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Zakynthos: Famous shipwreck “Navagio” on the brink of collapse

The famous shipwreck Navagio on the island of Zakynthos seems to be at highest risk to completely fall apart after the bad weather last week hit also the bay with the high waves to have added to further destruction of the attraction that charm millions of tourists from around the world.

Locals authorities and residents react with anger fearing of the future of the island’s tourism. but without maintenance of the Navagio beach and the shipwreck itself

It should be recalled that Navagio beach was briefly closed to visitors in 2018, after a cliff above the beach collapsed following a 6.8R earthquake. In September 2022, another landslide occurred after a 5.4-Richter earthquake between Zakynthos and Kefalonia. The beach was closed again in March 2023 after a another landslide occurred. However, other than opening and closing the beach no other measures have been taken.

The End of Navagio?

The wreck of ship “Panagiotis” have been now half buried in the sand, its hull has been severely damaged, while several of its pieces ended up in the sea.

pictures via Christos Nikolopoulos

Local authorities want the management

On Wednesday, local authorities requested that the management of the shipwreck will be transferred from the Tourism Ministry to the Municipality of Zakynthos. They submitted a memorandum to the ministries of tourism, economy and the public properties general secretariat. With the memorandum they requested that a joint ministerial decision is issued for the immediate concession of the beach and coastal zone of the wider area of Navagio to the Municipality.

On the island, there is outrage over the ‘collapse’ of the famous attraction that brings thousands of tourists every year. Accusations flight from all sides toward all sides.

Speaking to state broadcaster ERT on Friday, Mayor of Zakynthos Giorgos Stasinopoulos stressed that there has been no any kind of maintenance ever since MV “Panagiotis” ran aground in October 1980.

“We want that the state gives us the right to intervene. Once this is done, we can proceed as of the following day,” he claimed.

“The Shipwreck is a world monument of natural beauty, but it needs local management. We ask the government to give us its management, because we have the ability and the will to proceed with specific actions that will be effective and immediate,” the mayor underlined.

How can “Panagiotis” be saved?

Two different things must be done. One has to do with management and the other with the shipwreck maintenance.

In statements to local news website, New Democracy MP, Dionysis Aktypis, said that solution lays in an open shipwreck with protective measures as well as in the maintenance of the ship.

“What we are trying to do is to intervene in the shipwreck with specific actions so that it will no longer is being hit by the waves, for example. I can’t say more, but we are above the problem and we are looking to save what can be saved at the moment,” he noted.

He accused the regional government in charge of funds distribution that it had the chance to make use of almost 3 million euros to proceed with maintenance work but it did nothing.was of

Many initiatives, no action

Petros Voutirakos, owner of boats transporting visitors to the shipwreck, told that he had warned politicians about the Navagio even before the deterioration of Navagio started.

“I told them that we have to do something to preserve it. I had even told them that I was willing to cover their expenses. I had also told them that we should leave a ‘dead’ space in Navagio Bay for landslides.”

Voutirakos implied that he was asked to add a “kickback” for each one involved in the decision making. When he complained “that’s a lot of money”, he never heard from them again.

He noted that together with fellow boat-owners, had applied for the Navagio maintenance, but again without result.

“I went to authorities and submitted an application. I told them that we are interested in preserving the shipwreck. Nobody answered me,” he recalled.


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One comment

  1. Let it disintegrate and be absorbed by the sea. 1 It’s not actually that old. 2. People DO NOT book holidays there because of this wreck though they might go and look at it while they are there. They book holidays there because it’s a beautiful island. And yes, I have had fantastic holidays there and I have seen the wreck. And no, other factors count for me when booking a holiday – not this wreck!