4 November 2013 - FAMOUS SHIPWRECKS


G'day folks,

I guess we have all heard about some famous shipwrecks. Well, here are some of the more famous ones.

The Titanic: The Titanic was the largest cruise ship of its time. The Titanic was built in Ireland at the Harland and Wolff shipyard. It was considered to be the most developed ship of that era. However, as history tells us, the Titanic unfortunately sank after colliding against an ice-berg in its maiden voyage on the 14th of April, 1912. Around 1, 517 people lost their lives in one of the biggest marine tragedies.

The process to carry out the discovery of the Titanic’ wreck was carried out in the year 1985. Quite a number of artefacts have been removed from the ship wreck and they are displayed in the National Maritime Museum, in England.


 The Estonia: The Estonia ship casualty is one of the recent maritime incidents to have occurred. The Estonia, built in the German shipyard Meyer Werft, sank on the 28th September 1994 in the Baltic Sea. Over 800 people lost their lives in this horrifying incident, the causes of which were many and at the same time, controversial.

The most commonly known reason for the accident is said to be the rough weather conditions that the ship encountered. However, certain other sources disregarded this reason and stated that because of the ship’s military involvement, bombs were planted by rival countries to destroy the ship. The shipwreck site is protected heavily. People are disallowed to approach the site because of the danger that might be caused to the wreck. Illegal diving near the wreck site is heavily penalised and punished. 


The Vampire: The original name of this ship was HMS Wallace. It was a British naval ship that was given to the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) as a loan in the year 1933. Its name was changed to HMAS Vampire, that same year. The Vampire is a very well-known warship. It was destroyed in the year 1942 by Japanese aircrafts while it was trying to bring the aircraft HMS Hermes to safety from Trincomalee.

 The Andrea Doria: The Andrea Doria was an Italian ship that sank after colliding against a Swedish ship MS Stockholm in the year 1956, while trying to reach the port of New York City. However, in spite of the severity of the incident, not many lives were lost because of timely communication by the ship’s authorities. Today, the shipwreck is a very famous site for divers. In fact, the Andrea Doria shipwreck site is known as the Mt. Everest of Scuba Diving.

 Andrea Doria

 The Victory: HMS Victory was launched in the sea in the year 1737 and met with an accident in the English Channel in the year 1744. The ship disappeared from sight at Channel Islands and for over 250 years, there was no sight of any remains of the ship. The shipwreck was discovered in the year 2008 by the Odyssey Marine Expedition of the United States around 43 nautical miles from where it encountered the storm and disappeared from sight. Under marine laws, the shipwreck is said to be the property of the British Government.

The Carpathia: The Carpathia was the ship that came to Titanic’s rescue when the cruise ship met with its accident. But even the Carpathia met with an untimely accident when it was destroyed by German submarine in the year 1917 i.e. at the time of World War I. The Carpathia shipwreck was found in the year 1999 by a company known as Argosy International Ltd.

 The Mary Rose: The Mary Rose was a warship in the navy of the Tudor King Henry VIII. The Mary Rose was destroyed while leading an action against a French ship in Solent, in the Isle of Wight. This shipwreck was salvaged in the year 1982 by the Mary Rose Trust and now the artefacts are displayed in the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. The artefacts that were discovered in the Mary Rose were quite unique and have provided a lot of knowledge to people regarding the equipments of naval warfare of that era

The Vasa: The Vasa was a Swedish war vessel that was built during the 17th century. The ship sank during its maiden voyage in the year 1628. There was an extensive salvage carried out for restoring the Vasa in the year 1961. Right now, the remains of the Vasa are stored at the Vasa Museum in Stockholm where it is the most important tourist attraction featuring around 25 million people.

 The Rhone: The Rhone was a packet ship – packet ships were those ships that were used solely for the purpose of carrying post. This ship was lost in a hurricane, in the British Virgin Islands in the year 1867. Around 120 lives were reported to be lost in this mishap. At present, because of the way the shipwreck is positioned in the water, the Rhone is regarded to be the best diving destination in the Caribbean.

 The Sultana: One of the least recognised famous shipwrecks is the SS Sultana. The ship was used at the end of the American Civil War to transport the POWs from the Union army back home. The explosion of the ship’s boiler in the year 1865 led to the loss of around 1,800 innocent lives in the Mississippi River, near Memphis. The shipwreck was found in the year 1982 in a soybean field.

The above detailed shipwrecks talk about bravery and heroicness. Through the findings of these famous shipwrecks, the history connected with each and every ship wreck can be known and understood better.

Clancy's comment: I have always feared drowning at sea after watching the film, The Poseidon Adventure, many years ago. To be trapped in an air pocket beneath the surface would be an awful experience.

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