Between 1962 and 1963, Agip built PIATTAFORMA PAGURO, a gas extraction platform in the Adriatic Sea off Lido Adriano. In 1965, the platform exploded in an accident while drilling a new well and sank about 25 metres, costing the lives of three people.
The wreck was left in the sea and has transformed over time into a sort of artificial reef, around which a wealth of exceptional marine life has developed.
AN OASIS OF BIODIVERSITY
In recent years, the wreck has become one of the most important centres of marine biology of the Adriatic sea, and in 2010 it was designated a Site of Community Interest by the Emilia-Romagna Region.
Many invertebrates such as starfish, sea urchins and serpentine starfish can be found in the area of the platform.
Myriads of fish of all kinds have settled here, and when diving, it is easy to encounter fish that are typical of rocky sea beds, such as croakers, saddled breams, murres, black scorpion fish, sea bass and conger eels.
Underwater tourists might even spot the cassiopeia jellyfish, the Mediterranean’s largest one, but also come across the many red lobsters, rock lobsters and gurnards of all sizes.
As you descend, you will come across schools of oily fish, bogas, mackerels, sardines, skipjacks, mullets, sea bass and amberjacks. It is not uncommon to see dolphins, which have come in search of food.
Finally, on the muddy seabed around the wreck, there are specimens of finfish, coelenterates, sea anemones and waxwings.
In view of the growing number of underwater explorers eager to admire this underwater naturalistic oasis, the Paguro Association was set up in 1995 to regulate diving and safeguard the biological protection zone.
Along with other natural and artificial reefs, the Paguro wreck is at the centre of the AdriReef project, aiming to valorise the so-called “blue economy” and fostering research at these sites.
Click HERE to explore the wreck of Piattaforma Paguro.