sail from the Croatian harbour of Rijeka bound for Jeddah in Saudi Arabia and Hodeida in Yemen, carrying a cargo of timber crashed against the north-western corner of the reef of Abu Nuhas on 19th April 1983 as the captain of the ship was probably distracted for a moment. The Giannis D. did not sink immediately and all its crew members were rescued as Egyptian ship Santa Fe intervened, yet there was nothing they could do to
safeguard its hull. The Giannis D. had been built and launched in 1969 in Japan under the name of ‘Shoyo Maru’, measured 99.5 meters long, 16 meters wide, with a capacity
Type of ship: cargo Nationality: Greek Year of construction: 1969 Length: 99.5 m Width: 16 m Tonnage: 2,932 t Date of shipwreck:
19th April 1983 Depth: 27 m
of 2,932 registered tons and a draught of 6.35 meters. The vessel was driven by a 6-cylinder engine producing 3,000 HP that gave the ship a speed of 12 knots. In 1975 the ship was sold and renamed in ‘Markos’, then in 1980 the Greek company Dumarc Shipping and Trading Corporation bought it and renamed it ‘Giannis D.’. The new owner added the big ‘D’ – the initial of its name – on the funnel which is still visible today. This is why earlier many had mistakenly thought the name of the ship was ‘Dana’.
The Giannis D. lies on the bottom at 27 meters in a north-east/south-west direction with the bow separated from the stern section. Both lay on the port side and are covered with splendid soft corals whereas the centre section has collapsed. The bow and stern structures of the wreck are perfectly intact and offer the possibility to explore all their details. The dive needs to be done in calm sea conditions starting from the stern section which is completely separated from the rest of the hull and is the most beautiful and interesting part of the whole wreck: it is dominated by a big winch shaped like an upside-down U that reaches up to 6 meters below the surface, and in calm seas is sometimes visible from the diving boat. The command bridge has wide openings and is well illuminated easily accessible and represents one of the most interesting
points of the wreck: in the centre, there is the wheelhouse with the binnacle; however, inside the bridge scuba divers may feel disorientated due to the inclination of the ship. You enter the engine room through
an opening in the funnel which has some light rays filtering through from above and is inhabited by a school of glassfish. Inside it seems as if time has stood still: all the machinery, engines, pipes and
instruments are still in perfect condition. Exit the stern section and continue your exploration towards the bow crossing the middle part of the hull which is completely destroyed. Pay close attention and you can find numerous wooden planks that were part of the ship’s cargo. The bow of Giannis D. is cut off and bowed to its left side at a depth of 18 meters on its middle part but perfectly intact. There is a big mast in the centre and the anchor chain comes out through one of the two hawse holes. During the exploration of the wreck colonized by red soft corals, small table corals (Acropora sp.), Raspberry corals (genus Pocillopora), sponges and anemone with their Red Sea anemonefish (Amphiprion bicinctus), you come across numerous schools of anthias and glassfish (Parapriacanthus Sansonetti), whereas on the upper bridge groups of Common lionfish (Pterois miles) swarm. Some huge groupers and batfish are always there (genus Platax) accompanied by a great many parrotfish and in the crevices of the hull, some Giant moray has found its den (Gymnothorax javanicus).
Features • The best-conserved and maybe the most interesting of the wrecks at Abu Nuhas. • A great number of soft corals and reef fish. You almost always find a school of lionfish on the bridge close to the funnel. • At mid-morning the sunlight penetrates through the portholes producing spectacular light effects.
Comments • With rough sea, diving is only possible with a zodiac. • Visibility is usually always good, but take a torch to explore inside.