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  • Writer's pictureShaun Yeo

Diving off Cape Sounion - Greece

Around 10 years ago, I did a motorbike tour of some European and North African countries, including Greece, which I never got to scuba dive in. With a few days off from work, I literally decided I was leaving to Greece from one day to the next. On a Wednesday I thought about doing this trip, and on the Thursday night, I was already sat down on a flight from Malaga to Athens!

I decided to stay in the capital of Greece; Athens. To reach the dive centre, which was at the coast, near the Temple of Poseidon, I hired a car.

As expected, the water was crystal clear and warm! I just love the Mediterranean Sea in summer! A small boat trip from the coast, took us to the Island of Patroklos, where most of the dives I did took place.

Throughout my dives there, I mainly focused on photographing Marine Life with my Macro Lens. But on one of the dives, I was taken to the remains of a wreck; the SS Oria.

The SS Oria was a Norwegian steamer that sank on 12 February 1944, causing the death of some 4,095 Italian prisoners of war, 21 Greeks and 15 Germans. It was one of the worst maritime disasters in history, and the worst maritime disaster caused by the sinking of a single ship in the Mediterranean Sea.

She had a larger death toll than that of the Titanic, in fact almost 3 times as more! But it was all kept quiet during Nazi Censorship, and still to this date, many aren't aware. In fact, I was not aware of this wreck and the disaster till I visited the Dive Centre in Greece this summer!

Unfortunately after the War, a lot of metal on the wreck was salvaged for scrap. Probably with the locals not even knowing the wreck was actually a huge war grave! What remains now, is scattered human bones and large crude oil barrels which was the ship’s cargo.

Whilst the ship was sinking, many Prisoners carved messages to their loved ones on metal flasks, some are still around on the sea bed. Others were picked up by fisherman, caught on nets, when it was not known there was a wreck or war grave here till recently... When I say whilst the ship was sinking, this is because all the prisoners were locked inside the ship's cargo holds and unfortunately were not able to come out as it went down!

My final dive was underneath a fish farm! What?! Well this was because the smell of sardines in these fish farms attract many large Tunas to the area. And indeed, we saw many Tuna’s circling under the nets from the fish farms!

Below is a link to small video I put together of some of my dives in Greece this summer:

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