Motor Vessel Panagiotis
On the southwest coast of Greece, deep in the sapphire waters of the Ionian sea, there is an island of Zakynthos. A well-known summer destination. Zakynthos, or Zante as the Italians like to call it, is the third largest of the Ionian Islands. Kefalonia, Corfu, Lefkada, Ithaca and Paxi are the other six islands, all of them offering wonderful vacations for those looking for the most beautiful sandy beaches in the Mediterranean. But this is not the story of Zakynthos or any other beautiful island in the Ionian – this is the story of the mystery of the shipwreck on Zakynthos and the secret it keeps about the island’s most famous beach, Navagio.
Navagio beach, originally known as Agios Georgios, is located on the west side of the Ionian island, close to Anafotiria village. The beach has a shape of an exposed cove, sometimes referred to as The Smugglers Cove. Navagio is also often referred to as The Shipwreck beach, because it’s home to the wreck of ship Panagiotis. Many believe that Panagiotis was a smugglers ship in the mid of 20th century.
But how did this mysterious ship end up exactly here, on this beautiful beach? Originally named the MV Saint Bedan, the ship was launched on Thursday, January 14, 1937, from Glasgow port.
M.J.Gardner & Co. Ltd. was the first owner of this motor vessel. In 1964 the ship was sold to its first Greek owners under the name of Meropi. Eventually, eleven years later, this ship got its world-famous name – Panagiotis. The name derives from the Greek epithet Panagia or Panayia (“All-Holy”) for the Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus.
Many theories and speculations hit the shores of the beautiful Navagio beach. The one that many support is that Panagiotis was used for smuggling cigarettes and alcohol from Yugoslavia and Albania in order to send them to Italy. Some rumors even go so far as to tell a story of a couple of smugglers from Italy. The story goes that the captain was able to arrest and imprison the two Italians, just to exploit the smuggled goods for himself. Unfortunately, unexpected bad weather forced him to ground the ship in the bay.
Finally, in 2016 the captain of the ship, Captain Charalambos Kompothekras–Kotsoros, addressed the public with his chronicle of what happened that night. According to his story, the ship had sailed from the port of Argostoli, Kefalonia to the port of Durrës, Albania on the night of September 6, 1980. Due to extremely bad weather conditions, he experienced several mechanical failures that forced him to strand the ship on the shores of Agios Giorgos. He was cleared from all accusations by the court, except one. He was forced to remove the vessel on his own. In the summer, the captain went to see the wrecked ship and saw one of the most beautiful sights ever – the Shipwreck On Zakynthos Island.
If you would like to hear more about this story, you in fact can. Mr. Charalambos Kompothekras–Kotsoros is now the owner of Monte E Mare Villas in Kefalonia. Villas are located in one of the most beautiful and green coastal areas of the island. Just twenty meters from the sandy organized Spasmata beach and 120 meters from the equally sandy Megali Ammos beach. So book yourself a stay and hope that the truth is still out there.
Especially the truth about The Mystery Of Shipwreck beach On Zakynthos Island…
Read more travel stories in our Travel section!
Maybe follow us on Facebook then?