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The 42 Gun Portuguese warship, Santo Antonio de Tanna, sank in Mombasa harbor in 1697 below fort Jesus whilst trying to break the prolonged Omani Siege.

In the mid-sixties, the ship was relocated in 18 meters of water and partially excavated in 1970 by fort Jesus Museum curator, Dr. James Kirkman.


In 1977, The National Museums of Kenya and Texas Institute of Nautical Archaeology in coordination with the Kenya Navy and the local community jointly carried out the first of four seasons of excavation. Since then a team has assembled annually to continue the delicate task and recording of the ship’s remains and her cargo.


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  1. Nice history, I heard there is another one that got stuck 2021 and up to today it has never been taken back to waters do a story on what it takes to get a stuck ship back to waters

    1. Dear Robert, Yes, small boats and other water vessels have sunk in the past the the Indian Ocean some in Mombasa and others in Kwale. We will do more research and publish more articles on this subject matter.

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