Just 400 meters off the southwest coast of Kea island in Greece, just 15 nautical miles off Athens mainland area, there is a reef that has a size and shape slightly smaller than a football pitch. The average depth of the shallowest part is 2 meters.
A cold night of February 1868, the first steamer ship ever imported to Greece, to operate as a general cargo, named Patris, due to a fatal navigation mistake by her captain, hit the rock and grounded. According to reports, all passengers and crew were saved, but the ship broke in 2 parts and sunk in a few days. The ship was built in Lungley & Co, Deptford, Thames shipyard in London in 1859 and was a paddle wheeled steamer. First generation steamers were paddle wheeled. Later on, the use of propellers prevailed. The ship is 81 meters long, the wheels have a diameter of 6 meters. It was ordered by the greek royal family and her initial name was King Othon . A few years later, it was sold to the newly founded shipping company “Greek steamshiping Co”. The ship is considered as a symbol, as it was the first ship under power that operated under greek flag.
Nowadays Patris, broken in 2 parts, lies in a depth between 28 and 54 meters, at the southwest side of the reef, making it a real challenging dive for advanced recreational divers, or even technical divers. The starboard wheel is still in place. The port one was removed a few years ago and now it is exhibited at the industrial museum of nearby island of Syros
Patris, a unique wreck, a really rare type of vessel, in a really good condition concerning that it is a 155 years old wreck, is considered as one of the best wrecks in the southeast Med.
Water surface temperatures vary from 18 degrees in April, 19-22 May and June 23-26 July and August, 21-24 September-October, 19-20 November. Currents are usually moderate. Dive ribs are able to stay on anchor on the top of the reef when the weather is calm, so divers are able to dive directly towards the wreck, using the reef as a reference point. Currents can be sometimes strong and the visibility usually is great, up to 30 m.