Cargo ship “Apollonia VI”, with Piraeus ship register number 4431, DDS SV 3282, a volume of 746 gross registered tonnage and 414 net registered tonnage, constructed in 1955 at Bremen, functioning with an KLO- ECKNER-HUMBOLDT- DEUTZ internal combustion engine of 1.000 BHP.

The ship’s captain was Konstantinos Tsantiris, with license of practical captain, and there was an 8-member crew, 5 Greeks and 3 foreigners. The ship sailed at about 20.00 on 10 June 1980 from Chalkida to Tripoli, Libya with a general cargo of 1.440 tones. From the total of the cargo, 4.000 rolls were loaded at the deck and the rest of it at the hold.

The weather conditions were good, but at about 2.00 the visibility started to limit. When the ship was reaching Makronissos, the captain realized that they were too close to Tripiti reef, the northern side of Makronissos. That was the reason why he went out of the map room, took the helm from the foreigner sailor Ivo Manuel and turned it full right. However, while he was turning the helm, at about 2.30 on 11 June 1980, the ship grounded on Tripiti reef, 37°-45΄ North and 24°-07΄ East. Immediately, they he tried to hold the engine and broadcast the alarm. From the bilge measuring was noted that the hold N° 1 was filling with water and that alerted the First Engineer to start operating the pumps.

However, despite the pumps’ function, the level of the water was increasing and the ship had an inclination of an angle of  5° degrees to the left. The Service of Research and Rescue of the Greek Ministry for Merchant Shipping as well as the ship owners were informed concerning the existing danger. At about 3.00 the crew, except for the Captain, the Lieutenant and the First Engineer, were boarded on the left rescue boat and stayed at a small distance from the ship. Later, at about 6.00, the situation was getting worst because the ship was sinking gradually and the engine room was full of water.

At about 6.10, the passenger ship “Aghios Nektarios”, with Lavrio ship register number 214, arrived having on board the Harbourmaster of Lavrio and later at about 6.40, when the ship took a sudden incline of 10° degrees to the right, the captain ordered the complete ship abandonment. The crew was transferred safe at Lavrio. It is noted that in the ship a radar as well as a gyrocompass were functioning. The ship was characterised to the insurers as a presumed total loss and a part of the cargo was saved.

Source: Christos Ntounis, Wrecks at Greek Seas 1951-2000, Volume B.
Special thanks Alexis Papadopoulos