Brioni (Vis, Croatia — 150/200 fsw)

For such a large, prominent wreck, there is actually very little known about the Brioni.

The book, Treasures of the Adriatic, has some information about the ship which is summarized below:

It was a large, mixed passenger-cargo ship that was built in Monfalcone, Italy. It had a triple expansion steam engine and one very large propeller and transported people and cargo along a coastal route to Dalmatia and Albania. During WW I, it was used by the navy as a transport ship. On 16 Feb 1917, it ran aground but was re-floated in March 1917 and then went back into military service. In 1925, the ship was sold to another company and it continued to sail along the Adriatic coast. On 2 Feb 1930, in poor visibility conditions and due to some navigation errors, it ran aground and quickly sank.

The Wreck

The Brioni lays on her port side with the bow facing downslope. The bottom of the wreck is about 200 feet deep and the top is about 150 feet. Below is a diagram from the aforementioned book:

From Treasures of the Adriatic

We started the dive from a mooring ball that is in the shallower waters and followed the slope down. The visibility was somewhat limited so it took some time to find the wreck but something that big is hard to miss. Since Alesh was on open circuit, he spent more time at the top of the wreck as I explored different areas. I spent some time inside looking for the engine room but didn’t find it. Given the size of the ship, I didn’t really get to spend any time at the bow either. I guess I will have to return…

As with many other wrecks in the area, this wreck is very picturesque and is covered in the familiar yellow sponges.

As I ended my dive, I went back to the spot we initially came onto the wreck and took a heading back to the slope. I wasn’t sure I would find the exact spot of the boat so I sent up a SMB to do my deco and alert the crew. Soon thereafter, I heard a large boat and realized that the Manta Dive center boat had moored nearby and then I saw the boat from B-24 close by. I guess I didn’t need the SMB after all.

Photos

Photo 1 : Lifeboat davit
Photo 2 : Alesh near the bridge structure
Photo 3 : Top of the bridge structure
Photo 4 : Natural light photo looking astern from the front of the bridge
Photo 5 : Lower section of the funnel (upper section collapsed onto the sand)
Photo 6 : Side of the bridge structure swimming towards the stern
Photo 7 : Covers over the engine room (?)
Photo 8 : Collapsed stern mast (note in the diagram from the book it isn’t collapsed down)
Photo 9 : Furthest stern davit (note the stern of the ship in the background to the left)
Photo 10 : Looking forward from the stern of the Brioni with the rudder on the right
Photo 11 : Looking up through the propeller
Photo 12 : Propeller and rudder
Un-numbered : Not sure of the exact location, but I believe this might also be engine room skylights

References

Treasures of the Adriatic book

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