The “Kimon” was a ‘General Cargo Vessel’ of 3,714 tonnes (gross) with 4 cargo holds – two forward of and two aft of the central bridge structure. She was built in the German town of Hamm in 1952 by Stuicken & Sohn. Her dimensions were 106.4m x 14.8m x 6.81m. She was powered by a 4 stroke single action 8 cylinder diesel engine built by Waggon & Masch – also of Hamm.
The ship did not change her name throughout her career – although the “M” was added some years later by her last owners – the Ianissos Shipping Company of Panama.
The Loss of the Kimon M
In December 1978, the Kimon M loaded 4,500 tons of bagged Lentils in the Turkish port of Iskenderun. On completion, the hatches were battened down and the ship prepared for the long journey to Bombay. It took just over two days for the Kimon M to reach Port Said and about the same time again to reach Suez. From here, the Captain had to navigate the narrow confines of the more hazardous upper reaches of the Straits of Suez and for two days he spent most of his time on the bridge – giving his personal attention to every detail of bringing his vessel safely into the Red Sea.
Finally, the ship approached the wider stretches of the Straits of Gubal and the Sinai began to fall away to the east and the Egyptian mainland even further away to the west. Satisfied that the more dangerous stretches had been safely negotiated, the Captain finally handed over control of his ship to one of his officers and went below.
It was not long, however, before he was very rudely awoken. On December 12th 1978, with engines at Full Speed the Kimon M drove hard onto the north east corner of Sha’b Abu Nuhas Reef. A passing cargo ship – the “Interasja,” immediately responded to the distress call and picked up all the crew and delivered them safely to Suez two days later.