Depth range: 6-28 Meter
Visibility: 20-40 Meter
Water temperature: 19 ° C – 28 ° C
At the stern, her bridge, companion ways, accommodation area and her engine room are easily accessible and never fail to thrill even the most ardent of wreck divers. A photogenic shoal of glass fish reside near the engine room vents and the obligatory lion fish is never far away. Anthias too have made the wreck their home and at times its easy to forget this is a wreck and not a reef. Her king post forms a huge goal post reaching to within 4m of the surface and makes a perfect place for off-gassing.
The stern section is cut clean from the rest of the wreck and the port companion way rests on the seabed. Lines of portholes permit sunbeams to enter the accommodation block creating a wonderful atmosphere and a challenge for any cameraman. The stern has become a playground for divers. The mid section has collapsed, being made up of 2 holds, with the derrick and winches in the centre. Although morays lurk here it isn’t worth spending to much time as a more substantial part of the wreck awaits a few minutes away further along the reef.
The bow section, which itself is still intact, lies completely over onto its port side, facing away from the reef. Again this provides a great photo opportunity, especially from a few meter further along the reef looking back at the bow. Anchors, windlass and deck fittings are all still in situ. There is a sheer cut where the fo’cle has broken away from the mid section. Here glass fish abound, and many soft corals adorn her foremast, which runs almost horizontally with its cables and pulleys still intact.
The photographers find this wreck a bonus. She lies in only max. 27m of water up to within 5m of the surface, the strong natural light providing a great opportunity to capture the atmosphere on film of this fascinating wreck. A dive in the afternoon gives the wreck its ghostly appearance with the sun moving through the king posts and long shadows forming. Predatorily activities increase and jacks set up their hunting activities. It is not uncommon for dolphins to pay the wreck a visit. With a max. depth of only 27m it is possible to explore the wreck in one dive, however most divers can’t wait to dive her one more time.
The vessel: Launched in 1969 as the Shoyo Maru, the Giannis D was built by the Kuryshima Dock Company of Imabari, Japan. She was a 2932 ton, twin hold general cargo vessel, with a stern bridge and engine room. She was 87m long and her 6 cylinder diesel engine gave her a top speed of 12 knots. In 1975 she was sold and re-named the Markos until 1980, when the ship was sold on to the Dumarc Shipping and Trading Corporation of Piraeus, Greece and finally named Giannis D.
The sinking: In April 1983, the Giannis D with a cargo of wood left Rijeka, Croatia bound for Jeddah, Saudi Arabia and Hoedeidah in Yemen. She passed through the Suez Canal and headed south through the Gulf of Suez, and according to official reports suddenly veered of course heading onto the north west corner of Abu Nuhas. Yet another Greek shipping tragedy where the captain found his vessel on the wrong side of the shipping channel, on the wrong side of Shadwan Island and hitting the reef from the WEST!!