Category: Wrecks Country: Albania

Italian passenger steamship Brindisi

Lat: 41.78702506126 Lng: 19.581919490346
Italian passenger steamship Brindisi
The steamship Brindisi owned by "Societa Anonima di Navigazione a Vapore Puglia" from Bari, was constructed at the "Fratelli Orlando" shipyard in Livorno and launched into the sea on February 25, 1895. It served as a mail ship in the Southern Adriatic, and when Italy entered World War I, the vessel was requisitioned for the needs of the Italian Navy. It had a length of 62.63 meters and a width of 8.40 meters, with a carrying capacity of 893 tons. 

From the very beginning of the WWI, seeing that the motherland was in danger, a large number of Montenegrins who worked in America and Canada rushed to the Montenegrin battlefields, to the units that needed to be filled.

In the morning of 6th of January 1916 steampship Brindisi loaded with a significant cargo of food and medical supplies and 425 Montenegrin recurits from America set sail for San Giovanni di Medua (Albania) during the night. Due to the threat of enemy submarines, the ship was escorted by four Italian torpedo boats, accompanied by a cargo ship.
On Christmas morning, around eight o'clock, the ship slowly approached the small, sandy Albanian port.
When the ship was about five hundred meters from the shore, a powerful muffled detonation was heard, as chroniclers describe it, based on the accounts of many witnesses. A water spout rose above the ship, and dense black smoke began to envelop it. The mine exploded just as the signal for disembarkation preparations had been given, causing most recruits to descend into the hold to handle luggage.

There were 553 passengers on the steamer Brindisi at the time of the accident. 401 were killed, of which 389 were volunteers and 12 members of the American-Czech Red Cross mission, and 150 volunteers and two members of the said mission were saved. 

This is one of the biggest maritime tragedies in the First World War and the biggest Montenegrin deaths in one day. 
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