Genoa and Liguria have always had a very strong maritime vocation. And this, even from the time of the maritime republics, meant a very strong maritime fleet that charted the most important trade routes in the Mediterranean, but also warships that could strike fear into even Saracen pirate ships.
Successive conflicts have turned the Ligurian Sea into a huge theater for numerous marvelous wrecks that now, thanks to modern diving equipment and techniques, can be admired in their undoubted charm.
We then set out to discover a number of shipwrecks that represent a wealth of both historical and underwater riches.
The Steamship Genoa – wrecks in the Gulf of Tigullio
It was a hot day in July 1917, at the height of World War I, and the Genoa was carrying a load of cannons and other war material. Built in 1904 in England and with a gross tonnage of nearly 4,000 tons, it traveled without any escort ship, so it was almost child’s play for a German U-boat to torpedo it on its right flank. The steamer did not sink immediately, but managed to gain the bay of Paraggi where, thanks to the intervention of local fishermen, they managed to disembark the entire crew.
The ship’s agony lasted eight hours and then sank to the bottom of about 60 meters.
Sestri’s KT – the wreck of the early 20th century yacht
We move a little further to the Levant and learn about the KT in Sestri Levante.
Her first name was Eros and she was originally a yacht that belonged to French Baron Henri De Rotschild. It was commandeered in April 1939 by the French National Navy and renamed A.D.227.
However, on November 27, 1942, the Germans invaded Toulon and commandeered all ships docked in the port including the Eros. It was renamed UJ-2216 (submarine fighter) and assigned to the 22nd U-Jager flotilla based in Genoa.
On the evening of Dec. 14, 1944, returning from a mission to escort two minelayers, he was spotted by an airplane surveying the coast, reporting any movement of ships to Allied command. Hit by a torpedo in the stern, which detonated the cargo of embarked ammunition, she sank quickly.
It lay on a muddy seabed just over 50 meters deep.
Those who visit this wreck will be able to recognize the wartime forms of the ship, but also admire the classic lines of an early 20th century luxury yacht.
The wreck of the Pelagosa, in Genoa
Still on the topic of minelayers, it is possible to dive and visit the Pelagosa wreck in Genoa, not far from the Foce.
At the dawn of the armistice on September 8, he was cannonaded from the inland heights by German troops who had just conquered them.
It lies on a thirty-meter seabed and is suitable for different levels of diving for divers seeking strong emotions through unique colors and penetrations into the heart of the ship.
The Haven – the wreck of the Cypriot tanker off the coast of Arenzano
The Cypriot tanker Haven, with a tonnage of about 110,000 tons, was built at the shipyards in Cadiz, Spain, and launched in 1973. It was already featured in TV news during the Iran-Iraq war because it was hit in the Persian Gulf by a missile and then repaired in Singapore before being put back on the water.
On April 11, 1991 in front of the Genoa Multedo oil port, during a crude oil transfer operation from hold 1, forward, to hold 3, amidships, an explosion occurred on board.
Among the 36 crew members there were five deaths.
At some point the anchor chain broke and the Haven drifted, broke during towing operations, and sank just over a mile from shore off Arenzano.
It was an environmental disaster of enormous proportions, mitigated only by the timely intervention of tugs and barges that dumped water and solvent around the Haven.
The Haven is the largest visitable shipwreck in the Mediterranean. The ship lies on a sandy seabed at about 80 meters, while the aftcastle is about 35 meters deep. The dive, given the depths involved, is considered “challenging,” and is strongly discouraged for “inexperienced” divers.
Where to stay
Just under a kilometer from the city center and a hundred meters from Brignole train station, Urban Flora is the perfect place to visit Genoa and plan an underwater excursion.
With us you will experience a Scandinavian-modern look, where fresh and pleasant plants will make you enjoy as much relaxation as possible and for an unforgettable vacation. All rooms provide a private bathroom, smart TV and free Wi-Fi that will make you feel right at home. Book your room now or contact us to ask for more information.