Category: Wrecks Country: Croatia

Italian merchant stamship Varese

Lat: 44.810826583346 Lng: 13.780460582111
Italian merchant stamship Varese
The Varese was built at the Humphrys & Pearson Shipyard in Hull (United Kingdom) in 1871 and was owned by Bailey & Leetham Shipping Company. In 1905 the ship has been sold to Filli Orland Shipping from La Spezia (Italy).

On January 18th 1915 the vessel was on its way from Sfax (Tunesia) to Venice (Italy) when it hit a mine in the North Adriatic. One day before arrival, she encountered strong Bora winds from the NE and then diverted close to the east coast of the Adriatic Sea to get some lee. Finally, Captain Mortola decided to enter in the port of Pula (or pass very close to it) to avoid further damages to his small vessel. There is no confirmation of what really happened before the explosion, we can say that due to the extreme weather conditions, the ship was not maneuvering at her best and consequently hit a mine and foundered 6 miles west of Banjole, a small fishing village near Pola. 
Only one crew member survived the explosion and sinking of the Varese, even though two ships came to rescues, but they came too late.

The wreck lies upright on the ground. The bow is broken off by the mine explosion, while the bridge and superstructure are in ruins. Sediments of mud cover the steam engine which is freely accessible and visible from above. The wreck is at present heavily overgrown with sponges, mussels and seaweed. The Wreck is now on a depth of 33-41 meters.
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