Within easy reach of Paphos are two shipwrecks. The first is on the road out towards Coral Bay at a hotel called the Capital Coast. You cant miss it, and there is plenty of room to park off road. At first sight you might think that it is just another ship anchored in the Bay. However, it is in fact stuck upright on a low reef, that just shows above the waves. The ship is called the Demetrios 11 and was a cargo ship, built in 1964 by J. J. Sietas, at their shipbuilding yard in Hamburg-Neuenfelde, Germany. The Honduran-flagged M/V Demetrios II ran aground off Paphos Lighthouse on 23 March 1998 in heavy seas, during a voyage from Greece to Syria with a cargo of timber.
At the time of the accident, the ship had eight crew members, 4 Greeks, 2 Pakistanis and 2 Syrians. The crew were rescued and airlifted to the safety of Paphos by a British Military Helicopter. In the investigation that followed it was found that the Greek Captain and the Pakistani First officer were operating with forged competency certificates. It was considered to expensive to drag the ship off the reef and so it has been left to break up, but astonishingly it has survived many storms and a small earthquake and is still stuck fast sixteen years later.(I saw it in 2014) The map starts at the Bus station, but anywhere along the front will do.
A plan was proposed to drag the wreck off the reef and sink it as an attraction for divers, but the authorities concluded that it was in too bad a state and might well disintegrate and end up on the beach. So there she sits waiting for her end.
Although she is some way offshore you can take good photos of her with any half decent camera, and if you are really keen for a close up, you can get a boat trip around her from Phaphos harbour. The second shipwreck, the Edro 111, is a few miles along the same road towards Peyia and the beautiful Sea Caves area. This wreck is right on the shore and at first glance from the road above, it looks as if it is at the bottom of someone’s garden, and it almost is.
To get down to the shipwreck you have to get off the main road and go down Sea Caves Avenue. This unsurprisingly takes you past the Sea Caves hollowed out of the cliffs. The water here is gin clear and azure blue and I found the whole area very atmospheric. (again you can get a boat trip for a closer inspection) The road weaves its way down through fields of banana plantations, with villas dotted around, covered in brilliantly coloured bougainvillea, towards the shore where the Edro 111 lies hard up against the rocks. So how did she manage to fetch up there? The Edro 111, of 2517 tons, is eighty three meters long and was on a voyage from Limasol to Rhodes carrying a cargo of plasterboard. She left on 7 December 2011 in bad weather and soon the strong winds and heavy seas caused the vessel to drift off course. About ten miles from Paphos, she struck a rock and became disabled, drifting at the mercy of the storm until she finally went ashore near Peyia about 5 o clock on the morning of 8th December.
A helicopter of the British Army stationed in Limassol, winched seven of the nine crew members of the ship up. They were brought ashore where they were given precautionary medical check-ups. The captain and the chief engineer remained on board. The crew comprised seven Albanians and two Egyptians. The Edro III was built in 1966 by Kaldnes Mekaniske Verksted at Tonsberg in Norway, and at the time of the accident was registered at Freetown in Sierra Leone. Although it is not clear how they will get the ship off the rocks (they don’t have our tide range) the plan is still to refloat and repair her.
By this time you will probably be ready for a drink and a swim, so I recommend that you get back on the main road and continue up to Agios Georgios a couple of miles away. This has a great monastery, a fabulous sandy beach, with beautiful clear water to swim in, with a small beach café. It also has free parking. Enjoy. If you zoom the bit of the map with the red mark, you can see the Edro111