#474 – Telamon (Temple Hall) Shipwreck, Lanzarote 1

Having recently photographed Merger at Glasson Dock, I was pleased to discover that just down the road from our holiday hotel in Lanzarote was the wreck of the Telamon. Given that there’s a limit to how much sitting by the pool I can tolerate (about an hour), I left my wife and daughter for an hour and made my way to this little cove near Arrecife.

The circumstances surrounding it being wrecked are well documented on the internet, but to save you a job of googling it,   I’ll give you a brief summary.

The Telamon was built in Dundee in 1954 as the Temple Hall, a cargo ship, for Lambert Brothers. The ship was sold in 1969 and renamed Pantelis, and then renamed again in 1977 to Telamon.

By 1981, the ship was approaching 30 years old and not in a good state of repair. On October 31st of that year, loaded with logs, it ran into a storm when in the Bocaina Straits between Lanzarote and Fuerntaventura in the Canary Islands. The hull sprung a leak and the captain radioed a request to the port at Los Marmoles in Lanzarote for assistance.

Los Marmoles is a small port and it was decided against bringing the ship into the harbour for fear of blocking it, so it was beached in a small cove adjacent to the main harbour. The cargo and fuel oil was taken ashore and although there was interest in refloating her, it never went ahead due to the cost.

And that’s where the story ended. The ship has been there ever since, or should I say the remains of it, as a subsequent storm heavily damaged the ship, breaking off the front half which has now sunk, leaving only the rear half on the beach. The remains of the bows can just be seen above the surface at low tide, and the sunken section is a popular spot for divers.

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