Among wreck diving enthusiasts which diving in the region, submarine HMS P311 was considered almost a myth. Everyone wondered what happened to the vessel and at what point on the map was the wreck when it went to the bottom.
Massimo Domenico Bondone - diver from Genoa, who has already found many wrecks in the Mediterranean Sea, found a trace of P311 a month ago. Then he went to Sardinia, armed with the necessary equipment and years of experience. Logistical support granted him a local dive center The Bear Poltu Quatu diving club.
After several failed attempts, which interfered with the weather, finally they succeeded! Last Sunday during the dive at a depth of approx. 80 meters Bondone saw the wreck of the submarine.
"Now my thoughts are focused on those who have died while serving on HMS P311. They shared the terrible fate of many submarine crews "- commented Massimo Bondone.
In November 1942, P311 reached to Malta, where it joined 10 Submarine Flotilla. Vessel disappeared between 30 December 1942 and 8 January 1943 during a trip to the port of La Maddalena in Sardinia, where with employed of vehicles Chariot, vessel had carried out the attack on the two Italian cruisers as part of Operation "Principle". These plans were disrupted by hit on a mine, which resulted in the sinking of the ship.
The wreck is almost intact and in arrears on the hard sandy bottom. The ship settled evenly on the keel and so it rests to this day. Only the bow shows signs of damage caused by the explosion of mines. After a preliminary examination, it appears that the ship after the explosion remained tightness and crew died from lack of oxygen.
HMS P311 was built for the Royal Navy in 1940-42 at the shipyard Vickers-Armstrong at Barrow-in-Furness, as the submarine class "T". It was the only unit of this class, which remained unnamed. Although the decision Winston Churchill, all submarines were obtained to have specific names as in addition to the numbers, but the P311 sank before got name of "Tutankhamun".
The ship measured 84 meters long and 8 meters wide. It entered into service March 5, 1942 of the year and served under the command of Lieutenant Richard Douglas Cayley. P311 was equipped by two vehicles submarine called Charot known as human torpedo, measuring 6.8 meters in length and designed to war in eg. sabotage in enemy ports. He was also one of the two ships of the class "T", which was not equipped with anti-aircraft gun Oerlikon 20 mm, which was also a characteristic element facilitating the identification of the wreck.
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