Expeditions 2017

The busy year 2016 has gone by and it is past time we shared some plans for 2017. New year, new start, new plans.  Below we list our aimed international expeditions and projects, planned for the year 2017 in collaboration with the Underwater Research Center of Russian Geographical Society.

HMS Olympus (N 35)

Odin-class British submarine.

Lost: 8 May 1942

Depth: 117m

Location: Malta, Mediterranean

Date: January/February/March 2017

Aim: Underwater filming of the vessels of the WWII within the documentary project “Dark Waters”.

Brief historical note: Built by William Beardmore, an Odin-class submarine HMS Olympus was commissioned in 1930. Measurements: 86.5 in length, 6.1m wide, with a draft of 4.9 m., displacement of 1,781 submerged and 2,038 submerged.

After her service with the 4th Flotilla (1931- 1939) and with the 8th Flotilla (1939-1940), the Olympus was deployed to the Mediterranean.

HMS Olympus struck a mine after leaving the Grand Harbour of Malta on the 8th May 1942 on her way to Gibraltar. Only nine people of the submarine’s crew of 98 members survived the sinking.

HMS Olympus (N 35)

HMS Southwold (L 10)

Type II British Hunt-class destroyer

Lost: 24 March 1942

Depth: 72m

Location: Malta, Mediterranean

Date: January/February/March 2017

Aim: Underwater filming of the vessels of the WWII within the documentary project “Dark Waters”.

Brief historical note: Completed on the 9th October and commissioned for service. Nominated for service in the Mediterranean Sea. A large destroyer, 86m in length with the beam measuring 9.5 meters. The HMS Southwold was equipped with 3 x 2 barrel 4’ guns, anti-aircraft guns and anti-submarine depth charges. The crew consisted of 168 men.

On the 24th of March struck a mine while assisting a damaged merchant ship several miles off Malta. One officer and four ratings were killed by the explosion. The rest were saved by the HMS Dulverton.

Southwold

SS Viminale

Italian passenger/cargo ship.

Lost: 25 July 1943

Depth: 107m

Location: Italy, Sicily, the Strait of Messina, Mediterranean.

Date: May 2017

Aim: Underwater filming of the vessels of the WWII within the documentary project “Dark Waters”.

Brief historical note: An Italian transport vessel, the SS Viminale of 8657 tons was built in 1925 by Stabilimento Tecnico Triestino and served as a liner until the war broke out.

SS Viminale was attacked by a one-man submarine (or human torpedo) Chariot XVI, launched from the British submarine HMS Trooper, right in the port of Palermo on the dark night of 3d of January 1943. While being towed for repair, the former liner receives a direct hit from another British submarine. Later that year, on the 25th of July 1943, the poor vessel is once again torpedoed by American patrol boats; and this time the SS Viminale sinks.

viminale5

MV Valfiorita

Italian armed cargo ship.

Lost: July 1943

Depth: 70m

Location: Italy, Sicily, the Strait of Messina, Mediterranean.

Date: May 2017

Aim: Underwater filming of the vessels of the WWII within the documentary project “Dark Waters”.

Brief historical note: an armed, 100-metre-long cargo ship of 6600 tons that was carrying vehicles, ammunitions, German and Italian soldiers.

On the 8th of July 1943 a convoy formed by the MV Valfiorita and a torpedo boat, starts from Messina, having barely reached Cape Rasocolmo, the vessel receives a direct hit by two of the four torpedos launched from the British submarine HMS Ultor. A heavy fire breaks out on the vessel, which is stuffed with machinery and fuel. The torpedo boat tries to chase the submarine but misses it (having launched over thirty depth charges, neither of them getting even close to the submarine). On the 9th of July, having been swallowed by the fire for almost 14 hours the ship finally sinks. Most of the crew managed to escape the sinking ship.

11221731_10153200370674965_4810707074803809280_o

Produgol

Russian Imperial Navy steamship.

Lost: 1908

Location: Italy, Sicily, the Strait of Messina, Mediterranean.

Date: May/June 2017

Aim: Thorough search in the area where supposedly the wreck is resting. The ship sank as a result of one of the strongest earthquakes in Messina, Italy. After locating the wreck – filming for the “Dark Waters” documentary project.

Brief historical note: On the 28 of December 1908a very powerful earthquake almost completely demolished the town of Messina in Sicily. At that time several ships of the Russian Imperial Navy were nearby at the port Augusta, Sicily. Russian Imperial Navy officers and sailors were selflessly trying to save the wounded and trapped locals by giving First Aid and rescuing them from the rubble. One of the Russian ships – Produgol was being repaired in the docks of Messina and was lost with all hands right when the earthquake struck. To commemorate the heroic deeds of Russian sailors in Messina in 1908 a monument was installed in June 2012. The monument originally was designed in 1911 by an Italian sculptor but was only brought to life a hundred years after by Andrey Klykov.

Produgol

Roman Empire Antique wrecks

Location: Italy, Capri, Tyrrhenian Sea.

Date: June/July 2017

Aim: Exploration of the ancient wrecks of the Roman Empire for further creation of the 3D models.

Additional: The project is facilitated by the RAS foundation and Italian Cultural centers.

20160901_124937

RM Roma

Italian Vittorio-Veneto-class battleship

Lost: 9th September 1943

Location: Italy, Sardinia, and the Mediterranean Sea.

Date: June 2017

Aim: Deep underwater filming of the vessels of the WWII within the documentary project “Dark Waters”.

Brief historical note:  Commissioned into the Royal Navy on the 14th June 1942. Due to fuel shortage, together with her sister ships Vittorio Veneto and Littorio, they were used to bolster the anti-aircraft defenses.  Damaged twice in July 1943 at La Spezia. Having been repaired, she gets deployed as the flagship of Admiral Carlo Bergamini. Following the Italy’s armistice with Allies, the RM Roma was sailing to Malta to surrender.

Germany learns about the fleet’s defection and deploys Dornier Do-217-K2s, armed with remotely controlled bombs to stop the ships from the walk-out. Admiral Bergamini confused them with an air cover promised by the Allied Forces. After trailing the ships for a while the crafts deployed the bombs. One of the bombs damaged Roma’s after engine room and two boiler rooms which forced her to fall out of her group. Another bomb damaged the turrets and exploded the magazines. Having completely lost balance, the ship capsized, broke in two and sank. Out of 1948 men, only 596 survived the sinking.

Roma Spezia darsena Duca abruzzi mag 43

Danton

French semi-dreadnought-class battleship

Lost: 19th March 1917

Depth: 1000m

Location: Italy, Sardinia, Mediterranean Sea.

Date: June 2017

Aim: Deep underwater filming of the vessels of the WWI within the documentary project “Dark Waters”.

Brief historical note: Danton was the first ship equipped with turbine engines but outclassed before even being commissioned, by the HMS Dreadnought.  She was sent to honor the George V on his coronation in 1911. During WWI she served in the French Mediterranean Fleet as an escort ship, guarding convoys to North Africa and back.

Danton was torpedoed and sunk on the 19th March 1917 by German U-64, the crew of 296 men lost their lives.

001-battleship-danton

Svyatoj Evstaphiy,

The Battle of Cesme wreck site

Lost: 23 June 1770

Location: Turkey, Cesme, Aegean Sea.

Aim: Research and filming of the Cesme wrecks of the times of the Russian-Turkish war, more specifically – Svyatoj Evstaphiy – to further create a 3D model of it.

Brief historical note: The ship was built in 1763 in St. Petersburg, under the supervision of the shipwright Ulfov. Dimensions: length – 47.5m; width – 14.5m, depth – 5.8m.  She was armed with sixty-six 36- and 18-pound guns.

On the 23d of June 1770, the Russian squadron got into the battle with a Turkish fleet of 73 vessels. The flagship of Turkish Admiral caught fire and later passed it onto Svyatoj Evstaphiy and both ships exploded.

svyatoj evst

Som

Russian Imperial Navy submarine.

Lost: May 1916

Location: Sweden, Baltic Sea.

Aim: Deep-water exploration of the Som – Imperial mini-submarine wreck for further recovery for the preservation of the cultural heritage.

Brief historical note: Russian submarine, built in the USA following project Holland-VIIR of John Phillip Holland. Later she was used as a model for a series of submarines built in Russia within 1904-1906.  In July 1915 the Som, after service in Vladivostok and then in the Black Sea with another submarine of her class Shchuka, now gets transported to Petrograd (St. Petersburg). From there she makes it to her new base Mariehamn on Aland Islands (now Finland) under her own power. The Som would go on the watch early in the morning and return with the dark.

On the 10th of May 1916 at 4 o’clock in the morning, the Som was on her patrol in the Aland Sea, she collided into the Swedish steamer Ongermanland. The crew of 2 officers and 16 ratings was also gone with the Som.

SOM1

This post is also available in: Russian

TOP