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Crete divers discover wreck

- by Archimedes

Crete divers discover wreck.

Scuba diving in Crete is a popular holiday adventure and there are a growing number of diving centres on this large Greek island. Now the Divers' Club of Crete claims to have discovered the underwater wreck of the former cruise ship Minnewaska III in the waters of Souda Bay.

Souda Bay, Crete, is well known for shipwrecks as the deep water port figured prominently in the Second World War and underwater finds are always being made.

Minnewaska III was a British cruise ship made by Harland & Wolff and owned by Atlantic Transport Line in 1909. Until 1915, Minnewaska III made luxury cruises from London to New York. She made 66 voyages to New York between May 1909 and January 1915.

In 1915 the liner was requisitioned by the British Army for use as a troop ship with disastrous consequences. She made five voyages ferrying troops and artillery to the Dardanelles and had several narrow escapes.

But on November 29, 1916, she struck a German mine in Souda Bay, Crete, while sailing from Crete to Saloniki with 1,600 troops and a crew of 200.

The captain steamed at full speed to the nearby shore and successfully ran the ship aground west of Cape Deutero at the entrance to Souda Bay.

It took about two hours to evacuate the ship and the men were rescued without loss but her bottom had been ripped away by the mine and the Minnewaska III was abandoned on the beach and written off as a total loss..

Now Crete island divers claim to have found the remaining parts of the 97-year-old wreck in waters about 23 metres down. Divers have carried out a thorough research of their findings and are confident this is the wreck of the former troop ship

Divers Club Crete has extensive experience in scuba diving and has three diving centres along the north coast of Crete. They offer a full range of PADI diving courses and visit more than 20 different diving sites in North Crete.