Greek island of Kea truly inspires divers from all over the world. No wonder: an illustrious HMHS Britannic is lying just a few miles offshore. But it is not the only Kean underwater treasure. Making an approach to Korissia port technical divers can spot another intriguing location – S/S Burdigala. And that’s exactly where U-Boat Malta expedition headed to after having finished things on Britannic.
Despite the fact that Burdigala had sunk just two miles from the location of Britannic’s tragedy site, it was not until 2007 that explorers spotted her with their sonars. A team of Greek geology students, led by Dr. Georgios Papafeodoru, initially investigated the seabed in the northwest waters of Kea.
Having found a huge object, they headed to the archives in an effort to identify the shipwreck. Still, the mission was organized under the working title “Unknown Shipwreck of Kea“. Immersions gave a chance to shed new light on the story and reveal the truth, drawing an obvious connection between the discovered wreck and ocean liner Burdigala, initially built as S/S Kaiser Friedrich, but later sold to a French company, which renamed the ship.
U-Boat Navigator team participated in the expedition devoted to the commemoration of S/S Burdigala memory right after having completed the Britannic mission. It is significant that stories of two ships were forever tied up by dramatic events of the World War I. November of 1916 turned into a tragedy for both of them. Burdigala was the first to strike a mine near the island of Kea. In just a week Britannic followed her sorrowful path, suffering a serious damage from the same mine field, laid by German sub U-73.
Technical divers paid a particular attention to the fishing nets that wrapped a huge area of the wreck. The video filmed during the mission will help to create a plan for the removal of the ropes in the future. “We didn’t just reach our initial goals, but contributed to other related projects and set objectives for further research. We are very pleased with the results of this expedition”, – Eugeny Tomashov, U-Boat Malta Ltd. director sums up.
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