A new book released recently documents hundreds of shipwrecks in Greek waters from 1830 to the mid of the 20th century.
Hellenic Navy Commander Panagiotis Tripontikias, the author of the book “Shipwrecks in the Greek Seas 1830-1951” says that Greece contains an incredible — and largely uncharted — wealth from countless shipwrecks which lie beneath its waters.
According to the Athens News Agency (AMNA), Tripontikias said that 1,061 ships had sunk in Greek waters just during World War II alone, while little has been done to properly record these wrecks. The naval commander noted that his book could serve as a resource for exploring this “sunken treasure.”
“Research shows some very good examples of how, for example, the US Navy manages its own shipwrecks. In the US, there are about 2,500 shipwrecks of warships alone, and 14,000 aircraft,” he said, noting that the US Navy has founded its own separate Naval History and Heritage command.
The US policy was that shipwrecks should be left undisturbed except for educational, historic and archaeological purposes, Tripontikias noted, protecting them from looters and smugglers.
In Greece, all shipwrecks which occurred over fifty years in the past have been designated as “historic and protected.” Diving down to view them has involved going through various legal procedures.
To fully exploit them for diving tourism, the naval commander added, it was necessary to authenticate and record these shipwrecks systematically. This had never happened in Greece, though some positive moves had been made in this direction with the involvement of Greek universities.
On the best locations for diving in Greece, Tripontikias advised that divers should first contact diving schools near to the area one plans to visit, noting that “all of them have something unique to show.”
The naval commander’s comprehensive book on Greek shipwrecks is available in electronic form for free at the following site: