Passenger ferry boat “Zakinthos”, with Piraeus ship register number 4807, DDS SV, a volume of 1559 gross registered tonnage and 906 net registered tonnage, a length of 87 meters, constructed in 1979 at Kinossouras shipyard, functioning with Motoren Mannheim 6600 BHP engine, owned by the Superior Ship Company of Zakinthos.The ship, with its captain Savas Ksenofou, arrived at Kilini port at about 15.30 on 28 December 1989. It started loading tank cars with liquid fuels in order to do the special route of transferring fuels at Zakinthos without passengers. There were 15 cars, 15 drivers and a car passenger. The gross weight of the cars was 418 tones. The ship left from Kilini at about 16.15 and according to the forecast at South Ionian Sea there were south-east winds of 5-6 grades at Beaufort scale, locally at 7 grades, the sea was wavy and the visibility was at 2-4 miles. However, the real conditions were worse. The ship, during its route to Zakinthos, faced even worse weather conditions. As a result, it inclined to the right at an angle of 20°-30° degrees, while at the same time both the electrical and the hydraulic helm were not functioning and there was no communication between the bridge and the machine room. It was observed that all the cars had been moved to the right side of the ship, leaving an empty space of 2.5-3 meters on the left side. The inclination could not be restored and the ship, driven by the hand operated helm, changed its route towards Peloponissos coasts. The ship was functioning with one engine and it had reached Ilia coasts at a distance of 1-1.5 miles when the captain broadcast the danger signal at about 17.06. The local Port Authorities of Zakinthos and Kilini cooperated with each other immediately.At 17.15, the ship “Protefs” with the Harbourmaster left from Zakinthos in order to help. However, 7 miles away from the port, he communicated to everybody that due to the weather conditions he can’t continue the trip and he had to return back to Zakinthos. At 17.25, the ship “Dilos” left from Kilini and went to the dangerous area discovering the great inclination of the ship and that its abandonment had already started. “Zakinthos” captain ordered to drop both anchors and, seeing “Dilos” coming, ordered the abandonment of the ship. They used the life-rafts because the life-boats, due to the inclination, could not be used. The abandonment was successful and the captain and the first engineer stayed on board, while the inclination was at 45° degrees. At 18.30, the fishing boat “Panagia Faneromeni” arrived in order to contribute in the rescuing of the ship passengers. The whole area was lighted up by light bombs of an airplane that was participating in the mission. They were all saved except for the driver Alexandros Bekiros. At 19.30, a very strong explosion took place at the garage of the ship and the captain as well as the first engineer, wearing their lifejackets, jumped in the sea. More explosions followed and the flames burned the whole place. Because of the explosions, cracks were created and as a result the ship overturned very quickly. Its coordinates were 37°-55-55′ North and 21°-06-26′ East, at a distance of 800 meters from the opposite side and 1.3 miles from Kafkalida lighthouse in a depth of 43 meters. The fishboat “Christos” saved the captain and the first engineer. The next day the dead body of Alexandros Bekiros was found at the area of Kilini and the death cause was drowning.
Source: Christos Ntounis, Wrecks at Greek Seas 1951-2000, Volume B.