We imagine that shipwrecks are a thing of the past. They have an aura of wooden ships, masts and sails about them – on rare occasions, an air of coal and steam. But even in times of powerful motor ships and modern navigation instruments, the forces of nature can get ships into trouble.
Bulk carrier 'Nikitas Roussos' is seen here under construction at Sunderland Shipbuilding in northern England in November 1975. It is the unfinished ship to the far right. The big ship was delivered to Greek shipping line Venizelos Group in 1976, and named after a famous shipowner and captain from the Greek island of Leros.
The winter of 1995 was a low point in Nikitas Roussos' career. The ship had suffered an engine fire and had to be towed from Rotterdam to a shipyard in Gdansk.
On the way around Jutland on the night between February 12 and 13, it all went wrong. The weather was rough and the cable snapped. With neither engine nor manpower, the 'Nikitas Roussos' drifted aground at Bjergeborg Beach in the Holmsland dunes.
At first, the 228-metre-long ship stood on the outer bank, but tugs could not reach the site before winds and currents shifted the ship all the way up to the beach.
When large ship hulls stand in the surf, they quickly sand up and become more or less rooted to the ground. This happened to the 'Nikitas Roussos', and it soon became a big attraction.
A specially constructed dredger on caterpillar tracks was requisitioned from the Netherlands, and that did the trick. At high tide on the night between March 14 and 15, 1995, the ship was salvaged. The cost amounted to approximately 1 million dollars.
When West Jutland finally waved goodbye to 'Nikitas Roussos', she sailed into a brief future. The large bulk carrier was sold to Lexicon Shipping Ltd. and renamed the 'Klia', but in May 1999, it was sold as scrap for 1.3 million dollars.