The Telamon, the large shipwreck that lies between Arrecife and Costa Teguise, came to Lanzarote in 1981 after suffering serious problems during a storm and has remained stranded just off the coast ever since.
The Telamón was originally built in Dundee, Scotland in 1954 and was originally named the Temple Hall. In 1969 and 1977 the ship was renamed twice, first Pantelis by Demetrios P. Margaronis; and eventually Telamon after changing hands.
In 1981 the Telamon suffered major problems during a storm while transporting timber from the Ivory Coast to Thessalonika. After shipping water in high seas near the Canaries, she requested refuge in Lanzarote. However, the port authorities feared that the large ship could sink and block off Arrecife’s main port, so the decision was taken to run the ship aground in the small bay next to the power station. No lives were lost.
EXPLORING THE WRECK
The wreck of the Telamon has attracted several explorers, but its gradual deterioration means that it is increasingly dangerous and unstable. Diving and swimming near the wreck was forbidden a few years ago, but several YouTube videos show young people exploring the hulk.
Only the rear half of the ship is visible, and the front half of the ship has broken off and is entirely submerged. In 2010 a group of divers decided to explore the wreck. Here is the video:
Check out this fantastic drone video of the shipwreck (by Lanzarote Photography), allowing for better angles of the ship’s interior.
DISMANTLING THE TELAMON
For years there have been reports that the Telamon will be broken up and scrapped, for fears that it is a health and safety hazard, but the boat still stands shipwrecked.
Salvage operations finally commenced last year but have since been suspended with no date set for recommencement. It seems the Telamon will remain a landmark for some time yet.
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