King Snefro

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Kimon M. (Lentil Wreck)

(27°34.885' N, 33°55.810' E)

 

Stuicken & Sohn built the 106 m long cargo vessel "Kimon M." in the German town of Hamm in 1952. The vessel was of a similar size, tonnage and age to the "Chrisoula K." and did change name throughout its career too. The local name "Lentil Wreck" was given because of its cargo.

 

In December 1978, the "Kimon M." loaded 4.500 tons of bagged lentils in the Turkish port of Iskenderun to take them to Bombay. Navigating trough the narrow confines of hazardous upper Gulf of Suez, finally, the ship approached the wider Strait of Gubal. The captain handed over control and on 12th December and with engines at full speed the "Kimon M." drove hard onto the northeast corner of Sha'ab Abu Nuhas. Lloyd's List of 14 December 1978 reported "Kimon M." struck wreck in position lat. 27°35 N, long. 33°55 E Strait of Gubal".

 

It is not known which wreck the "Kimon M" claims to have hit as this was almost 3 years before the "Chrisoula K." would go aground. The initial impact drove the "Kimon M." hard onto the reef top where the ship stayed for several days. With some of the cargo recovered during the first day after wrecking, the remainder became contaminated with seawater and was destroyed. First surveys reported the damage to the hull to be so extensive that the vessel was classed as a total constructive loss. Prevailing winds and currents did their work and pushed the ship hard over onto its starboard side. With the bow high on the reef the main section of the ship broke and the area forward of the bridge and the forward holds were continually pounded until they were reduced to scrap metal. The remainder of the wreck fell into deeper water and came to rest at the bottom in 27 m.

 

The "Kimon M." offers a variety of different dives. At the bow, storms and rough seas have destroyed the front of the ship, and when the vessel broke it has been cut straight across in the middle. Immediately after this, easy to locate area is the engine room where removal of the main engine has created a wide opening.

 

As the upper hull has been weakened by salvage attempt, the impact of another vessel- the "Olden" and due to recent heavy storms penetration into the wreck is unsafe. From the aft holds forward the wreck is instable and should be visited from the outside only. Do not enter as it is extremely dangerous! Follow the port side all the way down towards the stern. The decks themselves are vertical and already well colonized by small outcrops of coral and all the popular fishes. Being the least damaged, many features of the stern remain intact complete with a large single propeller, bollards, capstans and railings. Away from the decks, the main masts lie parallel to the seabed.