On July 19th, after doing final dives and finishing research works at the Kea Channel, U-Boat Navigator left towards Kefalonia. Once again we have passed through the Corinthian channel, but these time from the side of Aegean Sea going into the Ionic sea.
Kefalonia is the biggest among Ionic islands; it lies approximately 30 miles west from continental Greece, between the islands of Leukas and Zakynthos. This Island is known for its caves and underground lake with sea water – Melissani. The archaeological museum in the capital – Argostoli. Venetian buildings, monasteries and beaches, that are accessible only by walk or a boat.
Obviously our expedition came to Kefalonia not for its’ attractions. Wreck of “Perseus”, is the real research target. The British submarine HMS Perseus, Parthian class, which was constructed in 1929. First submarine class that was equipped with Mark VIII torpedoes. During World War II the submarine carried out missions in different regions, and in 1941 – it was in the Mediterranean Sea. Submarine had a lot of successful operations on its account and had sunken many ships. The Italian trade vessel Eridano, which was going without cover from Corfu to Patras, happened to be the latest victim. During the last patrol on 13th, on December 6, 1941, HMS Perseus hit a mine and sank. Only one of 61 persons on board survived the 31-year-old John Capes, who was registered as Leading Stoker. He escaped from the submarine using the Twill Trunk escape hatch in the engine room and wearing Davis Submerged Escape Apparatus. His successful escape is one of the bright chapters in “Perseus” history.
Fifty-six years later, in 1997, HMS Perseus was found by the Greek diver Kostas Thoctaride and his team at the depth of 52 metres.
Before we left Kea, Kostas visited U-Boat Navigator once again to give us an interview. You can read it here.