superior Producer arrived early in the morning and docked on the inside of the Curaçao Harbor (St. Annabaai) just past Queen Emma floating bridge. It was loaded with a Christmas cargo consisting of whiskey, bottles of perfume, clothing and bags for two local Curaçao Merchants looking to profit from the upcoming S6503319holiday season.

Video: https://youtu.be/vuW8sbaxeew

At 13:30, on this unknowingly fateful Thursday afternoon, the crew of nine men in total of Venezuelan and Colombian nationality cast off the lines. Immediately the ship started to heel dangerously. The Captain ordered a portion of the cargo not properly stowed away to be put overboard. This did not help. It was further complicated because the crew neglected to close the port holes, therefore the ship started taking on water. Even the efforts of the Curaçao Port Authority tugboat to pull the boat right again had no effect.

S6503304After several unsuccessful attempts, the Harbormaster, fearing for safety of the Crew and ultimately for the Harbor itself, decided to cease all rescue efforts. The tugboat dragged the MV Superior Producer about 500 meters (1,640ft) west outside the harbor entrance. At 16:30, three hours after cast-off, the MV Superior Producer disappeared below the waves and into the turquoise depths about 150 meters (500ft) from shore. During this same period, the Captain and Crew safely abandoned the ship and they were picked up by a boat from the Harbor Police.

Today, she sits quietly upright on her keel with her bow facing west in roughly 30m (100ft)S6503302 of water and about 150m (500ft) from the shoreline just west of the Curaçao Mega-pier. As an advanced shore or boat dive, the easiest approach is from the stern due to the possibility of the prevailing currents.

IMG_6146As you descend the fringing reef, an eerie dark shadow starts to appear. At first, you only see the stern, but then the entirety of this magnificent 50m (165ft) mass with it superstructure rising to within 21m (72ft) of the surface reveals itself, covered in a vast kaleidoscope of color. Now with roughly 30 years of growth, the MV Superior Producer is an amazing artificial reef site home to numerous colonies and different species of corals, sponges, gorgonians and sea whips. Because of this, IMG_0173it is a natural attraction for schools of predatory fish such as Tarpons, Barracudas, Snappers and Jacks.

With its wide-open cargo holds and accessible wheel house, the MV Superior Producer has become renowned as one of the Top Shipwrecks in the World rivaled only by the likes of the SS Thistlegorm in the Red Sea and the WWII wrecks in Palau.

Dive into history and “Feel it for yourself”! Discover the magnificence of this iconic shipwreck right now on Curacao!  For more information, contact a Curaçao Dive Task Force operator for Dive Travel Specials and to start your next Caribbean scuba diving adventure today!

Pictures and video courtesy of Turtle and Ray Productions HD, and the Curaçao Maritime Museum

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