A Wartime Relic Was Lost For Decades Until A River Drained Out And Exposed The Wreck

It’s the height of summer in 2022, and conditions are terrifyingly harsh in the north of Italy. The heat is intense, and water is increasingly scarce. Even the country’s biggest river is threatened, with water levels dropping to remarkable lows. It’s a scary sight, and one that’s only emphasized by a ghostly shape emerging from the depths. Beneath the surface of the river lay a ghostly relic, and the parched conditions have uncovered it again after many, many years.

Times are changing

Welcome to the river Po, Italy’s largest river. Stretching across more than 400 miles of Italian landscape, it begins in the Alps, snaking through various regions before eventually reaching the Adriatic Sea. This waterway has been essential to the areas through which it flows for as long as it’s existed, but times are changing. And nothing encapsulated these changes better than the sight of an old relic poking out of the Po during the summer.

Ghostly wreck

This ghostly old wreck has lain in the Po for many decades and has quite the history. The river once claimed the vessel, but now, because of the extremely dry weather, it seemed to be spitting it back out again. And this was evident as early in the year as March.

Bird’s-eye view

The vessel had sunk near a small community called Gualtieri, which is where people gathered in early 2022 to catch a glimpse of it when it first resurfaced. One of those spectators was a man named Alessio Bonin. He went a step further than most, in fact, sending a drone up to the sky to see the ship even more clearly.

Big worries

Bonin later spoke to British newspaper The Guardian about the ship and the terrible conditions that had brought it to the surface once more. He said, “In recent years you could see the bow of the boat, so we knew it was there, but to see the vessel so exposed in March, when it was essentially still winter, was very dramatic. I’ve never seen such a drought at this time of year. Our main worry used to be our river flooding; now we worry about it disappearing.”