Organized by the Kea Municipality, the Friends of Kea Society and the Region of South Aegean, the conference entitled “100 Years Kea’s Shipwrecks 1916-2016” aims to establish the island as a major diving tourism destination as well as explore its history of shipwrecks.
Held under the auspices of UNESCO and the Greek National Tourism Organization (GNTO), the three-day event marks a century since the S/S Burdigala and HMHS Britannic sank by seven days apart due to underwater mines in the Kea Channel and will host experts, academics and deep-water photographers who will share their knowledge, passion and insight into the mysteries of the shipwrecks.
Prominent speakers set to participate include UK shipwreck explorer Leigh Bishop Leigh, British author Mark Chirnside, technical divers Dimitris Galon and Richie Kohler, writer Michail Michailakis and Director of the Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities Dr Angeliki Simosi. Events during the three-day centennial celebration include the placing of commemorative plaques at the spots where the S/S Burdigala and HMHS Britannic sank by a team of technical divers on Friday, September 30.
In the meantime, proceeds from the conference will go towards funding the “Carl Spencer” scholarship program supporting the island’s students in honor of the British diver who died while making a documentary about the Britannic in 1916.