WINTER’S WORK 2012
After returning to Malta from a successful fall project conducted off Hvar, Croatia, Craig and Ian spent the winter months gathering support for AURORA’S 2012 operating season. World economic conditions have made it increasingly difficult to support the high level of operations that have been characteristic of AURORA’S annual expeditions since 2006. As a part of this effort the Trust headquarters was moved to America and established as the AURORA Trust Foundation, a 501 (c) 3 “not for profit” organization under the internal revenue rules of the United States. Hopefully this broadens the support base of AURORA
HMS OLYMPUS N35 DISCOVERY
Meanwhile, AURORA’S work around Malta continued and the team, lead by Timmy Gambin, verified the identity of a wreck we had previously located off the Grand Harbor of Malta as the submarine HMS Olympus N35 which was lost in action on 8 May 1942. In addition to its normal crew of 55, the Olympus was carrying 43 crewmen from two other British submarines that had been sunk during air raids by Italian and German forces.
Leaving the Grand Harbor under cover of darkness with Gibraltar as its destination, the Olympus was maneuvering to clear Malta when it struck a mine and rapidly sunk. Only 9 survivors of the 98 crew and passengers onboard made the 7-mile swim back to Malta.
The Olympus lay undiscovered for 70 years until AURORA made this startling discovery.
Locating the Olympus is yet another example of the rich treasure trove of cultural heritage that lies undiscovered under the worlds oceans. What is particularly poignant is the Olympus was lost, unlike so many of AURORA’S other “ancient” discoveries’, in the modern era and yet had remained hidden until AURORA began systematically surveying the Maltese coastal waters. Who knows what other discoveries lie submerged off Malta’s ancient shores and elsewhere under the watery blanket of the worlds oceans.