The Giannis D was built by the Japanese shipping company Kuryshima and launched in 1969 as the Shoyo Maru. With 87 meters long and almost 3,000 tons weight this freighter was equipped with a 6-cylinder diesel engine which provided a top speed of 12 knots.
The Shoyo Maru was sold in 1975 and renamed the Markos in 1980 until the freighter was again sold to the Greek company Dumarc that baptized it with its last and final name, the Giannis D.
In April of 1983 the Giannis D, with a cargo of wood, left Rijeka (Croatia) to Jeddah (Saudi Arabia) and then to Al Hudaydah (Yemen). After crossing the Suez Canal headed south but, according to official reports, was diverted from its course to the northwest corner of Abu Nuhas reef where it crashed.
At 4:00 am on April 19th 1983 the ship’s captain issued a distress call requesting the rescue of the crew. In view of the severity of hull damage, that suffered a massive 12 meters tear, the captain ordered the entire crew to abandon the ship. Less than 15 minutes after the accident the Giannis D hits the bottom of the reef, 88 feet deep. A year later the ship broke in half in the bottom of the Red Sea.
Diving the Giannis D
Today we can delve into the stern, bridge, cabins and the engine room of the Giannis D, one of the most exciting wrecks to be found not only in Hurghada but in the entire Red Sea. Many wildlife has made this wreck their home, where you can find incredible schools of thousands of glassfish occupying the bridge, batfish, lionfish hovering over the wreckage, poisonous stonefish, emperor angelfish, wrasses, moray eels, imposing giant parrotfish groups and many antihas. Occasionally bottlenose dolphins appear in the area which gives this wreck a unique aura.
The stern section is separated from the rest of the ship and its gates give us access to the engine room and several stores and warehouses. Light plays an essential role in this wreck, offering beautiful lighting effects, much sought after by photographers who dive the Giannis D.
The middle section has collapsed after the ship broke in two and you can access two holds where the mahogany wood was carried by the ship.
The bow section is the most interesting part of the wreck, being still intact nowadays, lying on his back to the reef. This situation provides a unique opportunity for photography; in fact, the most known and beautiful pictures of this wreck has been taken from that angle. From here we can see lots of soft corals, observe the foremast, which extends almost horizontally with intact cables and pulleys and that over the years has become a coral reef itself, with the ladder covered with abundant soft corals and reef fish.