Fortunal

dive site type: wreck
difficulty: medium
depth range: 0-60 m (wreck 37-52 m)
distance from the diving center: 4.5 nm
short characteristic: a well-preserved wreck of a fishing boat lying on the sandy bottom next to the steep wall, in which there is a long, narrow cave at the depth of 6 m

 

The Vis island’s economy is based on agriculture (mainly viticulture), fishing and tourism. While tourism is a relatively new sector – in the Yugoslavian times the island was a closed area for foreigners – fishery has a very long tradition on Vis. It was in the 17th century when falkuša was designed and built in Komiža. Falkuša was a sailboat that occurred to be the best unit for fishing for the next 300 years. It’s worth to notice that a large part of fishing was held 42 miles off the Vis, on the Palagruža archipelago. Although the last falkuša sank in 1986, traditional regatta from Komiža to Palagruža (Rota palagruzona) is still held today.

The rich history of fishing on the Vis island is unfortunately not only about successes, but also numerous incidents involving fishing boats. In one of such accidents crashed a cutter boat called Fortunal. This wooden ship was built in 1995 in the central Italy, in the town of Fano. Its high sides were designed so that even the biggest waves in the Adriatic Sea weren’t dangerous. The northern coast of the island of Vis with vertically descending walls, without unexpected shallows, is a perfect place for the trawler. On April 10, 1997, Fortunal was coming back from fishing to the port of Vis. The tired crew fell asleep, and the ship was run by the autopilot. Suddenly and unexpectedly the ship at full speed hit the island of Vis near the village of Okljućna and sank immediately.

Fortunal lies on a sandy bottom at the depth of about 52 m. Relatively young wreck is slightly skewed to the left side, and the highest point is at the depth of 37 m BSL. Due to the short time from sinking, the wooden structure has not yet been severely damaged and emerging from the blue Fortunal resembles a ship in a bottle. Although deep-seated, the wreck can be almost completely viewed by recreational divers, what in turn is due to its size – the length of the boat is less than 20 m. Diving in this place starts over the wreck, and after watching it continues along the wall to end up in a quiet bay, where diving boats can anchor. At the end of the dive at the depth of 6 m a long, narrow, dark cave, in which forkbeards are hiding from the daylight, might be additionally visited.