Puerto Deseado

The Magallanes Shipwreck

The shipwreck site of the HMS Swift, a British sloop of war lost in the Southwestern Atlantic Ocean in 1770, will constitute the pilot site for Argentina. The wooden sailing vessel was nearly 30 m long and 8 m wide. The remains are located in the Ría Deseado (Deseado estuary), Santa Cruz Province, Argentina, a Provincial Natural Protected Area. At the time of the wreck, it had a crew of 91 men, and it sank after hitting a large rock hidden by the high tide. The shipwreck site was found in 1982 in a remarkable state of preservation, and ever since had several interventions. The CONICET-MC team began working on it in 1997. The archaeological remains include wood, ceramic, metal, and glass, as well as some stone artifacts. The HMS Swift is probably the most iconic underwater archaeological site in Argentina.