Diver-legend Thoctarides remembers the shipwrecks brought "to light”

For years, he has been persistently pursuing the history of shipwrecks in the seas of Greece. He has top self-control and knows research as he searches for records and evidence.

Greek Kostas Thoctarides, whose team spotted the French submarine Floreal that sank in 1918 during World War I, has dived to great depths, into the abyss where light does not reach, has led underwater research on emblematic missions, specialized in searches with new means and robotic devices, participated in missions of national interest and paved the way so that today in Greece there is know-how in marine research.

In a recent interview to the radio of Greek Athens-Macedonian news agency “Agency 104.9FM”, he explained that fate brought him to lead the underwater research in the case of the fast attack craft of the Hellenic navy “Kostakos” in Samos and “Samina” in Paros, but also to connect with the destroyer “Queen Olga” in Leros, the brother of the “Titanic”, the “British” in Cape Doro, the Greek helicopter in Imia, the submarine “Perseus” in Kefalonia and the process of finding the historic submarine “Katsonis” of the Hellenic navy.

From 1986 to 2024 underwater research has changed. His first dives were “difficult”, since initially he felt that the water element was not “suited to him”, but to date he has located more than 500 sunken boats of all types in the Greek seas while he always remembers the difficult feelings from the dozens of dives on the “Express Samina” for expert opinions.

In his deepest dive with breathing apparatus he exceeded 200 meters, but according to him, the most beautiful dives take place in the shallows, where the light reaches and “there are rich colors, fish and loved ones”.

Mr. Thoctarides also revealed that he has prepared a new investigation on the course followed by submarines in Greece. He said they were passing through two points. One is located between Karpathos and Rhodes and the other between Karpathos and Crete. Then “there was a diffusion of them in the Aegean depending on the patrol sector.” He revealed that from these two points the recordings reveal that submarines passed 252 times during the war operations in the Aegean during World War II.

Kostas Thoctarides has also been involved in diving tourism, which does not have a long history in the country since, as he explained, law 3409 was created in 2006. He stressed that compared to diving Egypt, Greece does not have fish as its strong point. The country instead has shipwrecks and their history, he explained, and described diving tourism as a top advantage of Greece.

He also noted that the wrecks of iron ships that have sunk in the Greek seas are more than 1500, while he commented about the new discovery, which he said is the sixth submarine but also “… the first submarine of World War I” he found in Greece.

Source: Athens-Macedonian news agency