Tuesday, May 30

Kimon M

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The "Brunsbuttel"/Kimon M at The Red Sea Wreck Project

The “Brunsbuttel”

The Kimon M was originally built as the 3,694 GRT Refrigerated Motor Freighter Brunsbuttel Byelourus II at the H.C. Stulcken & Sohn Shipyard (Yard No. 770), Steinwerder, Hamburg, Germany, for W. Bruns & Company, Hamburg (Transmar Agencies). The ship was launched on 11 February 1952 and completed the following October with a length of 106.4 meters, beam of 14.8 meters, and draught of 6.81 meters. Propulsion was provided by twin 8-cylinder Waggon & Masch diesel engines which provided 2,940 HP to a single shaft for a maximum speed of 13 knots.
The ship was constructed with 2 cargo holds forward of the superstructure, with 2 additional cargo holds located aft. A crane was located between holds number 1 and 2 forward, and holds 3 and 4 aft, in order to facilitate onloading and offloading of cargo. The Engineering spaces were located below the superstructure which contained the pilothouse, crew accommodations, and workshops.
In 1953 the ship was sold and renamed Ciudad Ce Cucuta until being sold in 1964 and was renamed the Angela.

The ship was sold again in 1971 and was renamed again as the Kimon until 1975 when the “M” was added to her name upon being sold to the Ianissos Shipping Company, Panama.

The Loss of the “Kimon M”

The ship, under the command of Captain Juan Cavilieri, departed Iskanderun, Turkey for Bombay, India in December 1978 laden with a cargo of 4,500 tons of bagged lentils.

The ship’s route landed her in Port Said 2 days later, reaching Suez 2 days afterwards after safely transit-ting the Suez Canal.

Captain Cavilieri, who had spent most of the previous 4 days on the bridge ensuring that the ship made the passage from Iskanderun to Suez and through the Straits of Gubal safely, checked the ship’s course and speed before turning the helm over to one of his officers and retired to his cabin for some much needed rest.

Soon afterwards, on 12 December 1978, the Kimon M struck the northeast corner of Sha’ab Abu Nuhas Reef while steaming south at full speed.

Lloyd’s Casualty List – dated 13 December 1978, stated the following:
“KIMON M. (Panamanian). Port Said Dec 12 – MV Kimon M, Iskenderun for Bombay with about 4,500 tons of Lentils, reported stranded near Safaga, exact position still to be ascertained. All crew reportedly abandoned vessel and rescued by MV Interasja, arriving Suez Dec 13-14. (Note Kimon M had passed Suez Dec. 10.)”

A distress call was sent out from the ship and a passing cargo ship, the Interasja, immediately responded, rescuing the crew, and delivering them to Port Suez 2 days later.

With the ship moving at full speed when she struck the reef, she remained hard aground for several days afterwards allowing partial salvage of the ship’s cargo.

Lloyd’s Casualty List – of 14 December 1978 provided an update:
“KIMON M. (Panamanian). London, Dec 12 – Kimon M struck wreck in position lat. 27 35N, long. 33 55 E. Strait of Gubal. Vessel requires tug assistance on Lloyd’s open form (See issue of Dec 13.)”

This report indicates the Kimon M struck another wreck! Although at that time there were no other known shipwrecks in the area. It could be that the ship struck a wreck that had earlier run aground and was later refloated.

Surveys of the ship conducted after the grounding indicate that the damage was so severe that the ship was immediately considered a total constructive loss.

As the ship remained on top of the reef, the winds and currents eventually took their toll, pushing the ship over onto its starboard side and reducing the already damaged bow to nothing more than a pile of scrap metal. Eventually the rest of the ship, from the superstructure aft, slid off the reef and settled on her starboard side in 20-32 meters of water at position 27.34.48 N/ 33.56.00 E at the base of Sha’ab Abu Nuhas Reef.

Sometime afterwards, the Kimon M was again partially salvaged. A local salvage company cut a hole in the port side of the ship and removed her engines and other machinery.

Diving Information

The ship lies on its starboard side with the stern at 32 meters. The ship forward of the superstructure is nothing more than a pile of scrap metal where the forward holds and foc’sle were located.
Kimon M at The Red Sea Wreck Project

From the base of the superstructure to the stern, the vessel is nearly complete. Access into the ship is through the hole in the port side which was cut by the salvage team. This provides access directly into the engineering compartment. With much of the equipment having been removed this provides an easy swim-through with views forward to where the No. 2 hold was, and is also another access/exit point. The aft area of the engine room still contains piping, gauges, and numerous valves. Exiting from the engine room and following the hull of the ship aft to the stern at 30-32 meters where the propeller and rudder are found on the bottom. Coming around the stern and heading forward along the main deck, which is now vertical, deck equipment can still be seen, along with a swim through the 2 aft cargo holds, now empty. Continuing forward to the rear of the superstructure there is access to the bridge and accommodation areas.


About Author

Lee has been in the marketing industry for the last 15 years and now specializes in teaching marketing techniques to people in the scuba diving industry. He is founder of Dive Media Solutions which, in addition to providing complete marketing, media, communications and IT solutions exclusively for the scuba diving industry, also produces The Scuba News. You can connect with Lee via Twitter by following @DiveMedia

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