The site

The WW2 wreck Oreste is located on the territory of Budva municipality in Montenegro. The wreck lies between Jaz Beach and Trsteno Beach about 2.5 kilometers away from Budva. Tourism is the main driver of the economy of Budva. It’s a significant tourist destination on the eastern Adriatic and by far the most popular destination in Montenegro.

It’s known for its well preserved medieval walled city and sandy beaches. Budva is 2500 years old, which makes it one of the oldest settlements on the Adriatic coast. Beach Jaz is one of the three longest beaches on the Montenegrin coast. The sandy beach surrounded by unspoiled nature is a favorite of many tourists from Budva and Boka Bay.

The shipwreck

As a nameless wreck, Oreste has long been known to local fishermen, afterward divers. There was little information that suggested the identification of the wreckage. In the book “Lost Commercial Ships – Italian Navy in World War II” is the first time that the ship was mentioned.

The original name of the ship was Morby, built at Ropner & Sin Shipyard in 1896. In 1926 it was renamed by the new owner Mateo Scuderia of Catania. It was privately owned during World War II. On March 27, 1942, at about 10 o’clock, Oreste landed on the underwater mine and sank within two hours. Oreste was on his way from Split (Croatia) to the Bar (Montenegro). There is not much information about Oreste’s victims.

The ship sank to the sandy bottom, relatively straight, at a depth of 32m. The first time that the wreck was explored was in 1955. by the Yugoslav shipbuilding company “Brodospas”.

During the explosion, the ship was halved in two parts, about 20m apart. The hull is patched. On the back (stern) are the tunnel shafts. Steam loading winches, in almost intact condition, are arranged across the deck. Remains of the steam engine protrude from the deck of the ship. On the scattered parts of the command bridge, one can clearly see parts of the steering gear characteristic of ships of that era. The kitchen is well preserved with a distinctive stove.

The wreck has been the victim of vandalism by the divers who have removed ship installations and parts of the structure. With the great diving conditions, the wreck Oreste is one of the most popular and most visited diving sites in Montenegro. Local dive centers, as well as foreign dive centers, are visiting the wreckage during the summer months.