Appeared in DIVER August 2012
It’s no small undertaking to explore Titanic’s sister-ship, the WW1 hospital vessel Britannic, which lies deep off Greece. A recent expedition with wreck preservation as its main aim took place in May, so how were the many pitfalls overcome? Organiser ALEXANDER SOTIROU should know – photos by GEORGE RIGOUTSOS and JOACHIM BLOMME
HMHS Britannic was the White Star Line’s biggest Olympic-class liner – and, at 269m long, the biggest ship to be sunk during WW1. Launched in Belfast in early 1914, she never carried passengers but went into service as a hospital ship the following year. She struck a mine in the Kea Channel on 21 November, 1916, with 1066 people on board. All but 30 were rescued.
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Team Britannic 2012
Port side of HMHS Britannic, near the navigation light position. The seabed is at around 120m
The mixed-gas divers worked as two four-man teams
The water sampler was placed next to a pair of lifeboat davits
Artist’s impression of the wreck of HMHS Britannic
Ascending to the deco station