Notable Shipwrecks

Notable Shipwrecks


Costa Concordia

January 14 2012 – The 291 meter long, 10000 dwt passenger ship Costa Concordia went aground off the island of Giglio, Italy. The cruise ship, loaded with more than 4,234 passengers and crew, struck a rock on the seafloor tearing a 160 foot gash along the port hull. Vessel capsized over on it’s side resulting in 32 deaths.



October 4 2011 – The 236 meter long, 47230 dwt container ship Rena went aground on the Astrolabe Reef north of Motiti Island near the Tauranga Harbor, New Zealand. The Rena broke up on the reef spilling containers and fuel oil onto the nearby beaches before the vessel. Svitzer Salvage engaged and removing the bow section off the reef for the following 3 years.

MSC Chitra

August 7 2010 – The 234 meter long, 38485 dwt container ship MSC Chitra collided with the bulk carrier Khalijia III just outside Mumbai harbor, India. The MSC Chitra’s port hull was ripped open and the vessel listed over spilling containers and fuel oil into the sea. The vessel sustained too much damage and was later towed into international waters and sunk.

Photo: Greenpeace

VLCC Haven

April 11 1991 – The 334 meter long, 232,162 dwt VLCC tanker Haven suffered an explosion, caught fire and sank off the coast of Genoa, Italy. The Haven not only became one of the largest shipwrecks in the world, but also one of the worst oil pollution incident in the Mediterranean Sea.


Herald of Free Enterprise

March 6 1987 – The 132 meter long, ro-ro passenger ferry Herald of Free Enterprise capsized and sank just a short distance off the port of Zeebrugge, Belgium. Some 193 persons perished as many of the 459 passengers and 80 crew were trapped inside as the vessel sank in shallow water on its port side.

Amoco Cadiz, Oil Spill, Shipwreck, France, Brittany

Amoco Cadiz

March 16 1978 – The 334 meter long, VLCC Amoco Cadiz ran aground and broke-up on Portsall Rocks some 5 kilometers off the coast of Brittany, France. The tanker had lost steering and was blown onto the rocks ripping the tanker open releasing some 1.6 million barrels of light crude into the sea.


Other Recent Wrecks

  • September 15, 2011 – The MS Nordlys had an explosion in the engine room the caused a large fire killing two crew and evacuation of the vessel at Hurtigruten, Norway.
  • April 15, 2011 – The MV Ocean Star Pacific had an engine room fire forcing 748 passengers and crew to be evacuated off the ship to Huatulco, Mexico.
  • January 31, 2011 – The Polar Star ran aground off Antarctica damaging the vessel’s outer hull with passengers evacuated to another vessel.
  • December 7, 2010 – The Clelia II was struck by a large wave off the remote South Shetland Islands suffering engine damage.
  • December 3, 2010 – The RMS Queen Mary 2 suffered an explosion causing a short term power outage.
  • November 8, 2010 – The MV Carnival Splendor had an engine room fire resulting in a complete power loss. The vessel towed back to San Diego with the US Navy providing food for passengers.
  • October 18, 2010 – The Costa Classica collided with a cargo vessel in the Yangtze River inflicting a 20 meter long gash between passenger decks.
  • Feb 26, 2010 – The Costa Europa allided into a quay at Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt tearing a two meter hole drowning three crew and injuring four passengers.
  • June 18, 2009 – The MV Royal Princess had a fire in the engine room off Port Said, Egypt causing extensive damage.
  • February 26, 2009 – The Costa Romantica had a fire in the generator room causing a power outage. Passengers were evacuated after crew was unable to repair the generators.
  • June 21, 2008 – The MV Princess of the Stars capsized and sank off San Fernando, Philippines when struck by a typhoon. The vessel with 860 passengers and crew on board had only 32 survivors.
  • November 23, 2007 – The cruise ship Explorer struck a submerged object off Antarctica and sank. No lives were lost, but over 150 individuals were forced into open lifeboats.
  • April 5, 2007 – The MV Sea Diamond struck a reef of the Greek island of Santorini with 1195 passengers on board. Vessel filled with water and later sank. Two passengers lost.