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KT12 Wreck - Italy

KT12 Wreck is a boat accessible salt water dive site, located at Loc. Su Catreattu, Orosei, NU 08028, Italy. This dive site has an average rating of 5.00 out of 5 from 1 scuba divers. The maximum depth is 91-100ft/28-30m. The average visibility is 81-90ft/25-27m.

The wreck of the German, armed cargo ship was sunken the 10th of June 1943. The torpedo fired by the british submarine Safari broke away the bow of the vessel and lies about 300 yard/meter away from the main wreck. This wreck is considered one of the most beautiful of the Mediterranean sea.

More Detail:

The KT 12 was built by the Italian OTO shipyard in Livorno, to a German design, by order of the German Navy and left the docks on May 19, 1943 laden with trucks and Fuel to help the German war machine in North Africa. The ship was a fully armed and armoured military transport vessel built for heavy cargo but during her maiden voyage on the 10th of June 1943 she was attacked by the Allied Forces submarine "Safari" and one torpedo struck into the bow which was destroyed and separated from the rest of the ship instantly, the rest of the ship burned for 41 minutes on the surface until it finally sank to the bottom.

The eye witness report from Giovanni Mele from Orosei:

I was six years old and it was a beautiful morning in June. When we heard the explosion, my mother brought me to a big rock for shelter. We didn’t know what happened but we thought that a close by military base was under attack. I climbed up into an amandel tree to have a look over the sea and at first saw nothing. I then saw the ship and it was almost destroyed. Without its bow, the ship was burning and surrounded with flames. The fuel, which was the main cargo, was leaking from the ship and all around it the sea was on fire. An aeroplane circled over the area where the KT 12 was attacked and was bombing the submarine that fired the doom torpedo. The spectators wanted to help the crew but there was not much aid to provide though I remember the arrival of two Military transport trucks in the village and each of them brought 8-10 survivors, or what was left of them. They were hardly alive, their bodies were covered with oil and fuel, the flames had left hardly any skin on their bodies and burned their flesh severely.

In the next two weeks many crew members of the KT 12 were released by the sea and were found on the beach. By order of the Orosei regiment they were brought to the village square in a closed truck where some of them were honoured as "The anonymous soldiers".

The “Safari” had fired three torpedos but only one of them actually hit the ship. The other two smashed into the beach without exploding and the bigger children played with them and sat on them as if they were horse riding. After a few months the military command ordered all doors and windows in the houses in the village to be closed and the two torpedoes were destroyed.

From the “Safari” log books:

11:55 Hours. We spotted a small 1200 tons (estimation is overdone) cargo vessel. It is leaving Capo Comino with remarkable speed and is heading south, accompanied by one boat which appears to be an E-boat (small speedboat).

12.19 hours: We fire three torpedoes from a distance of 600 Yards (ca. 550 m) and one hits midships. After the attack, as always, we do not under take any further action.

12.26 hours: Periscope depth: The machine room and rear of the ship are burning furiously. The cargo seems to be fuel and trucks and all kinds of debris is floating on the surface, it’s mainly parts of the boat torn off by the explosion. Close to some cables in the middle of the debris we can see the E-Boat which is helping the survivors.

12.30 hours: We stay in position to attack with our canon if necessary

12.35 hours: The E-Boat appears to be an unarmed Rescue boat apart from two machine guns so we decide to leave it alone. We head for the open water and after 5 miles we dive to 100 Fathoms (183 Meter).

12.40 hours: Periscope depth, engines on half speed. The Rescue boat opens fire immediately.

13.00 hours: The ship sinks on the coordinates 40.21 N and 09.45 E. We head south in the "Golfo di Orosei".

14.15 hours: A white CANT Z506B flies over the area and starts to bomb in a circle of 5 miles. (The CANT Z506B three engined water- and aeroplane, constructed from wood and designed to bomb at sea and is probably stationed in Olbia).

22.15 hours: We surface again and head for the open water to charge our batteries.

Two parts of the KT12 lay on the sandy bottom. They are surrounded with a large amount of debris and parts from the cargo. The rear part is located at a depth of 24 Meters and the bow lays on its port side with the highest part at a depth of 26 meters.

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SardiniaDivers - 9/12/2012 7:44 AM
Rating Added: 5
a absolute must while visiting Sardinia!