MV Captayannis

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Captayannis.JPG
Photograph of the Captayannis, taken from the north side of the Clyde in Helensburgh.
Career (Greece) Hellenic Navy ensign
Name: MV Captayannis
Owner: M.& S.J. Paleocrassas Bros., Piraeus, Greece
Builder: A/S Nakskov Skibbs
Launched: 15 June 1946 as Norden[1]
Renamed: Captayannis, 1963
Fate: Sunk, 27 January 1974
General characteristics
Type: Merchant vessel
Displacement: 2,620 long tons (2,662 t)
Length: 396 ft (121 m)
Beam: 56 ft 4 in (17.17 m)
Draught: 25 ft (7.6 m)

The Captayannis was a Greek sugar-carrying vessel that sank in the River Clyde, Scotland in 1974.

Shipwreck[edit]

On the evening of 27 January 1974, a severe storm caused the vessel to drag her anchor while she was waiting at the Tail of the Bank to deliver sugar to the James Watt Dock in Greenock. Her captain ordered the engines to be started with the intention of running for the more sheltered waters of the Gareloch but before she could be brought to power she drifted onto the taught anchor chains of the BP tanker British Light. The tanker suffered no damage but her anchor chains holed the sugar boat below the waterline, allowing water to pour in.[2]

Captayannis's captain, realising that water was flowing in so fast that she was in imminent danger of sinking, opted to beach her in the shallow waters over the sandbank and steered to the desired spot where she stuck fast. The pilot boats, the tug Labrador and Clyde Marine Motoring's Rover came to assist. The vessel heeled over so far that it was possible for the crew to jump onto the deck of the diminutive passenger vessel. 25 of the crew were taken ashore aboard the Rover, but the Captain and four crewmen waited on the Labrador, standing off the stricken vessel. The ship finally succumbed the next morning, rolling onto her side. She has lain there ever since. Most, if not all of her more valuable metals and fittings have been removed by looters, leaving just her steel hull and superstructure, though some of her wooden decking remains in remarkably good condition after more than 40 years in the sea. Her hull remains sound, though her thinner deck plates are starting to rust through with holes opening up in places.

Today[edit]

Through time Captayannis has become 'home' to marine life and birds. She has never been removed as confusion surrounds the identity of her owners and insurers - no-one accepts responsibility for her removal. Plans to have her blown up were shelved as there were fears about damage to nearby bird sanctuary, Ardmore Point.[3]

The wreck is a familiar site near the Tail of the Bank and can be seen on satellite images.[4] It is not to be confused with that of the French warship Maillé Brézé which sank nearby in 1940 but was later removed and cut up in Port Glasgow in 1956.

She is known to many locals simply as the "sugar boat".[5]

Wreck[edit]

Captayannis in zoom

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Search results for "5415212"". Miramar Ship Index. R.B.Haworth. Retrieved 19 January 2009.  Click on "5415212" for details.
  2. ^ http://www.secretscotland.org.uk/index.php/Secrets/MVCaptayannis
  3. ^ "Captayannis: The Clyde's Most Obvious Wreck". Clydesite Magazine. Retrieved 2007-07-22. 
  4. ^ "Captayannis (Sunken ship)". Globe Trotting. Retrieved 2007-07-22. 
  5. ^ http://www.clydesite.co.uk/articles/captayannis.asp
  6. ^ "Wreck Lookup". Chippenham Divers (BSAC1662). Retrieved 2007-07-22. 

External links[edit]