Albanien

General information

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Name: Albanien

Year of construction: 1910

Shipyard: STT - Trieste

Last owner: Austrian Lloyd – Trieste

Body: steel with two masts

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Dimensions: length 66m, beam 10,1m

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Displacement: 1,122 t

Engine: 1 x 3 cyl. tTriple expansion steam engine, single shaft, 1 screw / 1350 s.h.p. 12 knots

Crew: 28 members

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Depth: 73m

The ship was sunk on June 4, 1916 at 5:50 a.m. by two torpedoes in the close vicinity of the island of Pag, 6 nm from Novalja. The two torpedoes were fired from the Italian submarine Atropo, under the commandership of captain Maraghini and with Nazario Sauro as the torpedo alleger. At the time of the sinking the ship was militarized and three soldiers were killed. The wreck “Albania” is located on a silty seabed at 72 meters of depth, but despite that, the visibility is good. The bridge is intact, as opposed to the stern, which was probably destroyed when she hit the bottom, covered with a layer of mud and oyster shells. There are many hatch openings and covers. If you go diving from the stern, you will we find a hatch cover allowing entry into the stern hatch and two small covers, of which one leads to the boiler room. On the bow, just below the bridge, there are access stairs leading to lower levels where crew rooms are situated. Continuing this way, one comes to a stem hatch cover, followed by another flight of descending stairs and another small opening, through which one arrives to the stem storage. Both masts, fore and aft, still stand upright. The damaged stern looks as though it has suffered a direct hit, and the rudder is turned towards the propeller. It seems that the ship sank stern down, and once it hit the seabed it straighten up. The propeller can be clearly seen, arising from the mud for about two-thirds of its radius. On the right side of the stern, at seabed level, there is a hole created by one of the torpedoes that sank the ship. This hole allows easy entry into the ship and reaching the stern hold. The interior of the aft cargo hold is covered with sediment, but the hold allows one to reach the superstructure located on the ship’s upper levels through the cracks in the ceiling.
This superstructure most probably served to accommodate the crew, since different ceramic items, vases and night pans have been found there. To exit this area, you need to go back to the stern hold and out the stern hatch or the hole made by the torpedo. Diving towards the fore, you come across the stem mast and the central, highest deck of the ship. The boiler room vents are placed there, two of which are open, and through which, but with difficulty, you can get to the boiling room full of sediments. On both sides around the central deck there are walkways covered in sediment and oyster shells, which form a thick, approximately 1.8m, layer leaving no more than about 50 cm of passage. If you dive along the left promenade, half way towards stern, there is a slightly opened door through which you can see the lamp storage containing fifteen petroleum lamps of different shape and size. At the end of promenade, there is a large searchlight, turned upside down, which fell from the commanding bridge. The base is still there facing upwards. The searchlight itself weighs about 200-300 kg and is probably of museum value. Both promenades end at the aft bulkhead of the bridge. The metal plate carrying the name of the shipyard has probably been removed recently, since the rectangular stain, where it used to be, is still visible.

No navigation instruments can be found on the bridge. It is possible that all the instruments fell through the floor, which collapsed, and are now covered by sand and sediments but it is also possible that they have been taken even though there are no signs of such activities or devastation . Below the bulkhead of the bridge and just before the fore mast, there is hatch, which is probably not passable, with a staircase leading down to one of the passenger spaces located below the bridge, which is more easily accessible through the two large rectangular windows located on both sides of the hull. The rooms continue towards the aft along two very narrow corridors with cabins on both sides. One of the corridors gets blocked after only 3-4 meters, while the second one is passable and probably goes all the way down to the areas in the aft. Parallel to the two large side windows, there is a kind of a lobby with scattered miscellaneous items lying on the floor. Some items look like luggage, while others are unrecognizable. If you enter through the stem hatch and go down, you will find yourself in spacious room which might have been either be a hold for cargo or passengers but none of this is certain. Through this same hatch one can also reach the last vacant area that has not been thoroughly investigated yet, but which is almost certainly designated for cargo storage. The Albanien which by the way is located only 3 nm from the Euterpe is among the nicer wrecks. If you wish to dive and investigate both wrecks you should spend a week as both should be visited twice. So if you can find time, these two diving locations are definitely worth it.

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