“Kapetan Yannis”: The Greek Shipwreck in Scotland

kapetan yannisSince 1974, the wreck of the Greek sugar transport ship “Kapetan Yannis ” (Captain John) is located in the river Clyde in Scotland between Helensburgh and Greenock.

The story of the “Kaeptan Yannis”

The cargo ship “Kapetan Yannis” was built in Denmark and was set to sail in September 1946 under the name Norden. Its length reached 121 meters, its width 17.17 meters and it had a draft of 7.6 meters. In 1963 it was sold to M & SJ Paleocrassas Bros who had their headquarters in Piraeus and renamed in to Captayannis or “Kapetan Yannis”.

During its last trip “Kapetan Yannis” was loaded with raw sugar and performed a route from the Caribbean to Greenock (Scotland).

In January 1974, Captayannis had reached Clyde and anchored waiting to dock and unload the sugar. But on the night of January 27, 1974, the weather deteriorated suddenly and a violent storm struck the west coast with winds of over 60 miles per hour.

Although the “Kapetan Yannis” withstood the weather, a BP tanker which was anchored nearby did not. The collision of the two ships was inevitable. Still this was not what caused the wreck, instead it was the chains of the tanker’s anchor that caused a rift to the, resulting in an influx of water into the ship.

The captain tried to run it aground in the shallow waters of the beach. The vessel tilted to one side the next morning and remained there until now.

“Captayannis” has become a local attraction but also a home to fish and birds.
Locals call it the “sugar ship” because when it sank it “fed” the fish 10,000 tonnes of sugar.


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