Greek divers discover lost Italian WW2 submarine

Greek divers have located the wreckage of an Italian submarine, 80 years after it was sunk by Allied Forces in the Aegean Sea during World War II.

The renowned Greek explorer and maritime expert Kostas Thoctarides explained via a Facebook post that the Jantina wreck was discovered 103 metres below the surface, off the island of Mykonos.

The Jantina had 48 sailors on board when it sank on July 5, 1941, after being attacked by the British submarine HMS Torbay. According to wreck database WreckSite, Jantina had been sailing on the surface while travelling from Leros to Brindisi for repairs, when HMS Torbay fired six torpedoes at her, with Jantina being struck by two. She sank quickly, leaving just six survivors who managed to swim to shore on nearby Delos. 

The Jantina was sunk by a British submarine in July 1941

Thoctarides and his team used a remotely operated underwater vehicle, the ROV Super Achilles, to carry out an inspection of the wreckage. This week, MIN reported the latest depth comparison animation of the world’s shipwrecks by MetaBallStudios.

The 102 mm naval deck cannon, seen in front of the turret. Image courtesy of Kostas Thoctarides

“The submarine lies at the bottom on the left side, and the tower and the 102 mm deck gun are distinguished. Periscopes are down and the turret manhole is open. Part of the sail has been cut off from the rest of the submarine. The wreck and the surrounding area was treated with respect as a wet grave,” Thoctarides wrote on Facebook

Ventilation holes can be seen near the deck. Image courtesy of Kostas Thoctarides

In an interview with Reuters, Thoctarides said: “Naval history is like a puzzle, and this is part of that puzzle. The confrontation of two submarines is a rare naval event.”

Jantina’s identity was verified using records from Italy’s Naval History Office. 

Jantina lies on the seabed, with the turret and the deck cannon visible. Image courtesy of Kostas Thoctarides
The submarine was located by ROV Super Achilles. Image courtesy of Kostas Thoctarides

Jantina is the fourth submarine wreck located and identified by Thoctarides. He most recently discovered the Greek submarine Katsonis in 2018, which was located in cooperation with the Greek Navy at a depth of 253 metres.

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