KEA UNDERWATER HISTORIC SITE
The first underwater historic park in Greece, if officially operating since June 10, 2022
It is essentially a thematic underwater park, which consists of three protected marine areas, within an area of 360 acres each, above the three great historic shipwrecks - contemporary monuments located at the bottom of Kea: HMHS Britannic-the Holly Grail of diving, the mighty ocean liner Burdigala and the beautiful paddle wheeled steamer Patris, sunk 1868. The area of the fourth wreck, the Junkers 52 aircraft, will be added soon.
The new marine park places these 3 absolute protection zones for the historical monuments, prohibiting any form of amateur and professional fishing in the specific areas. The island finally acquires protected marine zones, which with proper management will soon become a pole of attraction and a point of rebirth and multiplication of marine life.
These historic shipwrecks are internationally renowned and are an attraction for experienced divers from around the world. Until now, diving into these shipwrecks required a long and complicated bureaucratic licensing process, with high costs and many restrictions. Now, with the new legal framework that has just been completed, properly certified and qualified divers from all over the world will be able to dive in those three shipwrecks supported and guided only by Greek dive centers officially licensed by the Ministry of Merchant Shipping.
In order to complete this long-term initiative of the Municipality of Kea, it was required:
- The establishmnet of the Underwater Historic Site of Kea, in November 2019, by decision of the Minister of Culture Lina Mendoni with Government Gazette 4262 of 20/11/2019, at the request of the Municipality of Kea under the title “MARINE HISTORICAL PLACES” of Kea
- The enactment of law 4688/2020 that laid the foundations for the attendance of historical shipwrecks
- The Joint Ministerial Decision of March 18, 2022 of the Ministers of Culture, Merchant Shipping and National Defense, on the determination of the individual conditions for the conduct of of shipwrecks diving
- The decision of Minister of culture Lina Mendoni of 10/6/2022 which completes the process of documentation of the three shipwrecks.
Visits to the shipwrecks are taking place usually from April to November.