The famous shipwreck, the Navagio of Zakynthos will be closed fro safety reasons and for a long period of time, following a recent evaluation of landslides and the seismic activity, the head of Greek Earthquake Planning and Protection (OASP) announced on Thursday.
Local authorities react to the decision – What the Tourism Minister sayes about the ban.
Speaking to media on Thursday morning, head of OASP Efthymios Lekkas said that a scientific team conducted an autopsy in the area of the shipwreck and they found out that there is an extensive landslide risk due to erosion on the surrounding slopes.
Therefore, the OASP proposed an access ban to Navagio beach.
It is recalled that a landslide occurred in September 2018, while the beach was full of visiting tourists that out lives at risk.
On September 9, 2022, the Civil Protection Coordinating Body of the Regional Unit of Zakynthos had decided to prohibit access for security reasons. The decision was taken after an earthquake triggered a new rock-slide, a day earlier..
How the ban will be implemented
The “Shipwreck” of Zakynthos is a very important attraction, but the safety of the citizens is above all, tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias told Skai TV.
“Boats will go but they won’t disembark and tourists won’t swim to the beach. A meeting was held yesterday and based on the proposal of Professor Lekkas, the Shipwreck will be closed taking into account the new scientific data of the OASP given the high level of traffic in the area during the tourist season,” the Minister added.
The situation wold be reassessed every six months after new on-site autopsies, he said.
Local authorities reactions
Loca authorities on Zakytnhos expressed their surprise on the decision pointing out that they heard about it through the media and recalled that they already had proposed a safety plan last year.
“Officially, no one informed us. We also learned about it from the media this morning and were surprised. We expect the Minister of Tourism, Vassilis Kikilias, to inform us about the issue. Also, not even the Shipwreck Committee knew anything. Everyone we were surprised by this specific action, because no one had informed us,” president of the Municipal Council of Zakynthos, Stavros Kakolyris, told news website GRTimes.
While they are waiting for the official decision, Kolyris stressed that “we are not positive about the closure of the shipwreck during the tourism season, it is a big blow to the tourism of the island, because we are talking about the most popular attraction of the country.”
He recalled that already last year, the Municipality of Zakytnhos had proposed a plan>
“We, as the municipality of Zakynthos, have proposed since last year that not all boats come to Navagio, so that in the event of a landslide there will be no overcrowding and the visitors will be safe. That is, one boat should go every half hour, then leave and the next would come. Anyway, ropes, signs for falling rocks, and fencing have been installed. Our proposal was basically not to have a mass visitors at the beach.”