Panagiotis (ship)

Panagiotis (ship)

The Panagiotis (Παναγιώτης) is a picturesque shipwreck lying in the white sands of an exposed cove on the coast of Zakynthos (Zante), which is among the southern-most of the Ionian Islands of Greece. Navagio ("Shipwreck"), the spot where she lies, is a valued tourist attraction on the north-western side of the island, accommodating thousands of visitors each year.

A Coastal trading vessel, or Coaster, the Panagiotis was built in 1937 in Glasgow by Scotts Bowling, Yard 341, for the J. & A. Gardner and Co. Ltd. shipping company, and fitted with engines made by British Auxiliaries Ltd. At her launch, she measured 163 feet in length and 26 feet in width. She had a draft of just over 11 feet, and a gross register tonnage of 452. As a Coaster, her primary use was in the transportation of trade cargo through local, shallow waters. Her eventual use in the smuggling of goods may have led to her downfall in the early 1980s.

History

The Panagiotis has changed hands and names since her construction.

  • 1937 - Originally named the MV Saint Bedan, she was launched on Thursday, January 14, 1937 from Glasgow.
  • 1964 - She was sold to Greek owners, M. Gigilinis and S. Kakassinas of Thessaloniki (her port of registry), who renamed her Meropi.
  • 1966 - She was renamed Charis.
  • 1975 - She was sold by N.S. Kalfas to P. Lisikatos of Piraeus and renamed Panagiotis.
  • 1980 - She ran aground in October, on the island of Zakynthos, and was abandoned.

Sinking

The most commonly accepted story regarding the wreck of the Panagiotis maintains that she spent the later part of her life as a smuggler ship. In 1980 (during a time of record population lows on the island of Zakynthos), Panagiotis was making her way from Turkey with a freight of contraband cigarettes (for the Italian Mafia, as some versions of the story assert). The crew was suspected by authorities, and so the Panagiotis was pursued by the Greek Navy. Encountering stormy weather, she ran aground in a shallow cove to the north of Porto Vromi, where the crew abandoned ship to evade the pursuing Navy. To this day, she remains at the site which is now called "Navagio" for the Greek "shipwreck."

Controversy

There is question about the veracity of the wreck, with VirtualGreece.net stating that some Zakynthos locals believe the Panagiotis to have been placed in the cove by the Greek Ministry of Tourism

References

External links

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