According to the opinion of the Central Council of Modern Monuments of the Ministry of Culture, the organized and guided dives in 91 shipwrecks of ships and planes are released.
The wrecks are attributed to the diving community for recreational diving.
As stated by the Minister of Culture and Sport Lina Mendoni, “The depths of Greek seas is underwater ark of our history. The protected underwater areas, which are shipwrecks from World War II, narrate pages of modern Greek history.
At the same time, they show a strong growth potential, as underwater tours are a special, extremely interesting form of tourism that attracts high-level and income visitors. The opening of the underwater museum in Pigeon island of Alonissos, last August, and the international promotion which attracted, is proof of the strong international interest has been developed for diving tourism and the prospects it opens.
The combination of diving parks with the underwater areas that host and protect historic shipwrecks is a great advantage for Greece. We must make use of it, as it adds value to tourism and creates conditions for sustainable development of local communities. ”
The General Secretary of Culture and president of the Central Council of Modern Monuments G. Didaskalos stated that “the services of the Ministry of Culture and Sports work systematically for the documentation and release to the diving community and other important shipwrecks, creating a vast, visitable marine museum.”
According to the suggestion of the Ephorate of Marine Antiquities, the 91 shipwrecks of ships and planes, constitute the first group of shipwrecks, which will be attributed to the diving community for recreational diving, with specific conditions. The shipwrecks selected by the Ephorate of Marine Antiquities belong to metal ships and aircraft that sank from 1868 to 1970 – most of them from the period of World War II – and are located at depths ranging from 10 to 120 meters.
The extent of the documentation is not in all cases the same. These 91 shipwrecks include shipwrecks, which are already under intensive investigation by the Ephorate and shipwrecks for which there are detailed reports and in which extensive photographic scans and filming have taken place. Finally, for some shipwrecks, minimal documentation is available, mainly due to the great depth or turbidity conditions of the sea in the areas where they are located.
In order to complete the documentation of these wrecks, specific ways of action are foreseen in cooperation with the diving service providers, which will be included in the final text of the JMC, which will be signed by the Ministry of Culture and Sports with the Ministry of Shipping and Island Policy.
Released in 91 shipwrecks
In the submitted list, the shipwrecks of warships, planes and submarines that sank during the hostilities of World War I and World War II are also separated with special marking, which are treated as a special group, as their opening for diving signing of a relevant JMC of the Ministry of Culture and Sports with the Ministry of National Defense.
According to paragraph 2 of article 7 of Law 4688/2020, which stipulates that “When diving in shipwrecks, divers are prohibited from any intervention or alteration in shipwrecks, as well as the collection, collection or simple movement of any objects or the seabed around “ensures both the integrity of the wrecks themselves as monuments and the safety of diving visitors. In this sense, permitted recreational diving is a non-invasive activity that is limited to the water space that surrounds the monuments and does not interfere with the monuments, inside them.