Croatian Archaeologists Remove WWII Engine from Seabed Near Zadar

Lauren Simmonds

October the 25th, 2020 – Croatia is full of history, and Croatian archaeologists are often coming across incredible examples and historical artefacts dotted up and down the coast, with the sea around Zadar often bearing fruit when it comes to modern history – particularly the Second World War.

As Morski writes, after finding a WWII engine on the seabed near Rivanj, Croatian archaeologists from the International Centre for Underwater Archeology in Zadar consulted aviation history experts Radovan Zivanovic Raus and Jurica Vucetic, who confirmed that this was indeed a very important find. Namely, it is a twelve-cylinder Rolls Royce Merlin engine, which, in addition to the famous Spitfire aircraft, was also installed in Hurricane aircraft.

Given that parts of the three propellers have been preserved on the engine, this is obviously a Hurricane. Historians believe that this is an aircraft that crashed in the Croatian Adriatic at some point during September 1944, but further research must confirm this thesis. They also expressed fears that this engine could be stolen by self-proclaimed underwater researchers and unscrupulous collectors and even smuggled outside of Croatian borders.

On Thursday, October the 22nd, 2020, Croatian archaeologists from MCPA Zadar, Roko Suric, Maja Kaleb and Luka Bekic, with the help of Djani Iglic from the Sveti Roko Bibinje diving club, successfully lifted the engine out of the sea with an underwater parachute and towed it to land, more specifically to the port of Rivanj. There, it was lifted by a truck crane and transferred to the City of Zadar. On Friday morning, it was successfully transported to the restoration workshop MCPA Zadar. There, it was taken over by the workshop leader Antonija Jozic, who will determine the strategy of how to best conserve the find.

We all hope that the restoration will go smoothly, so that this valuable engine, the only one to have been preserved in Croatia, will be deservedly exhibited at Sv. Nikola in Zadar, the future presentation centre of underwater archeology of MCPA Zadar.

For the latest travel info, bookmark our main travel info article, which is updated daily

Read the Croatian Travel Update in your language – now available in 24 languages

Join the Total Croatia Travel INFO Viber community.


Subscribe to our newsletter

the fields marked with * are required
Email: *
First name:
Last name:
Gender: Male Female
Please don't insert text in the box below!

Leave a Comment