History of Alkimos

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If you look past the soft and sandy dunes, the almost untouched white beaches and popular surf breaks, the stunning coastline off Alkimos, has another story.

This northern coast is also home to an offshore reef so unforgiving that it is now the resting place of many ships.

Alkimos is named after the shipwreck of the Greek freighter Alkimos which ran aground off the Eglington Rocks in 1963.

The Alkimos was originally christened Viggo Hansteen, a United States’ Liberty Ship, launched in Baltimore, America, during World War II and saw war service for around 18 months.

After the war, the 7033 ton freighter was sold to a Greek shipping company and given her new name Alkimos (which is Greek for ‘strong’).

If renaming a boat is supposed to bring bad luck, this certainly appears to be the case with Alkimos which, whilst plying the world’s oceans for two decades, endured many minor accidents; people were convinced the ship was jinxed, with workers continually having to weld the ship.

In March 1963, the vessel was on route from Jakarta and struck reef off Bunbury. After two months of repairs in Fremantle, the Alkimos left Fremantle by tow from a Hong Kong tug when disaster struck again. Only a few ours out of port, the Alkimos was driven into shore, when the tow ropes broke. Two attempts were made to refloat the ship, but each time the towlines parted.

After a stay on shore, another tow boat returned and the Alkimos was refloated in January 1963 and continued its journey to Manila. Not long into the journey, the tug towing the seemingly jinxed ship was seized by authorities, leaving the Alkimos left at anchor yet again. 

After four months anchored at sea, the Alkimos broke free and in May 1964, the Alkimos wrecked itself on Eglinton Rocks, 4.95Nm due North from Mindarie Marina.

So severely damaged that any thoughts of salvage were soon dismissed. Eventually, sold for scrap – yet even this did not go smoothly as a fire aboard the wreck quickly stopped the work. The partly dismantled remains of the Alkimos were visible several metres from the water for many years.

Today, almost all of the wreck is disintegrated and can no longer be viewed from the coastline but one thing's for sure, we think the 'Alkimos' could not have found a more beautiful coastline to finally call home.