An awesome little (well not so little) shipwreck off the coast of Arrecife in Lanzarote. Definitely one of my top 10 places to visit / photograph while on the Island of Lanzarote.
The TEMPLE HALL was built in 1954 for Lambert Bros, London. Sold to Demetrios P. Margaronis in 1969, renamed PANTELIS and transferred to the Greek flag. 1970 Sold to Cia. Nav. Para Viajes Sud Amerika, Panama but still under the Greek flag.
in 1977 the ship was once again sold to Telamon Maritime Co, Panama – Greek flag, and renamed TELAMON. On 31st Oct.1981 the Telamon Beached off Arrecife harbour, Lanzarote after developing leaks while bound San Pedro – Ivory Coast & Thessalonika. The boat was declared a constructive total loss and abandoned.
Before we set off to Lanzarote I had scoped this place out while researching places I wanted to photograph while we were there. Needless to say it was one of the top spots on my hit list and after first attempting to walk there (Its alot further from town than it looks on the map 🙂 ) we then later visited twice by car where I took a few photographs both visits. I’d have loved to have seen inside the ship but I expect its pretty dangerous in there, there are a couple of videos on youtube of scuba divers exploring the back of the ship but I haven’t seen much by way of photographs of the inside section of the boat that is still above water. Here are a few more shots, then a bit of detail of the crash extracted from a Spanish website:
Details of the shipwreck reported in spanish here: www.escoben.blogspot.com and translated in part to english here: http://www.lanzaroteinformation.com/content/lanzarotes-shipwreck
“That Saturday October 31, 1981 a strong storm lashed the Canary Islands. It would not be a quiet day in the small port of Los Mármoles, Lanzarote. A freighter called called the port to request permission for emergency assistance as they had suffered a serious leak, they were travelling from Abidjan and San Pedro from the Gulf of Guinea and carried a large shipment of huge wooden logs on route to the Greek port of Thessaloniki in the Aegean Sea.
It was easy to comprehend the damage sustained to the ship, a simple look and it was realised that the ships gravity was not sufficient to make the dock, there was a possibility of it sinking into the inner harbour which would render the port useless. The forecast was still heavy seas for the following day.”
As you can see from the photo above, the Telamon was in a sorry state when snapped in Abidjan prior to her last voyage, the lack of proper maintenance was evident.
“The Telamon was in the Bocaina Straits between the islands of Lanzarote and Fuerteventura when the hull sprung a leak with water flooding the vessel quickly. The captain was forced to demand help from Lanzarote in fear of imminent sinking primarily due to the type of load they were carrying below deck which if shifted could be dangerous to the integrity of the ship and crew.
Immediately work began on the bilge but given the enormous amount of water continuing to enter, the captain Manuele Avtigromm communicated their desperate situation to the harbour master Antonio Sivera over the VHF radio. The situation was considered but it was not convenient to proceed due to the heel on the ship which made it not viable.
The port at Los Mármoles, Arrecife which is the capital of Lanzarote is small and they could not afford an accident of that magnitude so the Telamon was manoeuvred a few hundred metres to the area of Las Caletas in front of the DISA fuel tanks with the intention of gently grounding the boat on the sandy bottom in the bay situated behind the harbour wall.
The manoeuvre was completed with great skill, two ropes were stretched to the ground, the ship had been uneven with the bow facing the land only a few metres from the shore. The Telamon had a slight list to port but in principle wasn’t a safety hazard. Many locals recalled another marine incident that of the Russian transatlantic vessel Kareliya (5) which had ran aground nearby.
The 29 crew members of the Telamon were mostly Greek but with some from Ghana, Mali and the Ivory Coast, they were taken ashore and given accommodation in Casa del Mar and residencies of San Ginés
The owner Mr Ninnos came to Lanzarote on Monday 2nd November to check the accident personally. The hull was inspected by shipyard divers from Puerto Naos and the report was made immediately, the leak had occurred within the hold which was two thirds flooded and full of tree trunks.
The next day three technicians from an environmental association friends of the sea arrived on a plane from London with the necessary equipment to prevent a possible oil spill in the event of a fuel tank breaking. Do not forget that on board was 260 tonnes of fuel oil and 60 tonnes of diesel oil. They immediately got to work and installed a big pneumatic platform surrounding the outside of Telamon and a special liquid was spread to dissolve the fuel oil in case of leakage.
Days later the the small fuel boat Mayorga (1967/851 grt) belonging to Compañía Española de Petróleos, Sociedad Anónima – CEPSA arrived alongside the Telamon to transfer the fuel.
Shortly after the incident the cargo was unloaded and transferred to the island. Some time later a company was interested in re-floating the Telamon but the project did not go ahead due the expense (apparently over a hundred million pesetas), they withdrew and never again showed an interest.
It was inevitable that being so close to the shore the ship was inhabited by squatters but as it wasn’t comfortable conditions they opted to seek more accessible housing.
Later during a storm the Telamon changed her position and split into two halves..”
If you’ve made it this far… thanks for reading / checking out the pictures. Leave me a comment below or hit the like button to let me know you’ve enjoyed the shots and to encourage me to keep posting more 🙂
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