The British Submarine "PERSEUS" set-off on 24-11-1941 from
Malta for an offensive Patrol
mission in the gulf of Taranta in the Adriatic
Sea and the Ionian Sea.
On 6-12-1941 she struck a mine off the coast of Kefalonia
and went down taking with her 60 officers and lower ranked men.
The British crew member (stoker) John Capes was the sole survivor as he managed a daring last minute escape from the sunken submarine. Using a special escape apparatus named DAVIS he performed a "second to none", a superhuman effort to succesfuly ascent from the Perseus Shipwreck, to the surface of the cold Ionian sea water and also to his saviour...
He swam to the nearest shore of Kefalonia Island, a beautiful island which was then under the Italian occupation. There he was found by the island inhabitants who medicaly treated and took him into shelter. Having been in good hands for more than 18 months he was helped to escape to safety in Smyrna.
John Capes extraordinary survival adventure was difficult to be taken seriously. No one believed his stories as they seemed too far fetched. As such no one ever understood what this man had really gone through, this was more like a journey from hell to paradise. It had never happened before, for someone to escape from such a depth. Today, 56 years later the Diving Research Team of Costas Thoctarides sheds some light into the mysteries of how the sinking of the HMS Perseus happened.
Unfortunately John Capes is no longer with us so that his daring escape story could be brought to justice, with the verification of his escape…
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