Built in 1907 at Port Glasgow and originally named the Hill Glen, this large cargo steamer with a 50-foot beam changed ownership numerous times before she was purchased by a Greek shipping company and given the name, the Pelinaion, in 1939. The following year, the ship was carrying a cargo of manganese and iron ore from West Africa to Baltimore. Because of World War II, the British had blacked out the lighthouse in a bid to stop the Germans from spying on Bermuda. Without the lighthouse to guide him, Captain Janis Valikos – who had sailed past Bermuda many times before and was on his final voyage before retirement -- couldn’t find the island until he ran aground a mile from Copper’s Island near St. David’s Head. The Pelinaion split into two sections on January 16, 1940.
Today the Pelinaion’s bow lies on the reef at a depth of 30 feet and the stern is in the sand at approximately 65-70 feet. She is an awesome sight because of her large size and massive parts, and the wreckage is scattered at depths ranging from 20 to 70 feet of water (with the stern resting at the deepest end). Most noticeable are the ship’s giant steam boilers, huge triple-expansion engine standing upright, and a spare propeller strapped to her deck. The surrounding reef is riddled with tunnels and caves. One tunnel-like cave starts on the reef, and it allows divers to swim under the ship's hull to view the ship from underneath, while ending up in her stern. Divers can see her deck winches, propeller and anchor while exploring this magnificent shipwreck. Big schools of grunts and snappers often blanket the site, with visitors including barracuda and blue angel fish. Divers are warned that it is very easy to become disoriented at the site because of the size of the wreck, but the site is considered appropriate for both beginner and more experienced divers. The Pelinaion is part of the Bermuda Shipwreck Certificate Program.
Location: 32°21'20.81"N, 64°38'36.24"W Length: 385 feet (117.3 meters) Tonnage: 4,291 tons Maximum Depth: 65 feet (20 meters) Protected Area Radius - No Fishing: 500m