Donator (Prosper Schiaffino SS)

by spotmydive

Geographic location

Country: France
Region: Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur

GPS coordinates

Lat: 42.9933 Lng: 6.2739


Length: 78m
Width: 5m
Height: 12m
Nationality: Français
Construction date: 1931
Sinking year: 1945
Number of deaths: 4
Cause of sinking: Mine
Ship Type: Cargo
Propulsion: Vapeur
Tonnage: 1698

Marine life

Moray eel

Diving conditions

Max Depth: 51m
Visibility: Very good

When to go diving

From May to October

The wreck of Donator is probably one of the most famous wrecks of France. This ship was made popular by Captain Cousteau who filmed it in a beautiful scene of its movie The Silent World.

Donator: is this the most beautiful wreck of the Mediterranean?

Built in 1931 by a Norwegian shipyards, the ship is 78 meters long and was baptized Donator. Its name changed several times during his long career on the occasion of changes in its ownership.
From 1933 to 1939, the ship was renamed Little Earth while it was transporting bananas from the Caribbean.

From 1939 to 1945, the ship was purchased by the Algerian company “Schiaffino and Brothers” that turns it into a tanker for transporting bulk wine pinardier. The ship was subsequently renamed Prosper Schiaffino. During World War II, the ship also transported troops, equipment and supplies from Corsica until 1943.

Sinking of the Prosper Schiaffino

November 10, 1945, during one of its travel from Algeria, the vessel struck on a drifting mine near the island of Porquerolles in the Var department.

The explosion tore the ship in two and it sunk quickly. The sinking cost the lives of four sailors. Another wreck, very close to the first: “The Sagona,” called the Greek, will sink, few month later under almost similar conditions.

An extraordinary dive site

The wreck of Donator lies between 35 and 51 meters deep making and is dedicated to level 3 divers and technical divers. The boat has several major points of interest such as its corridors, its steering wheel, its main propeller, its hold, where you’ll see the sleeping area, and its small kitchen.
The ship’s hull is covered with beautiful yellow and red gorgonians around which many fish frolics such as barracuda, scorpion fish, groupers, moray eels, bream, bream and even stingrays.

You’ll understand this dive spot has much to offer and is one of the best dive sites in France.