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The Prosper Schiaffino, also called "the Donator"

The Prosper Schiaffino was 78.28 metres long, 11.94 metres wide and had a tonnage of 17000 tons, with 1800 hp engine, she sailed at over 14 knots. She was sunk on November 10, 1945 by a drifting mine.

The depth :
Mini 35m - 51m max

The accessibily :
Level 3

The diving conditions :

Please note that there is often a strong current that can make diving dangerous and that there may be a lot of divers at certain times of the day.

The dive :

Diving is always fantastic on this wreck, which is considered as one of the most beautiful of the Mediterranean sea. The top of the ship is between 35 and 40 m under water, the depth to the sand is 51m at the stern and 48m at the bow. The visibility is perfect, the iron sheets of the body of the ship are visible, covered with polychrome gorgonians. In the holds you can see the wine vats, some staves from barrels and the engine rooms.
On deck you can observe many winches, the control bar and the spare propeller placed just in front of it.
Early morning or late afternoon are the best times to dive to this wreck, when the other divers have left. It is a wonderful sight in the twilight.

The History :

The Donator was built in 1931 by AS Holz shipyard in Bergen (Norway).
She was sold in 1933 to the Compagnie Générale d’Armements Maritime, which renamed her Little Earth and used her to transport bananas between France and the Caribbean.
In 1939 she became the property of the Algerian Navigation Company for North Africa also named the Schiaffino Company. It was a custom for this company to name its ships after the members of the family, and the Donator became the Prosper Schiaffino.
When War was declared, the ship was used to transport troops and equipment, then to transport supplies to Corsica.
This company which had twenty ships in 1939, lost 19 of them during the Second World War: 13 were torpedoed,..., and 6 were bombed while they were at anchor.
At the end of the war the Donator was the only ship left. But on November 10, 1945 the ship sailed to her fate. She was sailing back from Algeria with a cargo of wine. Minesweeping was not completed in the Mediterranean, and Captain Baillet ordered his men to take extra care. A strong mistral wind was blowing. The ship sailed around the island of Porquerolles from the south, when at 13:10, in a rough sea, there was the sound of a tremendous explosion. The ship had hit a mine, the bow was destroyed, water flooded the ship and the stern rose quickly. The 29 sailors couldn't untie the lifeboats so they jumped into the sea. Fortunately an aircraft of the Royal Air Force was operating in the area. The pilot called for assistance, and the rescuers arrived within 4 hours, saving 27 men. 2 were missing. This final shipwreck sealed the fate of the Schiaffino Company.