SS Heraklion

SS Heraklion

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SS Heraklion

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The SS Heraklion was a car ferry operating the lines Piraeus - Chania and Piraeus - Irakleio between 1965 and 1966. The ship capsized and sank on 8 December 1966 in the Aegean Sea, resulting in the death of over 200 people.


<!-- Deleted image removed: -->SS Heraklion was built as the SS Leicestershire by Fairfield Shipbuilding and Engineering Company in Glasgow in 1949, for the Bibby Line to operate the UK to Burma route. She was chartered to the British India Line for some time to supplement its London to East Africa service. In 1964 she was sold to the Aegean Steam Navigation Co to operate under their Typaldos Line, renamed SS Heraklion.

Once Typaldos Line took ownership, she was refitted as a passenger/car ferry. The ship had an overall length of 498&nbsp;ft (152 m), a beam of 60&nbsp;ft (18 m), gross tonnage of 8.922 tons, single prop reaching a speed of 17 knot. Winter capacity was 35 trucks with an average weight of 10 tons. S/S Heraklion had her last survey on 29 June 1966.


In the evening of December 7, 1966, and under extreme weather conditions, with winds blowing at 9 Beaufort scale, Heraklion sailed at 8.00 pm from Souda Bay, Crete for Piraeus, with α 2 hours delay allegedly in order embark the refrigerator truck that according to most accounts contributed to the sinking. Presently passenger ships are prohibited from sailing with winds blowing at 8 Beaufort scale or higher, but at the time it was up to the captain to decide...
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