As you drive along the coast in the Paphos region you can clearly see a couple of shipwrecks that are not even all that far apart – one is just off the ‘Tomb of the Kings’ archaeological site (which is just under 3k from Paphos lighthouse), and the other is just off the Sea Caves in Peyia.
But what are their stories, and how long have they been there?
The first ship, found off Tomb of the Kings, is the MV Demetrios II whose story is sparsely recited, although what has been reported is that it was a cargo ship built in 1964 in Germany and it ran aground off Paphos Lighthouse in heavy seas carrying timber cargo en route to Syria from Greece on 23 March 1998.
At the time of the accident there were 8 crew members aboard – 4 Greeks, 2 Pakistanis and 2 Syrians. The crew were rescued and airlifted by a British Military Helicopter.
It was subsequently confirmed in the Lloyd’s List the competency certificates for the Greek Captain and the Pakistani first officer were forgeries.
And so the wreck still stands, 16 years later; apparently it will cost more than it’s worth to salvage it, so we can expect it to stay there for quite some time!
- Find the MV Demetrios II ship wreck on google maps: Click here
- Read the Cyprus Mail News Report on the crew’s forged papers from 2nd April 1998:Click here
The second ship, found by Sea Caves, is Sierra Leone-flagged, EDRO III which is an Albanian-owned cargo vessel that was built in the late 1960s. The ship left Limassol port in early December 2011, bound for Rhodes, but it’s engine encountered technical problems during bad weather and the ship was forced onto rocks, where it has remained since 8th December 2011.
The ship has not been moved since due to a couple of reasons; the ship can’t legally be dismantled where it is because it is stranded on an area which is part of the Natura 2000 project, which aims to protect and preserve natural habitat and environments and also because of money: the owner of the vessel has allegedly told his Russian insurance company that he doesn’t have the funds to pay the amount required as stated in the insurance policy in order to be compensated.
Apparently it would cost around half a million euros to move & transport it to a scrap yard, although it’s thought that it’s scrap value is worth less than this so it looks likely that this ship will also be sticking around for some time. In fact, the ship now functions as a back drop to a newly inaugurated wedding venue known as ‘Gliki Nero Bay’!
It is also a lovely back drop to popular restaurant ‘Oniro’, which you can read about in our 8509 Magazine Website HERE – just a hint, they make the best cocktails in Paphos!