Attica and the surrounding areas often hide stories that we don’t know and have never heard of. This is also the case with the small island next to Marathon. Dipsa is the island near Marathon that once found shelter by 96 castaways.
The island “dipsa” next to Marathon and the castaways
The island “dipsa” is located in N. Evoikos and is 6 nautical miles from Marathon Beach. It’s rocky and sandy. In ancient times it was a place of exile and punishment. Because the castaways usually died of thirst, the island is said to have been named that. Now a days fishermen also call it “lampsi”, because of the lighthouse that was placed there after the sinking of the steamer “Cleo” in 1904.
What exactly happened then? It was Tuesday, January 6, 1904, the day of the <Lights>[greek holiday] when the passengers of the steamship Cleo saw it sink in the middle of South evoikou, Their 60 meters long ship, . The island “Thirst” <dipsa> was the salvation for them. That’s where the castaways sought refuge. It was without supplies, no means of communication and no means of escape.
How did the wreck happen? It is said that the lieutenant, who was in charge of the ship’s command, fell asleep at the helm. The result was that it deviated from its course. Inevitably, “Cleo” was pinned with force on <dipsa>, the small rocky island of the Evoikou gulf. The force of the impact was such that the crash was a given. The large steamer began to fill water and slowly and steadily immerse it self in the dark sea.
Naturally, panic prevailed. The captain ordered the sailors to create an artificial bridge between the ship and the rocky island. So, most of the passengers and crew began to be transported safely. However, many of the passengers, unable to maintain their composure, had jumped into the sea and were trying to climb the sharp rocks of Thirst<dipsa> island. So one passenger lost his life and was the only victim of the wreck.
Another passenger decided to dive into the icy waters and seek help and managed. He swam 5.5 nautical miles and made it to Styra Evia, where he alerted the authorities.