There’s something truly remarkable about a large vessel at sea succumbing to the power of Mother Nature’s mighty forces. Grounded ashore and rusting away, shipwrecks carry a foreboding beauty in their decaying remains. Here are eight historic wreckage sites to marvel at — and visit!
Michael PolizaEduard BohlenNamib Desert, Namibia Strong winds and dense fog capsized the Eduard Bohlen along the Skeleton Coast of Namibia — an area once dubbed “The Gates of Hell” by sailors — on September 5, 1909. Once surrounded by salty seawater, this German cargo ship now rests amid a sea of sand.
DelensModeLa Famille ExpressLong Beach Bay, Turks and Caicos Two miles off of Turks and Caicos’ Long Beach Bay, a decrepit cargo ship rusts away in seven feet of shallow seawater. Built in 1952, the former Soviet vessel — originally dubbed Fort Shevchenko — was sold to a Caribbean islander in the 1990s. It was moored at Providenciales until the strong winds of Hurricane Frances permanently displaced the anchored vessel in 2004.TonygersBowling Harbour Ship GraveyardRiver Clyde, Bowling Harbour, Scotland Not technically a wreck site but still a site worth admiring, the boating graveyard at Bowling Harbour exposes the rusty remnants of the shipbuilding and repair center that functioned here during the 19th century.Borut FurlanUluburun WreckGrand Cape, Mediterranean Sea, Turkey Dating back to the 14th century, this ancient sea vessel is one of the oldest — and with over 20 tons of Bronze Age artifacts, one of the wealthiest — ships ever discovered. The image pictured here shows a replica of wreckage found by a local sponge diver in 1982.
Mbemt445Friar Head WrecksReeves Beach, Riverhead, Long Island, New York What appears to be a dilapidated dock in the far off distance is actually the remnants of several abandoned ships that were intentionally run ashore in the 1930s. Rumored to be wooden freighters from WWI, these ships were placed here by a sand and gravel company to function as artificial jetties.
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“Shipwreck Beach”Navagio Beach, Zakynthos, Greece Bad weather ran the MV Panagiotis — a freightliner supposedly smuggling booze, cigarettes, and women, hence the beach’s secondary nickname, “Smuggler’s Cove” — ashore a sandy cove off the coast of the Ionian Greek Islands in the early 1980s. Surrounded by 600-foot-high limestone cliffs, this popular crash site is only accessible by sea — and bungee cord for the thrill-seeking visitors.
Andrew MichaelSS MahenoFraser Island, Australia Originally built in 1905 as an ocean liner for New Zealand’s Union Company, the SS Maheno sailed to the rescue when she was called for service as a hospital ship during the first World War. In July of 1935 she was en route to her new, post-war home in Japan, when a cyclone struck the SS Maheno and the tugboat towing her along. The tug-line was severed in the storm, leaving the ocean liner floating across choppy waters for three days until she was found stranded on the shore of Australia’s Fraser Island, where she remains a landmark destination to this day.
thyegnPeter IredaleClatsop Spit, Oregon Bound for Portland, Oregon, from a seaport town in Oaxaca, Mexico, the Peter Iredale — a four-masted steel barque named after its English owner — ran aground October 25, 1906 near the Columbia River channel. A rising tide and heavy mist caused the the 27-member crew and two stowaways to abandon ship. Once safely ashore with whiskey in hand, the ship’s captain, H. Lawrence, bid the following adieu to his seaside ferry: “May God bless you, and may your bones bleach in the sands.”