Until recently, according to Law 1701/2003, diving on ship and aircraft wrecks, which have been submerged for more than 50 years, was prohibited. In order for anyone interested to visit them, he had to first submit an application to the Marine Antiquities Tax Office of the Ministry of Culture, stating precisely the purposes of his visit. The application was sometimes approved if it related exclusively to scientific purposes.
This regime began to change gradually when in 2020 Law 4688/2020, on special forms of tourism, was published in the government gazette. Article 7 of this law detailed the new legal framework governing the historic shipwrecks of the Greek seas. Through this new law, the way was opened for the visit of the newest Greek historical shipwrecks, primarily, through licensed providers of diving services. A year later, in 2021, with the opinion of the Central Council of Newer Monuments, a total of 91 shipwrecks and aircraft wrecks were released, in which organized recreational diving became permissible.
In March 2022, with the publication of a Joint Ministerial Decision, the legal frameworks were defined according to which those interested can visit the newest shipwrecks of the Greek seas designated as monuments. Of the 91 total wrecks, 11 were initially released, which are the first group of historic wrecks in which diving activity is now allowed under specific conditions, which are precisely defined by law. These 11 wrecks are as follows:
1. HMHS Britannic, Kea
2. Ocean liner S/S Burdigala. Kea
3. Patris paddle steamer, Kea
4. Cargo steamer ARTEMIS PITA, Milos
5. Freight steamer SIFNOS, Milos
6. Steamship MINNEWASKA, Marathi of Crete
7. Mytilini Shipwreck, Kypsa Bay, Kassandra, Halkidiki
8. Shipwreck in Kalamitsi, Halkidiki
9. Cement ship, SS CRETELAND, Ag. George of Evia
10. Cement ship PIONEER I, Lihades Evia
11. Steamship VOLOS Lefteris reef, between Pelion and Skiathos
As stated in Law 92225/2022, Article 1, Paragraph 1, diving service providers (see diving centers) and anyone who visits these wrecks must inform the competent authorities at least one day before the planned dive at the respective wreck. This new procedure significantly contributes to the simplification of the actions necessary to legally dive in the 11 released historical shipwrecks of the Greek seas.