H.P. Lovecraft, "The White Ship"
Another wreck being currently worked within the context of the Saronikos project, albeit with a lower priority, is the remains of what we think to be a small warship off Phleves island. The wreck was first dived by our team in 2007, only to be revisited for a single dive in 2011. What rests in the bottom is in a very poor condition, however from research done so far we speculate it is the Italian torpedo boat Curatatone mined in 1941.
The 'Saronikos wrecks' project relates to our ongoing effort to explore and document modern wrecks in the greater area of Saronikos gulf. While some of these wrecks remained undiscovered until today, a few have already been located and visited by other divers. The proximity to our main base location makes these wrecks suitable for isolated outings rather than multi-day expeditions. A further advantage is that weather conditions in the Saronikos Gulf are usually mild making the dives less demanding overall. In any case, it is a great way to keep the team sharp and busy in-between major projects.
The wreck of what we speculate to be the Italian torpedo boat Curtatone was visited for the first time in August 2007. We were able to make some preliminary observations just enough to realise we were dealing with the broken up remains of a small warship and most probably her aft part. Our team returned to it during the summer of 2011 in an effort to collect more information. Our conclusion about its identity is based on the general features of the wreck, as well as documentary research which suggests that the Curtatone was mined two nautical miles to the west of Phleves. That is the approximate location of the site.
The boat has been sent from Piraeus on the 20th of May 1941 to replace the Tp Sirio which was escorting a convoy to Crete but had suffered a mechanical breakdown. Shortly after leaving port, at around 13:50 hours Curtatone ran into a mine in the proximity of Phleves island and sunk. Apparently, she entered the Tourlos - Phleves minefield missing the navigable channel due to some error. Survivors were picked up by the Tp Sagittario which was at the area, as well as other vessels which were called in to assist. According to the Italian Oficial History, 94 of the crew were lost including the commander (Capitano di Corvetta Tassara) and 34 were saved.
Bibliography and Sources: