By Pierre Kosmidis
© Marinos Giourgas and Dimitris Haliasos published under license
A Greek scuba diving team visited recently one of the known wrecks off Kerkyra island in Greece. The Algerine class minesweeper HMS Regulus was sunk by a mine on 12 January 1945, with one casualty.
According to the Naval History website, HMS Regulus, while on a mine sweeping operation, she detonated a mine in southern Kerkyra Channel (Position 39.24N 20.10E) which caused major damage to after structure with serious flooding.
The ship was disabled due to propeller and shaft damage with a significant list and stern structure partially submerged.
One rating, Robert Smith, working in the Tiller Flat was killed with several others injured. Ship was abandoned and survivors rescued by BYMS and MLs working with the Flotilla. Although taken in tow the ship sank 46 minutes after the explosion.
The wreck, which has been located several years ago, is a popular diving destination for experienced technical divers and offers some spectacular images to underwater photographers and videographers.
Marinos Giourgas along with Dimitris Haliasos as his buddy diver and Nikos Chatzopoulos as surface support, recently visited the HMS Regulus wreck.
“HMS Regulus is a fantastic dive site, despite the strong current below 35 meters and low visibility, which at times was less than 5 metres. We approached the wreck with respect, as 27 year old Shipwright 3rd Class Robert Smith died on this ship, while the rest of the crew, with many injured among them, managed to escape the shipwreck.
The temperature was 15 degrees Celsius below 40 metres and the maximum depth was 63 metres.
The wreck itself offers a majestic view, as it is covered by fishing nets and diverse marine life has made HMS Regulus its underwater home. It looks like time has stopped at the moment of the explosion that sunk the ship, with the damage by the mine evident to this day”