Type and class: submarine chaser – Gabbiano class corvette
Year of construction: 1943
Shipyard: C.R.D.A. Monfalcone
Dimensions: 64,4 x 8,7 x 2,8
Displacement: 670 t
Motor: 2 diesel engins, 2 electric motors
Armament: guns, torpedo tubes i depth charge throwers
The Melponema and Spingarda after being conquered by the Germans 10. on September 10 and 11, on September 10 and 11 , found themselves in a battle with two British destroyers, the Avon Vale and Wheatland, who sunk them. The Melaponema lies to north of Spingarda, with the fore facing the island of Rab. She is in an upright position. The aft, probably resulting from the explosion of the mines or ammunition she was transporting at that time, is partly damaged and is completely immersed into the silty bottom at 80 m of depth, while the fore stands up towards the surface, with the keel standing out 3 meters from the bottom.
At the end of the fore deck, there is a small hatch cover, below which, there are metal pots, briquettes and other items from the canteen.
The 100-millimeter gun is intact turned towards the starboard side of the ship. This makes us believe that the crew changed the ship’s course straight after the battle began, trying to get to the port of Rab and hide.
The structures of the commanding bridge and navigation instruments are not visible, either because they were destroyed during the battle or due to the poor resistance of the material they were made from, or they got caught up and were dragged away by the fishing nets. One of the fishing nets is still hooked where the commanding bridge used to be.
Unlike the commanding bridge, the ship’s funnel is in perfect condition and even the protective net against bombs is still there. Behind the funnel, you can see the anti-aircraft guns and a 4 tube 20 caliber gun. On the stern side of the funnel the deck superstructure is sinking into the silt thus making it harder to recognize the ship’s structure. Nevertheless, you can still see several small cannons and bombs lying in their original posts.
Motor: 2 x Fiat diesel engines, 3,500 bhp (2,600 kW), 2 x Ansaldo electric motors for silent search, dual shaft, 2 screws.
Armament : 1× 100 mm (4 in), 7× 20 mm (0.79 in) AA guns, 2× 450 mm (18 in) torpedo tubes, 10 × depth charge throwers, 1 sonar and hydrophones The armament was strengthened in German hands on 3 37 mm caliber cannons, 1 20 mm four-barrel cannon and 5 20 mm single-barreled cannons.
Mirko Diving Center
Mirko Arijan Žigo,
51 280 Rab,