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Wreck of a German Dornier Do 24 flying boat discovered in Avola - video

Italian technical divers have found the wreck of a World War II-era German Dorniej Do 24 flying boat in Mediterranean waters. A team of Italian technical divers has located the wreck of a German Dornier Do 24 flying boat at a depth of 122 m. The Italians made their discovery in the Mediterranean Sea, near
Published: February 13, 2022 - 09:00
Updated: July 23, 2023 - 00:03
Wreck of a German Dornier Do 24 flying boat discovered in Avola – video

Italian technical divers have found the wreck of a World War II-era German Dorniej Do 24 flying boat in Mediterranean waters.

A team of Italian technical divers has located the wreck of a German Dornier Do 24 flying boat at a depth of 122 m. The Italians made their discovery in the Mediterranean Sea, near the town of Avelo in Sicily.

Flying boat wing from WWII The divers found the wreck during an underwater survey they were carrying out in collaboration with the Sicily Regional Maritime Authority. The team of experienced technical divers from Diving Murro in Syracuse was led by Fabio Portella.

TheDornier Do 24 was a multi-purpose flying boat produced by Dornier-Werke G.m.b.H. in 1937. Between 1937 and 1945, the German aviation company in Friedrichshafen produced 279 Do 24s. The Dornier flying boat was such a successful design that it remained in service until the 1970s.

The nacelle, although without the tail section, rises to a height of about 2 metres from the bottom. Bramo-BMW 323R-2 engines, canopy, machine gun in forward cabin, instrumentation and two rods can be seen the divers reported.

From March 1941 to May 1943, the 6th Seenotstaffeln rescue squadron was stationed at the hydroplane base in Syracuse. It included German Dornier Do24 flying boats and Heinkel 59 aircraft, so it is highly likely that the wreck the Italians discovered was one of the units serving the base.

Dornier in flight - graphic Wreck from 1942.

Undoubtedly, in such cases, historical archives are an invaluable source of knowledge. According to the available information, two Dornier Do 24 flying boats sunk in the Syracuse area. Both incidents took place in 1942 only two weeks apart.

The first happened on the night of 16-17 December, when a Dornier collided with a ship’s mast during take-off. The second occurred on 29 December, when the flying boat No. 63 VH+SC of No. 6 Squadron sank during landing as a result of an explosion. Historical materials do not agree in this case on the cause of the sinking. Some state a mine strike, while others limit themselves to the message “cause unknown”.

interior of the aircraft wreckage The Italians, having collected documentation and made a preliminary assessment of the state of preservation of the wreckage, believe that it is the latter machine. The extensive damage fits the description and could have been caused by an explosion. On board Dornier Do 24 No 63 killed five airmen and seriously injured one. The victims of both air crashes lie buried in the German war cemetery at Motta Sant’Anastasia.

Photo: Fabio Portella


Malta is a great place for a diving trip, and is very diverse in terms of diving sites and levels of difficulty. You can read more about diving in Malta in Carollina Wells’ article, which we published in Issue 17. the DIVERS24 quarterly magazine! The digital version of the magazine is available free of charge, while the printed version can be purchased from our online shop.

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About author

Tomasz Andrukajtis
Editor-in-chief of the DIVERS24 portal and magazine. Responsible for obtaining, translating and developing content. He also supervises all publications. Achived his first diving certification – P1 CMAS, in 2000. Has a degree in journalism and social communication. In the diving industry since 2008.
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