The secrets that hide the Greek seas and shipwrecks direct them will have the opportunity from now on, to explore the diving community and visitors, Greeks and foreigners. This charming experience is offered through the Ministry of Culture and Sports and its initiative to highlight the huge underwater ark of our country, thus creating a huge underwater museum open to anyone who wants to dive and explore their treasures.
An important opening step towards this ambitious plan is the opinion of the Central Council of Modern Monuments, according to which a total of 91 shipwrecks of ships and planes will be released, which will now be open for organized recreational diving , with certain conditions of course. This first group of shipwrecks that opens its gates – more will follow – includes metal ships and aircraft that sank during the period 1868-1970, most of which date from the period of World War II and are in depth from 10 to 120 meters.
The Ephorate of Maritime Antiquities has even submitted a detailed list in which the shipwrecks are separated by warships, planes and submarines that sank during the First and Second World Wars . These are a special group and their opening requires a special Joint Ministerial Decision. Signing of a relevant JMC of the Ministry of Culture and Sports with the Ministry of National Defense.
It should be noted that some of the shipwrecks that are delivered are under investigation while in others detailed visual and cinematographic recordings have been made. However, there are those that are still relatively unknown since the conditions prevailing in the marine areas where they are located do not favor the collection of documentation material. The cooperation of the Ministries of Culture and Sports and Shipping with the approved diving service providers is foreseen for the investigation of these special cases .
In any case, however, their protection is guaranteed by law as any kind of interventions, alterations and transport of objects that are within it or in their wider sea area are strictly prohibited.
The Minister of Culture and Sports Lina Mendoni speaks about a new, important form of tourism, noting characteristically: “The seabed of the Greek seas is an underwater ark of our History. The protected underwater areas, where shipwrecks from World War II are located, tell pages of modern Greek history. At the same time, they show a strong growth potential, as underwater tours area special, extremely interesting form of tourism that attracts visitors of high level and income “.
He also points out that ” the inauguration of the underwater museum, on the islet of Peristera in Alonissos , last August, and the international promotion that it attracted, is the proof of the intense international interest that has developed for diving tourism and the prospects that open ” and ” The combination of diving parks with the underwater areas that host and protect historic shipwrecks is a great advantage for Greece that we have to take advantage of, as it adds value to tourism and creates conditions for sustainable development of local communities .”
Ionian Islands Region
- Italian gunboat PELLEGRINO MATTEUCCI.
It sank near the Akra Dukato of Lefkada, from a mine impact, on May 21, 1941. Maximum depth 95 meters. Warship.
- Submarine Perseus, (HMS Perseus – N36), Cephalonia
It sank on December 6, 1941, after hitting an Italian mine, off Cephalonia. Maximum depth 52 meters. Warship.
- Junkers Ju 88 in Corfu
Offshore, due to damage, possibility on June 26, 1941, open from Agios Stefanos NW Corfu. Maximum depth 26 meters. Warplane.
- SARA, Othonoi
It sank on February 2, 1925. Maximum depth 35 meters.
- SS ARDENA, Cephalonia
A passenger steamer sank in the Argostoli Strait on October 23, 1943, after being hit by a mine. Maximum depth 32 meters.
- Junkers Ju 88, Ithaca It
fell, at the SE end of Ithaca, near the cape of Ag. Ioannis. The shooting incident has not been identified by archival research. However, it dates between the years 1940-1944. It is preserved in three sections separated from each other at depths of 21, 23 and 35 meters.
- CARINTHIA V, Kefalonia
Yacht that sank in 1971 in the SE part of Kefalonia. Maximum depth 64 meters.
Source – .protothema.gr