Thursday, 19 May 2022

Search Underway For Five Members Of Italian Tugboat Crew Gone Missing In Shipwreck

ZAGREB, 19 May 2022 - A search is underway for five members of the crew of an Italian tugboat gone missing in a shipwreck that happened in the night between Wednesday and Thursday, and one person has been rescued, the Croatian Ministry of the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure said on Thursday.

The search for the five missing members of the Franco P tugboat crew is being coordinated by Italian and Croatian authorities for search and rescue operations at sea, and involved are also vessels that happened to be in the vicinity of the site of the shipwreck.

The shipwreck happened on the line of demarcation between the Italian and Croatian search and rescue regions of responsibility.

For more, check out our politics section.


Friday, 10 September 2021

Oldest and Best Preserved Shipwreck in Adriatic Discovered Near Ilovik

September the 10th, 2021 - Did you know that the best preserved shipwreck is from the 2nd century BC and was found in the waters surrounding Losinj near the island of Ilovik? This important archeological discovery was discovered at a depth of only two and a half metres, and previously undertaken research has confirmed that it is indeed the oldest ancient ship ever discovered in the Adriatic.

As Morski writes, this ancient wooden ship was built using the technique of "joining grooves and tabs", and in the process of its creation, the formwork was first constructed, and then the skeleton of the ship was placed onto it, all of it connected by wooden wedges.

It is merchant ship that sailed along an important maritime route, right next to the island of Ilovik in Croatia. The ship is between 20 and 25 metres long, and given that it sank into its watery grave at a depth of a mere two and a half metres, it is a real miracle that it remained so well hidden for centuries.

The ship was discovered quite by accident by Slovenian archaeologist Milan Eric while anchoring in this particular Ilovik bay. After that, the research started, which has been being conducted since 2018 by the Department of Underwater Archeology of the Croatian Restoration Institute, in cooperation with French colleagues from the University of Marseille (Aix-Marseille University, the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), and the Camille Jullian Centre), and the Losinj Museum. This is all being done with the logistical support of the Diving Centre of the Special Police of the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Croatia (MUP) and the Subseason Diving Centre.

The research procedure in the waters surrounding Ilovik was carried out by the most modern methods of documentation, using photogrammetric techniques. The movable archeological material found on the ancient sunken ship confirms the dating of the ship's wood, which undoubtedly belongs to the older horizon of ships sailing the Adriatic, and testifies to the importance of the Losinj archipelago in the context of ancient waterways.

The site of this ship near Ilovik is extremely significant because of the shipbuilding tradition to which we attribute it, its dating, the ship's cargo and the very shallow working conditions that both facilitate and complicate research and pose a challenge to preserve the site. Since it is a site on loose sand, the archeological excavation itself was difficult due to the constant backfilling of the site, so a dam was built in parallel with the excavation,'' they said from the Losinj Museum.

Upon completion of the research and the preparation of documentation, the remains of the ''Ilovik ship'' were covered with sand, geotextiles, then again with sand and with iron nets, which are connected by concrete blocks. The movable archeological finds discovered there were brought back up to the surface, added to the list of finds, and were stored in the premises of the Croatian Air Force in Split during the desalination process.

Upon the completion of the conservation and restoration works, the findings from the Ilovik wreck will be stored in the Losinj Museum.

For more, check out our lifestyle section.

Saturday, 27 June 2020

16th Century Wreck of a Dubrovnik Ship Found Near Genoa

June 27, 2020 - International media report on an exceptional find off the Italian coast, and one which should interest the readers in Croatia as well, as it is probably what's left of the old Dubrovnik ship Santo Spirito - Santa Maria di Loreto, which sank in 1579.

The remarkable find was first reported back in February when two commercial divers reported that they had found a wooden shipwreck while diving near Camogli, a fishing/tourist village located near Genoa. Edoardo Sbaraini and Gabriele Succi, the divers, encountered a set of wooden timbers at a depth of about 150 feet in the vicinity of Punta Chiappa, south of Camogli, and the local administration posted about the find on their Facebook page, reporting their discovery.

The remarkable accidental discovery garnered a lot of attention because it is well-known that the sea mirror of Punta Chiappa was the location of a 1579 shipwreck of the Santo Spirito - Santa Maria di Loreto, an amazing ship about which so much is still known - and now, it seems, its final resting place is known as well. 

In the late afternoon of October 29, 1579, an imposing merchant ship that tried to find shelter from a furious storm, smashed against the cliff in front of the Church of San Nicolò between Camogli and Punta Chiappa, about ten nautical miles east of Genoa. Santo Spirito - Santa Maria di Loreto was probably the largest ship that sailed the western Mediterranean in those times (a website dedicated to naval archaeology states that it could carry 1800 tonnes of weight). The ship's port was then Ragusa (modern day Dubrovnik) in the Ragusa Republic, a maritime republic which was (mostly) independent and carried the name from 1358 until 1808.

In late 16th century, the Republic was at its peak, with a large merchant navy and many clients. One of their biggest ships (and probably one of the biggest in the Mediterranean as well) was Santo Spirito, then captained by Antonio Iveglia Ohmuchievich, a member of a very rich and influential Ragusa family, who probably owned the boat as well (at least partially). Ivelja is still a common Dalmatian last name. Antonio probably took command of the ship from his brother Giorgio, who had likely tragically died that same year, 1579, in a naval battle which damaged the ship significantly. 

Santo Spirito left for its final voyage from Genoa in October 1579, and if you paid attention during your high-school history classes, you might be able to recall that the plague was raging in Genoa at the time, so the city was under strict quarantine. It carried a lot of cannons and munition but got caught in the storm which slammed it against the cliffs. The brave peasants of the village near the site braved both the storm and the potential risk of contracting the plague to save the sailors, and luckily there weren't any fatalities. It took the ship a few days to completely sink, and right away the operation to salvage as much of the cargo as possible was started, and they managed to save some of the bronze cannons and other munition.

And after that, the precise location of the wreck was somehow - lost. Many naval archaeologists tried locating it in the second half of the twentieth century, many expeditions went to the region and it's a miracle that nobody was able to find it until now, especially since there was a lot of precise data on where the ship sank. It took two commercial divers in 2020 (one might even go so far as to say something poetic about 2020 being a year of quarantine as well), doing something completely unrelated, to find the Dubrovnik ship many have been looking for, and a major part of Croatia's very rich naval tradition. 


Tuesday, 28 August 2018

Divers Find Mysterious Safe of Ancient Ship “Re d'Italia”

The safe could be hiding millions in gold.

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

100 Years on the Seabed: 'Cesare Rossarol', Sunk in Istrian Waters in WWI

It's been a century since the Italian navy ship hit a mine and sank near the small Istrian town of Ližnjan. A closer look to the shipwreck on April 25, 2018

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Exhibition of the Week: 'Smiling Sun', on the Luxury Cruise that Ended in Shipwreck

If tourism is indeed to be seen as the last existing utopia in our day and age, what happens when a tourist ship ends up sinking to the bottom of the sea?