link - article by Avi Abrams

The Beauty and the Mystery of the Wrecked Ships

This article will highlight the most incredible shipwrecks around the world and maybe prompt a curious expedition or two. Go check them out while they still exist, daily battered by the wind and merciless waves.

(images credit: Garry')

They were proud and beautiful once, confident in the face of anything the sea could throw at them - and now they haunt the coastlines with their sadness and beauty (but of the different kind):

(image credit: Donibane Sanjuan)


A Haunted Aircraft Carrier

Let's start with the biggest.
The majestic USS "Oriskany" - a giant abandoned aircraft carrier - has become a real treasure for diving adventurers and tour operators (more images here).

Brought 22 miles off shore and sunk there in 2006, its gutted remains may have served as a powerful inspiration for some designers in the movie and game industry. It certainly looks like something that could loom out of the time vortex, in the mist somewhere....

(image credit: florida-divepros)

Its sinking was quite a spectacular event: see the fires inside the ship's hold (imagine the inferno inside) -

(image credit: slrsite)

As a literary side note, check out this story by Paul Di Filippo "Shipbreaker" (available for reading online here). It's a fantastic account of salvaging huge abandoned (space)ships.


The last of all gun cruisers

Here is another military ship wreck, built in Russia - Battleship "Murmansk", Sverdlov class:

(images credit: Dive Norway)

"Murmansk (built 1955) - one of the last all gun cruisers. Lost in 1994 while in tow to India, and is now aground on Sørøya, Norway. It still remains intact, complete with all guns, 5 decks above, water 5 below" - so, get on the diving expedition, what are you waiting for?


Most Photographed (and Beautiful) Shipwreck:
The "American Star" off Hesperides

One of the most evocative, and visually exciting - by the virtue of its location just off the sandy coastline, and its glamorous past... Just look at the picture of "SS America" in its heyday in 1943:

a similar ship SS United States in 1952

The history of the "American Star" is nicely documented on this page. After long and lustrious career as a luxury liner, it got wrecked at Fuerteventura in 1994 and since became a total loss. This is how the ship looked right after it snapped in two:

(photo by Raphael Pastor Bedoya)

(images credit: Fogonazos)

Here is a picture set of how the wreck looked in 2000:

(images credit: Hyperfinch)

Sadly, it was finally claimed by the sea in 2007 - the opportunity to take awesome pictures of this fascinating wreck is now gone.

(images credit: Barbara (Iveta))

Another interesting wreck (this time on the Queensland's Sunshine Coast) is Cherry Venture (more info) Perhaps it's better to say "was" as it was also recently removed...

(image credit: Garry')

Get moving now, and explore these rusty behemoths before the nature, or humans, get to them!


Ships in Peril, and Ships Perishing

The following are harrowing, sometimes genuinely frightening photographs of shipwrecks-in-progress, where even the most hardened of ships and crews meet their doom - at the mercy of nature's elements.

"Victor Karyakin" fishing vessel meets some unforgiving rocks at the Rybachi island. 12-strong crew was in deadly peril, as no other ship could come close to the same rocky shore. The crew was saved by Norvegian Coast Guard "Sea King" helicopter:

(photos by 330-Skvadronen/Forsvaret)

Nice t-bone collision:

Another t-bone, but on a much smaller scale:

Sinking of the "Twin Star" near Peru in 2006:

(image credit: CMJeff)

"Franz Halls" ran aground on Le Palais beach in Biarritz:

(image credit: bourbon-online)

"Capetan Tzannnis" washed ashore by the storm in La Madrague Beach, Anglet:

(image credit: bourbon-online)

A few unnamed ones:

(images credit: Container Shipping)


Titanic-style sinking in Antarctic waters

Thinking about taking an Arctic or Antarctic cruise? Even in our days of powerful icebreaker ships (see some awesome examples here) the combination of extreme weather and unfortunate circumstances can easily become fatal.

"G.A.P Adventures" was arranging the cruises on board of the 1969-built "Explorer" ship ($9,000 per person), when in 2007 "it struck the ice, took on water (as 154 passengers and crew members scrambled to safety aboard lifeboats and rafts), and then sunk to the bottom" (see video) -

(photos by Chile's Navy)

And yes, just like the "Titanic" it struck an iceberg, which caused a 10 by 4 inch (25 × 10 cm) gash in the hull. (more info). The iceberg went unnoticed because the vessel presumably was going with the unsafe speed...

(Sinking of "Titanic", visualized by Robert Avotin in Soviet TM magazine 1971)


Pasha Bulker - a huge freighter grounded in Australia

A 820-foot-long coal freighter sits aground close to Newcastle, Australia - pushed into the sand bank by the storm swell and extreme winds. (more info)
Some of the photographs look like they'd been photoshopped - so unreal is the combination of a beached ship and suburban golf courses and houses.

Surreal beach scenes:

(originals unknown)

In the same 2007 storm, three other coal ships had sent distress calls and were at the risk of being washed up.


More Container Ships in Peril

It seems to happen quite often: there is a large website Container Shipping which documents such events:

(image credit: Container Shipping)

What happens when containers from the lost ship wash up on the nearby coast? That's easy to predict! (especially under the cover of night... more info)

MSC Napoli grounded near Branscombe beach

Plundering the Loot: This SUV looks pretty useless, but there are some motorbikes in working condition:

Perhaps some problems can be avoided? See for example, this deeply wrong loading of cars:

Aftermath: the buses and the trucks seem to be hanging in the air:

(image credit: gcaptain)


Shipwrecks claimed by the desert

Most of these pictures are from Namibian Skeleton Coast:

(image credit: Michael Poliza)

The shipwrecks of the Aral Sea (which lies between Uzbekistan & Kazakhstan, former Soviet-Union republics) are just as numerous, but less known. The Aral Sea is catastrophically disappearing (shrunk more than 80 percent in its volume) since the 1960s...

(image credit: Elena Senao)


Rest in Pieces

Ship graveyard near Lisbon, beautifully rendered in HDR by Pedro Vidigal - can haunt your imagination for days, if you let it. Probably the best environment for exercises in apocalyptic photography.

(images credit: Pedro Vidigal)

See the whole gorgeous set here. Antonio Vi also took photographs of this mesmerizing place:

(images credit: Antonio Vi)

Another ship graveyard:

And here's a historic photo of Saddam Hussein's private yacht "Al Mansur" in 2003

(photo by Reuters)


The Sadness & The Beauty

A couple more haunting, almost painting-like photographs from Donibane Sanjuan:

("American Star" liner, Fuerteventura, by Donibane Sanjuan)

All images are used by specific permission of respective owners

Also Read: Ships vs. Big Waves, Heavy Seas, Part 2 and Part 1

Permanent Link......+StumbleUpon ...+Facebook
Category: Ships / Boats,Abandoned


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Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh wow! just fantastic!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Pasha Bulker was a bulk cargo carrier, not a container ship. Hence the name 'Bulker...'


Anonymous Anonymous said...

this pictures are amazing.
but they do show one thing. what ever the humans build or create nature will fight back and win. metal doesn't stand a chance against nature.

Blogger Chelle said...

I never knew that damage could be so beautiful.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here is another big ship at the wrong location:


Anonymous Anonymous said...

OMG it's the Borealis!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the UK there is a saying "As useless as sending coals to Newcastle" which makes The Pasha Bulker somewhat ironic (yes I know its a different Newcastle

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Check out the S. S. Selma. It is a ship made of concrete that was scrapped outside of Galveston.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

really beautiful set...
Great for inspiration!

Is it wrong to wish there was stuff like this everywhere?

Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's something so majestic about ships and so heart-tuggingly sad about their deaths.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Oriskany" was misspelled.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

While not on the same scale as these huge ships check out the Steamboat Arabia museum in Kansas City. The boat sank in the Missouri River in 1856. The story of finding it and recovering the contents is pretty amazing.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tons more photos like this can be found at gCaptain's Disaster At Sea page. Check it out!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

it's wrong that these arent everywhere

Anonymous Anonymous said...

More shipwrecks, less cute animals DRB!

Blogger Avi Abrams said...

Anonymous - yes, there will be part 2 of shipwrecks; and... er, ugly animals.

Blogger Steve said...

Reminds me: I must update my tetanus shot.

Blogger Sabina E. said...

totally rad, man. F--king awesome

mmmm it would be cool to explore a wrecked ship and come across ghosts of pirates and/or sailors who perished in the seas...

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Absolutely amazing pictures...

Blogger Phosphan said...

The "Murmansk" was a cruiser, not a battleship.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The "Golf Course" in the Pasher bulker photo set is actually just a park. not nearly enough room for a golf course on that headland. We went to see the bulker while we were in Newcastle.

Big boat, little beach.
Quite funny.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great pictures and interesting information. I've linked your site at www.shipreckdiaries.blogspot.com since we seem to share an interest in shipwreck and related subjects.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, those are some really amazing shots. I've always been curious about diving to see some underwater wrecks but I don't think I'd be able to go that deep due to some genetic inferiorities. I didn't realize how many are above the water!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

amazing photos!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Absolutely beautiful & tragic at the same time.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is beautiful!
I love shipwrecks!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fantastic collection!

re: Pasha Bulker. That isn't a golf course, it's just a park. That was an interesting weekend the Pasha ran aground. Up to half a dozen or so other freighters came dangerously close to doing the same thing.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Pasha Bulker weekend was crazy, the amount of rain and the number of people driving up to see it when it first washed up were incredible. It seemed like most of newcastle was driving to see it.

Also anonymous is right about it not being a golf course, it's just a park.

Blogger VisitPensacola said...

This is GREAT!

You can actually dive the Oriskany. More information is available on our website www.visitpensacola.com

We also have footage of the first underwater wedding that took place on the deck of the Oriskany in Pensacola Florida.

You can watch that video on our blog www.visitpensacola.blogspot.com/2007/11/love-is-in-water.html


Blogger Lasse Rintakumpu said...

Think that those who enjoyed these photos (and who wouldn't?) find Wired's "High Tech Cowboys of the Deep Seas: The Race to Save the Cougar Ace" an interesting read: http://www.wired.com/science/discoveries/magazine/16-03/ff_seacowboys.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey... very very super collection....

i like this page and hole blog....

super really very very super....

Anonymous Anonymous said...

amazing picures, thanks for sharring

Anonymous Anonymous said...

One artist documented rotting hulks in New York Harbor in the middle of the 20th century -- see the museum devoted to his work:


There are pages on his museum site showing thumbnails lithographs of his work and a book reproducing his work.

Anonymous Heiko Grabolle said...

Amazing pictures
Very nice colection, even if there is a lot of sadnass behind....

Cheers, Heiko Grabolle.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

For a cool vintage shipwreck, try the Fortuna. It ran aground on the beach of Long Beach Island in 1910. Pretty awesome

Anonymous Capt. Avtar Singh said...

Mariners Planet working for seafarer community, as a seafarer we never want our sailed vessel photograph in this shape.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I traveled down the upper Amazon river on the "Explorer". Surprising that it sunk in the Antarctic.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sverdlovsk was a cruiser, not a battleship. The caption contradicted itself.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Take a look at divethebuccaneer.com for an underwater virtual tour of a shipwreck.

Anonymous Grobi said...

I still remember the "American Star" at Fuerteventura. I was just driving around there in 2001 and stumbled upon the ship. There were no Google Maps or similar to find it. Good old times!

It was quite impressive to watch this big ship surrounded by the sea and predicted do perish...

Greetings from Germany


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