Greek sub-hunter finds missing bow

The Italian submarine Jantina was launched in 1932
The Italian submarine Jantina was launched in 1932

Last Updated on July 11, 2024 by Steve Weinman

Greece’s most successful submarine wreck-hunter, Kostas Thoctarides, has made another significant underwater discovery. Three years ago he located the bulk of the WW2 Italian submarine Jantina – and now he has completed that project by finding the wreck’s missing bow “a great distance away”.

Kostas Thoctarides
Kostas Thoctarides

Thoctarides says he has clocked up the equivalent of two full years under water since he became a commercial diver in 1987. The former pilot and manager of the manned submersible Thetis, he started the company ROV Services and also the Planet Blue scuba centre at Lavrio near Athens, but devotes much of his time to wreck-finding projects.

The 61m Jantina was launched in 1934 and torpedoed by the British submarine HMS Torbay on 5 July, 1941. 

Jantina (Italian Naval History Service)
Jantina (Italian Naval History Service)

In November 2021 Thoctarides found the bulk of the wreck at a depth of 103m in the Aegean Sea south of the island of Mykonos. It lay at 53° to port with its turret hatch open, periscopes lowered and its 102mm deck-gun intact. 

Jantina sonar scan
Jantina sonar scan

Now he has found the missing bow at the same depth and, he says, in excellent condition – but far away from the rest of the submarine. “While the bow sank immediately the rest of the submarine kept moving and sank much later after covering a significant distance on the sea’s surface.”

The Jantina was fitted with a distinctive type of net-cutter. “Closed torpedo-tubes can also be distinguished, which indicates that Jantina was not in attack mode, so it had not perceived the danger from the British submarine.”

Jantina’s bow, showing net-cutter and closed torpedo-tubes (Kostas Thoktarides)
Jantina’s bow, showing net-cutter and closed torpedo-tubes (Kostas Thoctarides)
Another view, showing the characteristic anti-submarine-net cutter (Kostas Thoktarides)
Another view, showing the characteristic anti-submarine-net cutter (Kostas Thoctarides)

The bow was located after analysis of data from rare documents found in Italian, British and German archives. Jantina had sailed from Leros for Messina with 48 personnel onboard, and was at the surface when the submerged patrolling Torbay spotted her from 4 nautical miles away. “The encounter of two submarines is a rare maritime event,” points out Thoctarides.

YouTube video
Video of the Jantina wreck (ROV Services)

It was one of the second pair of torpedoes fired by Torbay that blew off Jantina’s bow, as witnessed by the crew of a German aircraft.

More than 20 of Jantina’s crew made it out of the submarine but in the end only two officers and four non-commissioned men managed to reach Dilos, after swims of up to seven hours. Captain Vincenzo Politi was one of the dead.

The periscopes are down and the turret hatch is open on the main wreck (Kostas Thoktarides)
The periscopes are down and the turret hatch open on the main part of the wreck (Kostas Thoctarides)

Last year Thoctarides completed a decades-long search for the 200m-deep wreck of the HMS Triumph submarine. He was also responsible for finding the wreck of the iconic HMS Perseus in 1997 and has discovered three other submarines off the Greek coast, including Jantina. Two months ago he also found a WW2 Greek Navy minesweeper, the Sperchios.

Also on Divernet: Sub-hunter tracks down HMS Triumph off Greece, Greek wreck-hunter solves 1959 mystery, The O2 Rebreather Miracle, First freedivers visit ‘Great Escape' sub, Tech divers untangle Perseus sub

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#askmark, Heyo! Longtime listener, first time caller, etc. Went with a BP/W for my first set and I'm having a really hard time keeping the power inflator on my shoulder; the corrugated hose keeps flipping off my shoulder and getting twisted up or just ending up behind the backplate and dangling down the back of the wing. Is there something I can add to my harness to keep it in place? I don't want to tie it to the D ring since I wouldn't be able to lift it to deflate. I'm using the cheap DGX Gears wing for reference. Thanks!

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@jaketarren
#askmark, Heyo! Longtime listener, first time caller, etc. Went with a BP/W for my first set and I'm having a really hard time keeping the power inflator on my shoulder; the corrugated hose keeps flipping off my shoulder and getting twisted up or just ending up behind the backplate and dangling down the back of the wing. Is there something I can add to my harness to keep it in place? I don't want to tie it to the D ring since I wouldn't be able to lift it to deflate. I'm using the cheap DGX Gears wing for reference. Thanks!

#scuba #scubadiving #scubadiver
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How Do You Keep Your Corrugated BCD Hose in Place? #askmark

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The information in this video is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional SCUBA Training. All content, including text, graphics, images, and information, contained in this video is for general information purposes only and does not replace training from a qualified Dive Instructor.
00:00 Introduction
01:17 Ears
05:13 Scuba.com
06:05 Hydrate
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The information in this video is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional SCUBA Training. All content, including text, graphics, images, and information, contained in this video is for general information purposes only and does not replace training from a qualified Dive Instructor.
00:00 Introduction
01:17 Ears
05:13 Scuba.com
06:05 Hydrate
08:12 Clean

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