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diving in Giannutri

The wrecks of Giannutri

Roman merchant ship – Cala Scirocco

In the small Cala Scirocco at the south-east end of the island, in 1959, a few remains of a merchant ship from the beginning of the 2nd century BC were found. Among them an anchor decorated with a caduceus, symbol of Mercury, today at the Orbetello Museum. There is no trace of wreck today.

Roman merchant ship – Punta Scaletta

On the seafloor of Punta Scaletta were found in 1963 the remains of a Roman merchant ship of the second half of the 2nd century BC. The materials in the ship’s hold were recovered during an underwater excavation led by Nino Lamboglia.

Streamer boat Marsala

Launched in 1882 in Scotland, the steamer boat Marsala had a length of 97 m with steam drive and two masts (to be used to save fuel or in case of engine failure). After being used for merchant shipping to India and Australia, the steamer was adapted to passenger transport to exploit the wave of migration from the Old Continent to the United States of America on the Hamburg-New York route. In 1911 it was bought by a Genoese company and was used by the Regia Marina for the invasion of Libya. On the morning of July 2, 1913, coming from Sfax in Tunisia, it was heading toward Orbetello with a load of phosphate for chemical fertilizers. While it was just off Giannutri, in the sea opposite Punta San Francesco and in the middle of a dense fog bench, it was rammed by the steamer boat Campidano and sank in a few minutes. Today, it lies at 100 m depths on the sandy sea bottom with a 20 m gash in the bow area and deprived of bridges made of wood. Diving is only suitable for experienced divers.

Motor ship Anna Bianca

The motor ship Anna Bianca was a small merchant ship 46 m long and 9 m wide built in 1921 in England. During the Second World War the ship was required by the Regia Marina and used to supply the Italian troops stationed in North Africa. In December 2, 1943, it was sunk during the German air raid on Bari and later restored; it was sold to private persons after the end of the conflict. On April 3, 1971, while carrying a load of pumice powder, it faced a violent storm that pushed it toward the cliff of Giannutri. The boat struck violently on the Punta Pennello rocks, beginning to take on water. The crew tried to strand the ship in the nearby Cala Ischiaiola to avoid sinking, but the absence of a proper seabed forced the occupants to desist and to abandon the Anna Bianca, who shortly sank. The ship is still lying on the sandy seabed of the cove, broken into two main sections with the stern upstream (-35 m) and the bow lower west (-52 m). A buoy on the surface indicates the sub where the wreck is located, about 100 m away from the cliff. The brightness reflected by the sandy seabed makes the dive particularly impressive for divers.

A not confirmed story says that the Anna Bianca was blown up with the explosive by its crew to receive the insurance premium. The explosion would have caused the break in two hull sections.

Merchant ship Nasim II

The merchant ship Nasim II was launched in 1959 in England and was repeatedly sold until it became the property of a Panamanian society. It was about 66 m long and 11 m wide. On the night between 11 and 12 February 1976 it left Livorno heading toward Alexandria in Egypt with a cargo of 49 cars, among other things. Shortly after 4 o’clock for unknown reasons the bow struck with violence the Punta Scaletta rocks, at the base of the Roman villa. When the SOS was launched, the commander tried to direct the ship to Cala Maestra to lay it down on the bottom of the cove, a maneuver that would allow to recover the ship later. The merchant ship took on water quickly and began to tilt, scattering his cargo load into the water, because the cars were positioned on the top deck of the ship. The attempt was unsuccessful and the ship sank just off Cala Maestra, at a short distance from Punta Pennello, and now it lies on the seabed at 60 m deep with the bow in the direction of the cove. Around the merchant ship are remains of the cars lost in the shipwreck, that can be explored by expert divers (the so-called “parking”).

Light aircraft – Cala dello Scoglio

A small plane (a Cessna 172) is located on the seabed of Cala dello Scoglio at 34 m deep. On 20 May 2000 the aircraft crashed into the water from the above runway of Giannutri, having failed to brake in time during an attempted emergency landing as a result of a failure. Cala dello Scoglio is located in a protected marine area of level 1, an area subjected to crossing prohibition by all kinds of boats. Therefore, you can not dive in this place.

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