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The DONATOR, The Prosper Schiaffino

France, Région Sud, Hyères les Palmiers
Marine area adjacent to Port-Cros National Park
Natura 2000 Hyères bay
The Donator, the Prosper Schiaffino

Reference system

WGS 84

Maximum depth

35-52 m
current can be extreme, numerous users (snorkelling, fishing)

Port-Cros National Park manages the adjacent marine area and the Hyeres bay Natura 2000 zone. It conducts the concertation between professional divers and fishermen, the muncipalities, government bodies, etc., to define the actions and protective measures to carry out.



and natural


Description of the site of natural interest

The wreck is positioned vertically on a sandy seabed. It is covered with red sea fans (Paramuricea clavata) and teems with life: dentex (Dentex dentex), grouper (Epinephelus marginatus), striped red mullet (Mullus surmuletus), two-banded sea bream (Diplodus vulgaris) and schools of swallowtail sea perch (Anthias anthias), etc.


Description of the site of cultural interest

The Donator was built in Bergen, Norway, in 1931. It was 78 metres in length with a beam of 12 metres. It was a fast vessel whose 1800 hp engine could propel it at 14 knots. The Schiaffino company renamed it the Prosper Schiaffino and it served to transport wine. During the Second World War, the Prosper Schiaffino was a merchant vessel that also transported troops and equipment between Algeria and the zones that were gradually liberated. In 1945, it was one of the few surviving vessels in the French merchant fleet.

The wreck:

On 10 November 1945, the Prosper Schiaffino returned from Algeria where it had delivered dried vegetables and potatoes and was returning with a cargo of wine. After a stormy crossing, the Prosper Schiaffino was assailed by the Mistral. It was decided to pass Porquerolles by the south to shelter from the wind. However, it struck a mine near the small islets of Grand and Petit Sarranier. The vessel sank within 4 minutes. A few weeks later, the Sagona suffered the same fate in practically the same place.