Originally named Shoyo Maru, the Giannis D was a 99-metre-long cargo ship built in Japan at the Kuryshima Dock Company of Imabari in 1969. On its final voyage in 1983, the Giannis D struck the shallows of Sha’ab Abu Nuhas, the infamous reef that claimed the lives of many other vessels over the years, gaining its reputation as the Red Sea’s naval graveyard. It now rests 25 metres underwater covered in stunning alcyonaria, accessible to most Advanced Open Water divers. The Giannis D is a truly spectacular wreck, another unmissable dive site if you are headed to the northern Red Sea for some scuba diving.
The Giannis D received her European name in 1980, after being sold to the Greece-based Dumarc Shipping and Trading Corporation of Piraeus, Athens. Her final voyage started at Rijeka, Yugoslavia, in 1983 when it loaded its cargo of softwood (teak wood according to some sources) and set sail to Jeddah via the Suez Canal. The ship was sailing through the Strait of Gubal, the last narrow passage before reaching the open waters of the Red Sea when the Captain left the helm to one of the officers and retired for some rest.
Soon after, he was abruptly awakened by the sound of metal crashing on rocks, as his ship ran aground. The ship had drifted away from its planned route, and hit the northwest edge of the reef at full speed. After several weeks on the reef, during a storm, the ship’s hull broke, and the Giannis D sank to the bottom.
The remains of the Giannis D lies parallel to the reef between 10 and 28 metres in depth divided into three separate sections. The highly-damaged bow is in the shallower part, the cargo area amidships is a debris field of steel and wood, and the stern section is in the deeper area, leaving that section well preserved. While having spent less time underwater compared to some other wrecks in the area, the Giannis D is extensively covered in beautiful soft corals and offers shelter to a vast population of reef inhabitants, including moray eels and clouds of glassfish.
With the proper training, divers can access the stern superstructure and penetrate the wreck, usually using the wheelhouse as the access point. Heading down the companionway, divers can access the engine room, which is still relatively well preserved. The engine room is filled with handrails and catwalks, with the diesel engine still clearly visible. The ship lies at an angle, and the absence of gravity underwater could disorient divers new to this wreck.
Divers can easily exit from the ship’s interior by ascending through one of the skylights just above the engine and complete the 5-metre safety stop next to the mast that rises to 4 metres below the surface. Thanks to its spooky, slightly disorienting environments, the Giannis D became a favourite among scuba divers, especially those who favour enclosed environments and wrecks with penetration. Adjust your buoyancy, don’t forget your camera and flashlight, and head to the Giannis D for an authentic wreck dive experience.
This text is for information purposes only. It has been written by members of the website and can be inaccurate. Always contact local professional divers before diving.