Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Greeks of the Titanic

Did you know that there were four Greeks on the famous titanic? Indeed... Their names were Panagiotis Lymberopoulos, Vassilios Katavelos, Apostolos and Demetrios Chronopoulos. Unfortunately they all drowned when titinic sank (the sad thing was that all of them were young. The older one was only 33 years old).
They were comming from the same village of Messinia named Aghios Sostis. (There are many villages with the same name in Greece).

A small memorial has been built to honor them, at the Saint John church's forecourt at Ag. Sostis (3 of June 2001).

The bodies of Lymberopoulos and Katavelos were found and identified, as well as some of their personal belongings. Unfortunately the bodies of Chronopoulos brothers were never found.
The story of Lymberopoulos is shocking. As he owned a small factory in New York city he had to travel a lot in Greece in order to see his family.

The last time he visited Greece was at his son's baptism (where the children get officially their names). When the ritual came to an end Lymberopoulos decided to go to America again and he persuaded also the Chronopoulos brothers to accompany him. His wife didn't want him to leave so soon, but Lymberopoulos insisted. Lymberopoulos was the only one who knew English, so he was the only one who managed to leave his cabin and reach the deck while the ship was sinking (apparently by following the signs). After diving at the sea he swam for a long time utill he found a rescuing boat, in which there were three more passengers (Unbelievable! Only four passengers including Lymberopoulos were at the rescuing boat). They were waiting a ship to rescue them. Unfortunately the ship never found them. Their bodies were found on the rescuing boat near Canada's coasts. They were tied at the rescuing boat probably because they were afraid that they might fall at the sea in case of losing their consciousness. The most shocking thing was that their life jackets were found half eaten (that time were made of cork). They were eating their life jackets to survive!!! 
The irony of the story was that both Katavelos and Lymberopoulos had booked tickets for different ships but they exchanged them in order to travel with the titanic all together (including Chronopoulos brothers).
In the picture above you see the last photo of the Titanic while it was sailing for it's last journey. On April 14th of 1912 at 23:10 hit an iceberg and it sunk. In less than three hours Titanic was at the bottom of the Atlantic ocean along with more than 1500 souls.
The wreckage (during the sinking the ship was cut in two pieces), was found at 1985 and Titanic finally passed through eternity.
(for further information about the Greek passengers of the Titanic and the shipwreck itself you can visit the address The photo is coming from the previous website).

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