Shipwreck Kira Eleni

Cargo ship “Kyra Eleni” (ex Otta), with Piraeus ship register number 2290, DDS SWZR, a volume of 2290 gross registered tonnage and 1071 net registered tonnage, 99 meters length, 3658 tones transport capacity, constructed in 1949 at Trondhzems M/V shipyard of Trondhzem, Norway, functioning with a MAN 1890 BHP engine of 12 knots speed. The ship was carrying 4 to 9 loaders and fuel reservoirs of 358 feet and it was belonging to Lyra Maritime S.A. Its captain was Panagiotis Mourtzis and its engineer was Ioannis Moros. On the ship there was also an 18-member crew as well as captain’s and engineer’s wives. The ship sailed at about 21.00 on 5 January 1978 from Lavrio to Bulgaria, without cargo and with sailing ballast. Since midnight, the weather started getting worse and at about 01.00 of 6/1/78, while it was taking a sight of Kavo Doro, the ship faced strong north-west wind of  8 force at Beaufort scale and huge waves. Since all the weather broadcasts of that day had foreseen a deterioration of weather conditions, the captain decided to go to Karystos bay until the weather got better. However, the entrance at this bay in darkness and rain, the strong winds as well as the existence of other ships too made the stay at this place very dangerous. That was the reason why the captain was sailing at the lee side of the bay until the sunrise. However, at about 07.00 of 6/1/78 the wind become a storm wind of a 10-11 force of Beaufort scale and the ship could not return to Karystos. So, it went south-west in order to reach a see bay of Sounio. At about 12.30, it took a sight of Sounio to enter Legrena bay. Because of the strong winds, the ship did not enter this bay and the captain decided to go to a lee side of Patroklos island, waiting the weather conditions to get better. When it reached this bay, the crew was ready to anchor at a small distance of the coast. However, when it reached the 5 levels, a whirlwind current did not allowed controlling the helm, the full speed astern could not be realized by the engine and the ship, although it had dropped its left anchor, crashed into the rocks with its left side. The crew tried to depart from the crash point, but then the ship declined to the left side. So, it reached again the rocks and the crew also dropped the right anchor. Then, it was realized that there was a water inflow to the engine room and the second hold, a fact that provoked a great decline to the ship. They immediately broadcasted a danger signal and all the passengers abandoned the ship and reached the rocks using a ladder.The ship sunk at about 14.50 on 6/1/1978. The next day, the shipwrecked people were saved by a rescue boat. Except for the captain and the First Engineer, on board were also:

1. Demetrios Petas, Lieutenant
2. Ioannis Makridakis, Aspirant Master
3. Charilaos Samoilis, Wireless Operator
4. Panagiotis Voultepsis, Second Engineer
5. Sotirios Vlachos, Third Engineer
6. E. Kyprianidis, Electrician
7. Kyriakoula Mourtzi, captain’s wife
8. Maria Peta, Lieutenant’s wife

It was very difficult for the shipwrecked people to reach the shore and they had to walk all night in order to go to the north coasts of the island and stay at guard’s house.

The wreck
The wreck of the cargo ship Kira Eleni is cut in half. It is located at the north-west axis, the part of the stern is in a upright position with a left inclination while the rest part of the bow is located with its left side in the sea bottom. Its maximum depth is 30 meters and the minimum depth almost 18 meters.
Sousce Christos Ntounis wrecks at Greek seas 1951 volume b