The historic Hellenic Navy vessel “Velos” sustained significant damage on Tuesday during a storm that struck Thessaloniki in Northern Greece.
The ship that has turned into a museum was anchored at Nea Paralia, where it was buffeted by violent northwesterly winds and waves that broke the ropes holding the fenders in place.
“Velos” crashed against the dock unprotected.
The ship was then held in place by two tug boats that were sent out to prevent further damage.
According to the ministry of shipping and island policy, an estimate of the extent of the damage is expected by Wednesday afternoon.
Fletcher-class destroyer VELOS II launched in 1942 as USS Charrette, she was transferred to Greece in 1959 as part of US aid and renamed. She was stricken in 1991 and became a museum ship.
Destroyer VELOS was a Navy ship which in 1973 during NATO training exercises defected to Fiumicino, Italy, and its crew sought asylum after a Navy Movement against the junta failed.
The ship’s captain was Nikolaos Pappas who together with six officers and twenty-five non-commissioned officers requested political asylum and remained there as political exiles. This move dealt a blow to the Junta of the Colonels.
When the Turks invaded Cyprus in summer 1974, the VELOS rushed to help defend the island.
VELOS functions as a Museum of the Anti-dictatorship Struggle since 1991 and is anchored on the beach of Thessaloniki.