Descent in the World of silence

 
Prestige issue 124, September 2003
 

Fascinating pictures. To get them, we had to disturb the world of silence and make no less than twenty dives… by 60 meters deep! Strong running water, poor visibility, all must be taken into account. Wreck diving requires hard training , a very specific technique, and the use of several gas mixtures.

Preparation for the visit of a wreck is also crucial. It lies off the coast of Tripoli. This is a ship of the Second World War. We previously investigated in our issue of August 2002. Descent in the bowels of the mysterious wreck.

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© Prestige / Simon Nadim

 
The rudder profiles, yet functional. Encrusting thousands of tiny shells.
 
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 © Prestige / Simon Nadim

What is this circular object? A torpedo of which the primer is still visible in the center.

Twelve torpedoes, futile instruments of vain war, discovery of a sad irony in this crippled ship whose mission is still unknown, (assuming that it was a torpedo door) and the number of members of the crew who perished.

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© Prestige / Simon Nadim

Extremely fishy area,  coveted by fishermen, for it is an established fact, wrecks attract fish. On the right, from above, the tower chimney casts a passing glance on a bench of fish. It is said that fishermen ventured to the wreck in a primary equipment, and accidents frequently occurred.

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© Prestige / Simon Nadim

Wheelhouse and dirty engines of this ship of 25 meters long whose construction was completed “in 1934 in Le Havre” indicates a plate.

The disemboweled bridge and the gap show that this vessel was probably sunk by an Allied aircraft bomb…or reached during a destructive fishing with dynamite. The mystery remains unsolved.

Emotions facing the fate of a once mighty flagship, in front of this page of the past, so close yet so far away.

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© Prestige / Simon Nadim

The anchor still hangs on the side of the ship, now motionless in the quietness of the bottom. A fishing net is held captive by the anchor…for daring to disturb the sleep of the wreck?

One goes up the chimney, and the ship goes gradually into the abyss…

Report and photos: Simon Nadim