H.P. Lovecraft, "The White Ship"
Patris was a small steamer employed in Greek coastal passenger traffic. She sunk after being rammed by another passenger coaster the Moschanthi Togia in 1927. The position was obtained by fellow divers and we were invited to join them in diving her in May 2011, which was when the wreck was identified by our team. That cleared up some confusion as our colleagues believed that the Patris was another wreck a few miles away.
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.
During a series of dives in June 2011 we explored a target at a location close to Patroklos island. We suspect the wreck to belong to a small coastal steamer the Patris. She was sunk in 1927 following a collision with another steamer the Moschanthi Togia.
Patris was originally built in 1902 by Amblard of Dieppe as the Saint Remi. The ship measured 31.92 meters length overall and was of 150 gross registered tons. She was sold to Greek interests in 1910 and employed in various Greek coastal lines, being sold on over several times during her life. At the time of her loss she was charterered for a number of voyages between Piraeus and the island of Paros and Naxos. On 14 June 1927 Patris sailed from Piraeus carrying 18 crew and passengers, amongst them her charterers as well. At the early hours of the 15th and whilst passing southbound the island of Patroklos, she met on reciprocal courses with the steamers Moschanthi Togia and Tinos. Patris turned to port in order to avoid the northbound ships and as a result was rammed amidships her starboard side by the Moschanthi Togia. She went down quickly taking with her 10 lives.
The wreck which is in a rather good condition, considering its age, lies perfectly upright on a sandy bottom with her bow pointing to a SSE direction and at approximately 72 meters of water. Average depth at deck level is around 67 to 68 meters. A large gash can be seen amidships her starboard side, reportedly the location where she was rammed by the bow of the Moschanthi Togia.
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