Ship Found At Bottom Of Lake Maggiore After Nearly 100 Years


(MENAFN- Swissinfo) By chance, wreck hunters have found the remains of a passenger ship that sank almost a hundred years ago off Brissago in canton Ticino.

This content was published on April 4, 2024 - 14:33 3 minutes Keystone-SDA

Using robots and a submarine, the Nautic Discovery team was able to take pictures and videos for the first time at the beginning of March of the Mercedes passenger ship, lying at a depth of 270 metres.

The discovery was pure coincidence. The Nautic Discovery wreck hunters were actually looking for another ship, the Torpediniera T19, which sank in the same area in 1896 during a storm with 12 people on board, and has remained undiscovered ever since.

Finding another shipwreck at this depth was quite a surprise, Jörg Mathieu from the Nautic Discovery team told the Swiss News Agency Keystone-SDA, as few such discoveries are made at this depth. Mathieu and his crew“dived” the wreck by submarine for the first time at the beginning of March.

Wreck in top condition

Despite the tattered bow, the condition of the wreck was“very good”, Mathieu said, and the quagga mussel, which is considered invasive, had not yet colonised the wreck. Nevertheless, Mathieu assumed that the wood had lost its strength and that it would therefore not really be possible to salvage the Mercedes.

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The team found the wreck around one kilometre from the scene of the accident. The shipwreck specialists assume that the ship drifted just below the surface for a while before sinking.

The Mercedes was lost for almost 100 years. The accident occurred on July 8, 1928, when the ship rammed into the side of the Italian passenger ship Magnolia with its bow just off Brissago, despite good visibility and calm water.

According to research by the wreck hunters, the Mercedes suffered major damage to the bow and quickly filled with water. Seven passengers and one crew member were rescued. However, 22-year-old engineer Ferdinando Vigini went down with the ship, according to a press release from Nautic Discovery, citing a local media report.

The Mercedes is not the first shipwreck to be discovered by Nautic Discovery. Mathieu, from Switzerland, and Martin Wenzel from Germany, both passionate divers, have dedicated themselves to searching for previously undiscovered shipwrecks both at home and abroad.

Adapted from German by DeepL/kp

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