A stunning island off probably the southwest coast of Greece, Zakynthos boasts magnificent beaches, verdant valleys, and secluded coves. But the island is probably more popular outside Greece for Navagio Beach, a small cove with a pristine beach and crystal clear waters home to a famous shipwreck. The following paragraphs, discover the story behind this wayward boat and just how it ended up on one of Greece’s most famous beaches.
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There’s no question that Navagio Beach (Shipwreck Beach) is among the most and famous most photographed beaches in Greece. Located on the northwest shore of the Ionian island of Zakynthos (also known as Zante), Navagio Beach, previously referred to as Agios Giorgos, became an impromptu ship graveyard when the MV Panayiotis washed up on the shores of its in October 1980.
Theories that are Numerous and speculations arose, and while the date is frequently wrong (some sources state that the event happened in 1981, 1982, or perhaps 1983), nearly all of them claim that the MV Panayiotis was a smuggler ship; hence it’s contributing to the name Smugglers Cove. Some people say that the ship was smuggling cigarettes, wine, and humans when authorities caught up and cornered it until the cove, where it circled aground. Others, supporting the concept that the vessel was indeed smuggling contraband cigarettes, females, and booze, lost engine power and was just washed ashore in the bay. Another theory supports that the owner of the MV Panayiotis, Haris Kompotheklas, transported smuggled cigarettes from the ports of Albania and Yugoslavia to send them to Italy.
On this particular journey, he was forced to board 2 Italian smugglers. Rumour has it the captain was able to arrest and imprison the 2 Italians to exploit the smuggled goods for himself, but due to unexpected bad weather conditions, he was forced to ground the ship in the bay. Even though he and his crew ostensibly tried to salvage the cargo, part of it was carried away by the waves, bringing bounty to villagers who then hid the goods. When the authorities got wind of the incident, they came and arrested the captain and the crew of his, deported the Italians back to their country, and convicted the parties for smuggling. At the same time, the cargo was sold through an auction.
Lately, the ship captain, Kefalonia-born Captain Charalambos Kompothekras Kotsoros, released the real account of what happened that night.
According to the recollection of his on the site, the’ MV Panayiotis (No. 4512 of Piraeus) sailed from Argostoli, Cephalonia, to the port of Durrës, Albania on September six, 1980. When the shipment was set and ready sail for return, during the evening hours of October two, 1980, the ship ended at the beach of St George near Volimes due to bad weather conditions and mechanical failure. I reported the accident to the authorities, but as a result of the point that the beach wasn’t accessible on foot by land, we weren’t in the position to protect the ship from other dangers and thieves. As a result, part of the shipment was stolen, and various vessel equipment (radar, VHF radio, etc.).
I went back to the authorities to report that my property was stolen. The General Prosecutor of the area in my presence organized a formal on-site investigation with the local police. The outcome was outstanding as, during the first days of the operation, all stolen items and the stolen part of the shipment were present in local villages nearby. Twenty-nine persons in total were persecuted and jailed during the following months. After the trials were completed.’
After being cleared from all accusations by the court, he was later forced by the authorities to remove the vessel by the own means. When he visited the site to find out how he could maneuver, he was so astonished by the beauty of the rusting carcass that he chose to leave it as is actually.
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