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Datum: WGS84 [ Help ]
Latitude: 36° 59.465' N
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The bad news first, this dive site is not accessible to the public.
How? By boat
Distance Long boat time (> 30min)
Easy to find? Easy to find
Alternative name Wreck Mirna-M
Average depth 20 m / 65.6 ft
Max depth 60 m / 196.9 ft
Current Medium ( 1-2 knots)
Visibility Good ( 10 - 30 m)
Dive site quality Great
Experience CMAS *** / DiveMaster
Bio interest Interesting
Because of a small reef southwest of the island and reaching to only 1-2m below the surface, Yassi Ada is a permanent danger for ships for thousands of years. Already in the 1950s sponge divers from Bodrum have found the relics of ancient ships here. In the 1960s these wrecks have been explored by archaeologists under guidance of ‘the father of modern underwater archaeology’, the American Prof. Dr. George F. Bass and with contribution of the renowned American journalist Peter Throckmorton. It is assumed that in minimum 25 ships are sunken in that place. Three of them have been identified, one from 4th century, one from 7th century and one from 16th century.
A lot of artefacts have been recovered at that time. Most of them today are exhibited in the Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archaeology, the only one in whole Turkey. The museum is located in the famous landmark of Bodrum, a St. John’s castle from 15th century. Anyway a lot of artefacts are still in place on the sea ground at Yassi Ada.
Exactly in the same place in 1993 the Lebanese freighter Mirna-M shared the destiny of the ancient ships and sunk on top of them.
She has been under Croatian flag and here home port has been Rijeka. Mirna-M has been built in 1979 in Japanese Kurushima shipyard. Her length is 151,35m and her beam is 26,00m. There is nothing known about her cargo.
Because of the ancient wrecks the area is restricted area for scuba diving. But in 2009, together with a BBC team which had a special permission from the Turkish ministry of cultural affairs and had been accompanied by the director of the Bodrum Museum, Mr. Yasar Yildiz, I had an opportunity to dive there and to take some pictures.
Meanwhile rumours are going that the Turkish authorities consider opening the area to the public. But as usually in Turkey, things need time.
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