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WWII sub wreck in Ionian Sea cleared of lost nets

The expert divers "made it their mission" to clear the fishing gear that was covering the HMS Perseus, Ghost Divers said in a press release on Tuesday. [Cor Kuyvenhoven/Ghost Diving]

TAGS: Environment

The wreck of a British submarine that went down between the Ionian islands of Zakynthos and Kefalonia in World War II has been cleared of large swathes of lost fishing nets by a team of specially trained volunteer divers. The nets that had gathered over time had become a death trap to marine life.

Organized by the nongovernmental Healthy Seas organization with the support of the Aquatic Scuba Diving Club, the July 22-26 operation involved a team of six experts from the Ghost Diving charity, who cleared nets and other fishing debris from the wreck’s hull and conning tower.

The 2,000 ton HMS Perseus lies at a depth of 52 meters and apart from being a fascinating relic of World War II that remains almost intact, it has an equally interesting story.

Of the 61 people on board when the Parthian-class submarine hit an Italian mine in 1941, only one survived, a British Navy stoker. John Capes managed to escape through the hatch and swim to the shores of Kefalonia, where he spent 18 months in hiding, before being smuggled to Turkey in a small fishing boat.

The five-day operation included other wrecks in the area and led to the recovery of 500 kilograms of lost and abandoned fishing gear in total.

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