5 shipwrecks discovered in Lake Michigan

CROSS VILLAGE, Mich. – A Michigan shipwreck diver says he has discovered a cluster of wrecks in northern Lake Michigan.

Ross Richardson of Lake Ann said he uncovered the wrecks this summer in the waters around the small Island of Skillagalee, located between Beaver Island and the northern Lower Peninsula community of Cross Village, the Grand Rapids Press reported. An extensive reef system about four feet under the water was responsible for many shipwrecks in the area before advanced navigation.

“I was looking for wrecks that haven’t been discovered and have a decent last known position,” said Richardson, who’s originally from Grand Rapids. “This is kind of the last place in Lake Michigan where there’s a concentration of wrecks that are undiscovered, but somewhat attainable.”

Ceremony to recall sinking of Edmund Fitzgerald

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RMS Mulheim

 

Well it’s been 10 years since the RMS Mulheim was wrecked in Gamper Bay and a flat(ish) day on our surfing holiday gave a good excuse to go and have an explore.

 

Access down the cliff, despite the warning sign was not too tricky but once near to the wreck then the fun really starts. The ship is currently lying on slippery boulders at quite an angle (possibly around 35 degrees), surrounded by a labyrinth of rusting and twisted steel plates to negotiate. It’s a large wreck that’s for sure, and on closer inspection it can be seen that the belly of the ship has been ripped out by the constant battering of the winter storm swells.

After a quick mooch round the exterior it was time to go inside. First up was the middle deck, with access gained through an inch thick heavy steel door that was only just moveable. Once inside there were several rooms to explore, one with sinks and kitchen units still in situ. Care was needed as there was holes everywhere, some with big drops into the sea below, and the angle of the floor and walls made walking around very tricky – more like climbing than walking really.

Next up was the lower deck – this was more tricky but eventually found a ladder from the rear deck descending into the void below. Didn’t fancy that so instead, clambered up inside the lower deck from the rocks below the ship, grabbing hold of some old piping to pull up on during a break in the waves (in hindsight the ladder would have been easier and I used the ladder to exit). The lower deck had carpets, shower plinths, pipework and electrical cabling still in place and it was really interesting trying to climb up the angled floor to reach the porthole windows for a look out of the ships side.

The main deck of the ship was last, and the angle of the ship made for some interesting climbing moves. From here the bridge can be explored, as can the ladder leading down a small shaft from a hatch into what remains of the engine room in the darkness below (too dark for a good photo).

All in all a great explore. The wreck is in a pretty sorry state, with holes, drops, jagged & rusting metal everywhere. It is not for the faint hearted that’s for sure and exploring with waves crashing through the void in the ship’s belly below makes for some interesting atmosphere and noises. Unfortunately all I had with me was the camera on my phone (hence the not great pictures). I was also wearing shorts and a T-shirt (both now torn, and rust stained after the explore). The rust stains also took a few days to disappear from my hands.

 

The history of the wreck can be found here: MV RMS Mulheim – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Murmansk – The Cruiser That Never Gave Up

Murmansk was a light cruiser project no. 68-bis  of the Soviet and later the Russian Navy’s Northern Fleet.

She was laid down in Severodvinsk in 1953 and commissioned on 22 September 1955. The Murmanskjoined the 2nd Cruiser Division on the division’s formation in 1956.

In 1994 she was sold to India for scrapping but ran aground off the Norwegian village of Sørvær during the transfer. It was first estimated that the winter storms would destroy the parts of Murmansk above the water, but in 2009 funding was allocated to pay for the dismantling of the vessel. Since the ship was in very bad state when the decision to remove it was done, there was no possibility to tow it. It had to be removed piece by piece. Scandinavia’s largest demolition contractor, AF Decom, constructed a massive breakwater and dry dock around Murmansk to access the shipwreck from land and demolish it where it rested. The dock around the wreck was sealed in April 2012. By mid-May the dock was almost empty of water and the demolishing of the cruiser began. The project was completed in 2013.

There is a dispute about possible radioactive substances within the ship. Some claim that the substance found is Polonium-210, which has a half-life of 138 days.

On  the 24th of December, 1994, the Russian cruiser broke free while being towed, and partially sank outside a small village, on an island on the north coast of Norway. This seas are very rough and the area is subject to extreme weather conditions.

In short, the AF strategy consists of the dry dock demolition and removal of the wreck where it lies.  This will be done by establishing breakwaters and constructing a dry dock around the “Murmansk” wreck.  The water will then be pumped out of the dry dock so the wreck will be dry.  Then construction machinery will then break down the cruiser, and sort different demolition materials to be shipped out to waste and recycling facilities.

W e have finally succeeded in getting the dock watertight and “Murmansk” is now out in the open. We have chosen not to drain the pool completely because we do not want to expose the construction of unnecessary stress. We can easily demolish most of the ship as it is situated now, says project manager and senior adviser Knut Arnhus in the Norwegian Coastal Administration according to their web site.

The wreck is in very bad condition since waves and hard weather has torn it for almost 20 years. The contractor will not try to get into the ship before it has been opened thoroughly from the outside, and then tear it apart piece by piece”.

Source : http://www.warhistoryonline.com/war-articles/murmansk-cruiser-never-gave.html

Aircraft Wrecks of the Solomon Islands

Like the wrecks of Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands are littered with the twisted carcasses of Japanese and American aircraft destroyed during the War in the Pacific.

These remains reflect just a handful of those accessible to tourists, abandoned near villages and strewn throughout the rain forests.

Above, the shell of one old fighter plane has been secured by a metal framework, the grass cut neatly around it.

Abandoned Cargo Ship at Cheung Chau

Off the north eastern coast of Cheung Chau lies an abandoned cargo ship. The ship crashed onto the island in February after the cargo shifted and caused the ship to take in water. I had to visit this wreak before the ship is lifted and moved out.

The ship wreak strangely clashes well with the picturesque beach and harbour.

The hike from the mountain peak to the cargo ship involves walking through thick brush and windy trails.

The strange thing is that there seems to be someone living on the trail. I, along with other photographers searching for the ship, uncovered this makeshift home. The place seems abandoned now. Looks like the owner didn’t clean up before moving out.

At the end of the trail, you will see the ship. I was shocked to see how big the ship was. It is quite an amazing experience. You can actually hear the boat “groan” as the waves crash onto the exposed hull.

While the boat seems close enough to actually board, there is a coast guard boat guarding the vessel in case anybody actually tries to do it.

When I arrived at the wreak, there were already a lot of photographers already snapping away.

I have seen a lot of cargo ships during my stay in Hong Kong, but I have never seen one wreaked on the beach. I plan on coming back when the salvage crews try to raise the ship from the water!

High Aim 6

Murder, mutiny and rotting fish – the story of the High Aim 6 is a strange one. This Taiwanese ship was found drifting in Australian waters without its crew in 2003, though plenty of fuel and provisions remained onboard, along with the crew’s personal belongings and a hold full of stinky seafood. A forensic examination could find no sign of a struggle, and a search of 7,300 nautical miles turned up no clues – but 10 days after the ship was discovered, calls were still being made from Indonesia on the cell phone of the ship’s missing engineer. The only crew member ever tracked down claimed that the captain and engineer were murdered and the crew headed back to their homes, but no reason was ever given.

 

SS United States Ship Abandoned

The state-of-the-art ocean liner SS United States broke the transatlantic speed record for passenger ships on her maiden voyage in July of 1952, completing the ocean crossing in 3 days, 10 hours, 40 minutes at an average speed of 35.59 knots (65.91 km/h; 40.96 mph). It was all downhill from there, though the liner enjoyed an exemplary service career before being withdrawn from service in 1969.

abandoned ocean liner SS United States

In 1996 the ship was towed from Norfolk, Virginia to Pier 84 in South Philadelphia where it rests to this day, unloved and unwanted, her formerly bright contrasting colors inexorably fading and peeling. If there was ever an ideal poster child for the current state of the passenger liner industry, it’s the SS United States. Kudos to Flickr user Liz Kallikak for the above evocative, warts & all image of the unloved and unwanted liner.

MV Lyubov Orlova “Ghost Ship”

Weighing 4,251 tons and measuring 295 feet from stem to stern, the Yugoslav-built MV Lyubov Orlova was one tough cookie. The ice-strengthened Mariya Yermolova-class cruise ship was launched in 1976 with the express purpose of exploiting the lucrative Antarctic and Alaskan cruise market, which it did quite successfully… for a while, anyway. Originally owned by the Soviet Union-based Far East Shipping Company, the Lyubov Orlova began to show her age in the early 2000’s and by early 2010 the ship had been seized and impounded in St. Johns, Newfoundland due to mounting debts.

abandoned cruise ship MV Lyubov Orlova

In February of 2012, the Lyubov Orlova was sold to Neptune International Shipping who planned to tow it down to the Dominican Republic to be broken up for scrap. Legalities being what they are, the ship and its tugboat tow didn’t get under way until late January of 2013. Newfoundland winter weather being what it is, the tow rope snapped after just one day at sea and the Lyubov Orlova was on its own, unpowered and at the mercy of wind and waves. Declaring the vessel to be a danger to nearby offshore oil platforms, Transport Canada then sent another tug out to lasso the rogue ship, tow it further east into international waters, and cut it loose… seriously!

abandoned cruise ship MV Lyubov Orlova

The ship was last seen on February 23rd of 2013 drifting 1,300 miles off the western coast of Ireland. On March 1st, a signal was received from the Lyubov Orlova’s emergency position-indicating radio beacon indicating it was 700 nautical miles off the Kerry coast. Since EPIRBs are programmed to broadcast automatically when exposed to seawater, it’s presumed the ship may have sunk. The keywords are “may” and “presumed”… it could still be out there, a real ghost ship!

Evangelia Shipwreck at Costinesti, Romania

Evangelia has been a business ship, constructed by the same shipyard which built the Titanic, Harland & Wolff in Belfast, Ireland, and launched on 28th of May, 1942 with the name of “Empire Strength”.

Later it has been known as “Saxon Star”, “Redbrook” and eventualy “Evangelia”, its last proprietor being the Greek corporation Hanton Embinas Andros.
Within the night of 15th of October, 1968, on a dense haze, the ship sailed very close to the seacoast and beached between two immersed rocks at approximately 200 m from shore in the vicinity of the villageCostinesti, in the place where it lies right now.

The place whereabouts the ship beached is a very rocky one, that could have made the rescue procedures costly and probably dangerous.
The vessel, that has been a really old vessel at that moment, has been left by the crew and thus became the property of the Romanian state and it is nowadays the most known shipwreck from the Romanian coast.
Shipwreck story is very controversial and several tales have arisen over time. The favourite is that the ship was the property of the well-known shipowner Aristotle Onassis that, with the captain, might deliberate the wreck of Evangelia to collect the insurance.
Deliberately wreckage hypothesis is usually reinforced by cons that, during this disaster, even though haze seemed to be pretty thick, the sea had been really silent as well as all equipments worked perfectly. The former Romanian communist regime had always been quiet in regards to the conditions in which the merchant vessel wrecked.

Within the next decades, Evangelia has fascinated more and more travelers causing the development of the community tourism and so becoming the emblem of Costinesti. Though it is in a sharp state of decomposition, Evanghelia obstinate to remain upright, almost in the exact same condition in which it wrecked.

If you pay a visit to Costinesti, rent a motorboat to take a tour of the wreck at sunset, it is really impressive.

You might find a lot of accommodation possibilities by searching on the web page Cazare Costinesti. Costinesti, known as “The Youth Resort”, is open to tourists from May to late September, but the best season is in July – August when all restaurants, bars and the biggest Disco in Romania are opened.

 

Abandoned Puma Helicopter Wreck Lies in a Forest in Southern England

(All images by Jon Wickenden, reproduced with permission)

Photographed on a rainy November day, the stripped-out hulk of this former Chilean Army SA330L Puma H255 helicopter lies seemingly derelict in woodland. But the abandoned chopper is actually still in use, albeit as ‘set dressing’ on a paintball course near the market town of Horsham in Sussex.

Gutted of all useful components from rotor blades and tail boom to undercarriage, cockpit and internal systems, the gaunt shell of Puma H255-1 certainly offers an air of authenticity to the simulated combat zone. Prior to moving to Horsham the abandoned helicopter was noted at Kemble’s Cotswold Airport in 2004.

More recently, also at Kemble, a photographer spotted the rudder section of wrecked British Airways 777 G-YMMM, which crashed on landing at London’s Heathrow in 2008 inbound from Beijing.

Shipwreck of the Eden V, Marina di lesina, Italy

The amazing shipwreck of the Eden V. I unfortunately can’t find much information on its story.
It seems that someone started to scrap the ship as you can see the missing parts on the last pictures.

“Hi,i found some info of this ship on a local blog.
It seems that this ship created a lot of problems to inhabitants:no-one claimed the ship once it was stranded, and police found 2 tons of radioactive material. Notice that the ship wrecked into a protected area: the Gargano National Park.

The ship wrecked in december 16th, 1988 in Contrada Morella(Lesina, FG) ,without any flag. Couldn’t find the shipowner, nor the owner, because of the merchant ship was not registered in maltese registers as described in onboard register,resulted false.
Ship was empty,or at least it seemed empty at first look.
Ship was launched in Japan,1969;the actual name was Eden V, but this is just the last camouflage.

London Lloyd’s revealed that the ship had name: EtSuyoMaru, Pollux(1980), Mania(1983), Haris(1984), Hara(1985), Happiness(1986), Fame,LeskasSky,Kirlaki(all in 1987), Ocanido, Seawolf(1989). The last sellingwas in 1988 and the buyer was “Noura-Court-Apt105” of Limassol(Cyprus).
At 16.25h of december 16th,1988, Colonel Ubaldo Scarpati, responsible of sipontina coast guard,was warned from aerial assistance center of Martina Franca.
The commander of Eden V refused any assistance,saying that “he’s not in danger and he will do personally the refloat”.
The commander, lebanese, Hamad Bedaran, before disappearing said to procurator Eugenio Villante that “the ship,coming from beirut,where discharged limber,was pointing to Ploce, Jugoslavia, to load Iron”.
BUT. Scarpati said that in the ship were other courses,and in particular the 285,that is from mediterranean sea to garganic coast.
On December 21th, 1988 International Maritime Bureau, with a telex, communicated that classification documents of the Bureau are false and the ship was never registered to their registers”.
(…)

Around the wreck ( 3,119 tons per 95m length),in a range of 3km, lie down about 123 rusty and smellingbarrels , and maybe others under the sea and over the beach.
Vigilantes of sanitary bureau of Foggia found in barrels 2 tons of radioactive material.
“we found 1,700 becquerel per kilogram of substances, 16 over the risk limit for an human being, that is 100 becquerel”, revealed prof. Domenico Palermo, director of chemical department of Zooprofilattic Department of Puglia and Basilicata.


Wrecks of the Red Sea III: South of Hurgada and Sudan

The last collection of diveable wrecks in the Red Sea are located in the south of Hurghadauntil Sudan coast.

600 meters away of the old harbour of Hurghada in a depth of 30 meter lies a reminder of the conflict between Israel and Egypt. In 1970 the 58 meter long vessel Minya was bombed to the grounds. Diving here you can see the massive impact of the bombing and surprisingly no human got harmed. If you see her on the ground it is quite hard to imagine that everybody on board survived the attack.

In 1991 one of the last victims of the Red Sea went down. There is a long a discussion, whether diving should be allowed due to respect of the dead. Today the Salem Express is another highlight not to be missed when you are a fan of heavy metal in the Red Sea. Between 12 and 30 meters it is easy accessible for any dive level and it is sad to report that a lot of plunder was going on over there. Marine life took over quite quickly and so she has been integrated into the Red Sea. Diving on a wreck should be about curiosity but also respect, like when visiting a cemetery..

Another strange story happened in 1901 when the Numidia hit Big Brother Island. Why strange? well there is a wide, open sea and nothing but two islands in the very middle of it and somehow it slipped the attention of the whole crew and they hit it exactly at the very tip… Diving at the brother islands is without any discussions some of the best diving in the Red Sea. Between 8 and 90 meters it lies at its last stop, so also worth to do a technical dive over there. Due to the formerly wooden deck it is today very easy to enter her, but again with precaution. She is well exposed to the current so it is also reserved for experienced divers.

In a big storm in september 1957 a captain decided to ignore all warnings and bring the Aidato Big Brother. Back then she was a supply ship for the Egyptian Army. The captain tried to moore her on the south east cost of Big Brother. The storm took her against the reef and she began to sink rather quickly. She looks like somebody put her down like that on purpose. If it wouldn’t be for the hole from the impact with the reef she is in very good condition. A lot of corals and exposed to currents, like all of the dives at brother island.

92 kilometres north of Port Sudan there is the Toyota Wreck, or Blue Belt. Her reason for going down is that the crew tried to sneak her through the gap of Sha’ab Suedi Reef at Fasima Suedi… Why they tried is connected to a lot of rumours, mainly that there was smuggling going on. She was to big for the gap and so she went on the ground, There was a lot of effort put into to rescue her, but evidently, she went down. Interesting on this dive is, that a lot of cars are scattered around the wreck fully overgrown which is the spectacular part of the dive. She herself offers a nice swim through starting at 36 meters.

Right off Port Sudan is one of the best wreck dives in the world, the Umbria. She was sunk in 1937 by her own crew, because she was held by the British in Port Sudan, after her motherland Italy was declaring war. She had delicate loading and nobody had any evidence against her and her crew, so they put her down. Lying on her port side between 5 and 36 meters she is accessible for all dive levels. She is in very good condition and the fish life is astonishing. All of the bombs are still nicely stacked and in one of these easy accessible holds there are three Fiat Laguna’s in very good condition.

When going on a wreck dive please keep in mind, that every vessel has a history. Most of them were tragic and did kill a lot of sailors. Give them respect when visiting their final destination far away from home, and please let them rest in peace.

Take only memories, leave bubbles and kill time!

Avro Shackleton Pelican 16 Wreck, Sahara Desert

This Avro Shackleton of the South African Air Force was restored to flight in 1994. But it crashed later that year while transiting to the UK. The aircraft, SAAF 1716, call sign Pelican 16, was forced to make an emergency landing after suffering a double engine failure. Nobody was injured in the crash, but the aircraft was abandoned in the Sahara Desert.

Sister aircraft ‘Pelican 22‘, owned by the South African Air Force Museum, is the only remaining airworthy Shackleton MR3 in the world. While it’s been grounded due to safety and preservation reasons, the engines are run-up once a month.

The Titanic Story

A century has sailed by since the luxury steamship RMS Titanic met its catastrophic end in the North Atlantic, plunging two miles to the ocean floor after sideswiping an iceberg during its maiden voyage. Rather than the intended Port of New York, a deep-sea grave became the pride of the White Star Line’s final destination in the early hours of April 15, 1912. More than 1,500 people lost their lives in the disaster. In the decades since her demise, Titanic has inspired countless books and several notable films while continuing to make headlines, particularly since the 1985 discovery of her resting place off the coast of Newfoundland. Meanwhile, her story has entered the public consciousness as a powerful cautionary tale about the perils of human hubris.

Titanic-Cobh-Harbour-1912

THE MAKING OF TITANIC

 

The Royal Mail Steamer Titanic was the product of intense competition among rival shipping lines in the first half of the 20th century. In particular, the White Star Line found itself in a battle for steamship primacy with Cunard, a venerable British firm with two standout ships that ranked among the most sophisticated and luxurious of their time. Cunard’s Mauretania began service in 1907 and immediately set a speed record for the fastest transatlantic crossing that it held for 22 years. Cunard’s other masterpiece, Lusitania, launched the same year and was lauded for its spectacular interiors. It met its tragic end–and entered the annals of world history–on May 7, 1915, when a torpedo fired by a German U-boat sunk the ship, killing nearly 1,200 of the 1,959 people on board and precipitating the United States’ entry into World War I.

The same year that Cunard unveiled its two magnificent liners, J. Bruce Ismay, chief executive of White Star, discussed the construction of three large ships with William J. Pirrie, chairman of the Belfast-based shipbuilding company Harland and Wolff. Part of a new “Olympic” class of liners, they would each measure 882 feet in length and 92.5 feet at their broadest point, making them the largest of their time. In March 1909, work began in the massive Harland and Wolff yard on the second of these ships, Titanic, and continued nonstop until the spring of 1911.

the-rms-titanic

 

On May 31, 1911, Titanic’s immense hull–at the time, the largest movable manmade object in the world–made its way down the slipways and into the River Lagan in Belfast. More than 100,000 people attended the launching, which took just over a minute and went off without a hitch. The hull was immediately towed to a mammoth fitting-out dock where thousands of workers would spend most of the next year building the ship’s decks, constructing her lavish interiors and installing the 29 giant boilers that would power her two main steam engines.

 

TITANIC’S FATAL FLAWS

 

According to some hypotheses, Titanic was doomed from the start by the design so many lauded as state-of-the-art. The Olympic-class ships featured a double bottom and 15 watertight bulkheads equipped with electric watertight doors which could be operated individually or simultaneously by a switch on the bridge. It was these watertight bulkheads that inspired Shipbuilder magazine, in a special issue devoted to the Olympic liners, to deem them “practically unsinkable.” But the watertight compartment design contained a flaw that may have been a critical factor in Titanic’s sinking: While the individual bulkheads were indeed watertight, water could spill from one compartment into another. Several of Titanic’s Cunard-owned contemporaries, by contrast, already boasted innovative safety features devised to avoid this very situation. Had White Star taken a cue from its competitor, it might have saved Titanic from disaster.

RMS-titanic-ship

 

The second critical safety lapse that contributed to the loss of so many lives was the number of lifeboats carried on Titanic. Those 16 boats, along with four Engelhardt “collapsibles,” could accommodate 1,178 people. Titanic when full could carry 2,435 passengers, and a crew of approximately 900 brought her capacity to more than 3,300 people. As a result, even if the lifeboats were loaded to full capacity during an emergency evacuation, there were available seats for only one-third of those on board. While unthinkably inadequate by today’s standards, Titanic’s supply of lifeboats actually exceeded the British Board of Trade’s regulations.

 

 

The largest passenger steamship ever built, Titanic created quite a stir when it departed for its maiden voyage from Southampton, England, on April 10, 1912. After stops in Cherbourg, France, and Queenstown (now known as Cobh), Ireland, the ship set sail for New York with 2,240 passengers and crew—or “souls,” the expression then used in the shipping industry, usually in connection with a sinking—on board.

As befitting the first transatlantic crossing of the world’s most celebrated ship, many of these souls were high-ranking officials, wealthy industrialists, dignitaries and celebrities. First and foremost was the White Star Line’s managing director, J. Bruce Ismay, accompanied by Thomas Andrews, the ship’s builder from Harland and Wolff. (Missing was J.P. Morgan, whose International Mercantile Marine shipping trust controlled the White Star Line and who had selected Ismay as a company officer. The financier had planned to join his associates on Titanic but canceled at the last minute when some business matters delayed him.)

Titanic_stern_large

 

The wealthiest passenger was John Jacob Astor IV, who had made waves a year earlier by marrying 18-year-old Madeleine Talmadge Force, a young woman 29 years his junior, not long after divorcing his first wife. Other millionaire passengers included the elderly owner of Macy’s, Isidor Straus, and his wife Ida; industrialist Benjamin Guggenheim, accompanied by his mistress, valet and chauffeur; and widow and heiress Margaret “Molly” Brown, who would earn her “unsinkable” nickname by helping to maintain calm and order while the lifeboats were being loaded and boosting the spirits of her fellow survivors.

The employees attending to this collection of First Class notables were largely traveling Second Class, along with academics, tourists, journalists and others who would enjoy a level of service equivalent to First Class on most other ships. But by far the largest group of passengers was in Third Class: more than 700, exceeding the other two levels combined. Some had paid less than $20 to make the crossing. It was Third Class that was the major source of profit for shipping lines like White Star and Cunard, and Titanic was designed to offer these passengers accommodations and amenities superior to those found in Third Class on any ship up to that time.

Titanic’s departure from Southampton on April 10 was not without some oddities. A small coal fire was discovered in one of her bunkers–an alarming but not uncommon occurrence on steamships of the day. Stokers hosed down the smoldering coal and shoveled it aside to reach the base of the blaze. After assessing the situation, the captain and chief engineer concluded that it was unlikely it had caused any damage that could affect the hull structure, and the stokers were ordered to continue controlling the fire at sea. According to a theory put forth by a small number of Titanic experts, the fire became uncontrollable after the ship left Southampton, forcing the crew to attempt a full-speed crossing; moving at such a fast pace, they were unable to avoid the fatal collision with the iceberg. Another unsettling event took place when Titanic left the Southampton dock. As she got underway, she narrowly escaped a collision with the America Line’s S.S. New York. Superstitious Titanic buffs often point to this as the worst kind of omen for a ship departing on her maiden voyage. Ironically, had Titanic collided with the ship named for her port of destination, the delay might have spared the ship from being in the precise position for her encounter with the iceberg.

 

 

That encounter took place roughly four days out, at about 11:30 p.m. on April 14. Titanic was equipped with a Marconi wireless, and there had been sporadic reports of ice from other ships, but she was sailing on calm seas under a moonless, clear sky. A lookout saw the iceberg dead ahead coming out of a slight haze, rang the warning bell and telephoned the bridge. The engines were quickly reversed and the ship was turned sharply, and instead of making direct impact the berg seemed to graze along the side of the ship, sprinkling ice fragments on the forward deck. Sensing no collision, the lookouts were relieved. They had no idea that the iceberg’s jagged underwater spur had slashed a 300-foot gash well below the ship’s waterline, and that Titanic was doomed. By the time the captain toured the damaged area with Harland and Wolff’s Thomas Andrews, five compartments were already filling with seawater, and the bow of the ship was alarmingly down. Andrews did a quick calculation and estimated that Titanic might remain afloat for an hour and a half, perhaps slightly more. At that point the captain, who had already instructed his wireless operator to call for help, ordered the lifeboats to be loaded.

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A little more than an hour after contact with the iceberg, a largely disorganized and haphazard evacuation process began with the lowering of the first lifeboat. The craft was designed to hold 65 people; it left with only 28 aboard. Amid the confusion and chaos during the precious hours before Titanic plunged into the sea, nearly every boat would be launched woefully under-filled, some with only a handful of passengers. In compliance with the law of the sea, women and children boarded the boats first; only when there were no women or children nearby were men permitted to board. Yet many of the victims were in fact women and children, the result of disorderly procedures that failed to get them to the boats in the first place.

Exceeding Andrews’ prediction, Titanic stubbornly managed to stay afloat for close to three hours. Those hours witnessed acts of craven cowardice and extraordinary bravery. Hundreds of human dramas unfolded between the order to load the lifeboats and the ship’s final plunge: Men saw off wives and children, families were separated in the confusion and selfless individuals gave up their spots to remain with loved ones or allow a more vulnerable passenger to escape.

The ship’s most illustrious passengers each responded to the circumstances with conduct that has become an integral part of the Titanic legend. Ismay, the White Star managing director, helped load some of the boats and later stepped onto a collapsible as it was being lowered. Although no women or children were in the vicinity when he abandoned ship, he would never live down the ignominy of surviving the disaster while so many others perished. Thomas Andrews, Titanic’s chief designer, was last seen in the First Class smoking room, staring blankly at a painting of a ship on the wall. Astor deposited Madeleine in a lifeboat and, remarking that she was pregnant, asked if he could accompany her; refused entry, he managed to kiss her goodbye just before the boat was lowered away. Although offered a seat on account of his age, Isidor Straus refused any special consideration, and his wife Ida would not leave her husband behind. The couple retired to their cabin and perished together. Benjamin Guggenheim and his valet returned to their rooms and changed into formal evening dress; emerging onto the deck, he famously declared, “We are dressed in our best and are prepared to go down like gentlemen.” Molly Brown helped load the boats and finally was forced into one of the last to leave. She implored its crewmen to turn back for survivors, but they refused, fearing they would be swamped by desperate people trying to escape the freezing ocean.

Titanic, nearly perpendicular and with many of her lights still aglow, finally dove beneath the icy surface at approximately 2:20 a.m. on April 15. Throughout the morning, Cunard’s Carpathia, after receiving Titanic’s distress call at midnight and steaming at full speed while dodging ice floes all night, rounded up all of the lifeboats. They contained only 705 survivors.

 

 

At least five separate boards of inquiry on both sides of the Atlantic conducted comprehensive hearings on Titanic’s sinking, interviewing dozens of witnesses and consulting with many maritime experts. Every conceivable subject was investigated, from the conduct of the officers and crew to the construction of the ship. While it has always been assumed that the ship sank as a result of the gash that caused the compartments to flood, various other theories have emerged over the decades, including that the ship’s steel plates were too brittle for the near-freezing Atlantic waters, that the impact caused rivets to pop and that the expansion joints failed, among others.

titanic-bow-615

The technological aspects of the catastrophe aside, Titanic’s demise has taken on a deeper, almost mythic, meaning in popular culture. Many view the tragedy as a morality play about the dangers of human hubris: Titanic’s creators believed they had built an “unsinkable” ship that could not be defeated by the laws of nature. This same overconfidence explains the electrifying impact Titanic’s sinking had on the public when she was lost. There was widespread disbelief that the ship could possibly have sunk, and, due to the era’s slow and unreliable means of communication, misinformation abounded. Newspapers initially reported that the ship had collided with an iceberg but remained afloat and was being towed to port with everyone on board. It took many hours for accurate accounts to become available, and even then people had trouble accepting that this paradigm of modern technology could sink on her maiden voyage, taking more than 1,500 souls with her.

The ship historian John Maxtone-Graham has compared Titanic’s story to the Challenger space shuttle disaster of 1986. In that case, the world reeled at the notion that some of the most sophisticated technology ever created could explode into oblivion along with its crew. Both tragedies triggered a sudden and complete collapse in confidence, revealing that we are vulnerable despite our modern presumptions of technological infallibility.

 

 

Gallant Lady Shipwreck

What is it about shipwrecks that draw us to them. Let’s look at the Gallant Lady wreck that rests on the rocks of North Bimini. You look at the rusting hulk of the ship, sitting there helpless against the pounding sea, but something inside you feels uneasy. You know it’s impossible but you want to save her. It’s almost as if you are witnessing a stranded whale that doesn’t below in the shallows, you want to push it back out to sea where it can thrive, where it belongs. Sadly this is where she fell, this is where she will stay.

Then there are the stories she tells. You look at her and think about the crew that sailed her, you think about the captain that fought the wind and wrestled the waves. I can see him at the helm now, fighting to keep the Gallant Lady off the rocks, a battle he would lose. Now she sits like a gravestone, never to move again. What happened to the crew? Did they survive? Did they abandon ship and swim to Bimini? Where was she going? What was she carrying? All questions that make shipwrecks strangely mysterious.

The once small freighter sailed out of Belize City and was smashed up on shore during Hurricane Mitch in 1997. At least that’s what the legend says.  In only 15 years the once proud ship has been reduced to a rusty mass, barely recognizable as a lady of the sea. The relentless waves have slowly destroyed the ship, eating away at its steel like a hungry shark. Maybe in another 15 years there will be nothing left at all. Nothing left to cause explorers to ponder the her life. Nothing left to push back out to sea.

 

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TK Bremen cargo ship

The incident

On 15 December 2011, despite the strong winds forecast for the coming hours, the Maltese-registered cargo vessel TK Bremen, unladen, left the port of Lorient to anchor in the sheltered waters of Groix Island, before heading to England. The ship had sailed from the Ukraine to Lorient, where it had just unloaded 5,300 tonnes of sunflower meal.

On the night of 15 to 16 December, the vessel, caught in storm Joachim (50-60 knot winds, 5-7 metre waves), attempted to move to a more sheltered area as it was having difficulty holding its anchor. At 00:40, it requested assistance from the maritime rescue coordination centre CROSS Etel. As it was making this move, the vessel grounded on the coast 2 km south of the mouth of the Ria d’Etel.

The general public found it hard to understand why the vessel did not stay in shelter in the port of Lorient but legally the Maritime and Port Authorities could not prohibit it from departing.

Anchor point near Groix Island that  the TK Bremen was headed for, and point of grounding on Erdeven beach. Source MarineTraffic.com - Cedre
Anchor point near Groix Island that the TK Bremen was headed for, and point of grounding on Erdeven beach. ©MarineTraffic.com

At around 3 am, the 19 crew members were airlifted off the ship by a French Navy helicopter to the Lann-Bihoué naval air base.

The tug Abeille Bourbon, based in Brest and on standby at Ushant Island during the storm, was sent on site on the morning of the accident.

The French maritime authorities ordered the ship owner to take the necessary measures to eliminate the risks generated by the vessel’s situation.

On 20 December, follow expert advice on the hull’s condition, the authorities decided that the vessel would no longer sail and would be broken up on site. This costly operation is set to last several months.

Authority visits

Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet, French Minister of Ecology, Sustainable Development, Transport and Housing, arrived on site at around midday on 16 December to assess the situation.

The Ria d’Etel is home to around fifty shellfish farms. Bruno Le Maire, Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, met with local oyster farmers on Monday 19 December.

On 4 January 2012, the Prefect of the Region of Brittany, accompanied by the Prefect of the Department of Morbihan, visited the deconstruction site.

First response

On the morning of the 16 December, a slick of bunker fuel,1 km long by 5 m wide, was detected. The pollution affected Kerminihy beach in Erdeven, where the vessel was grounded, between Lorient and Quiberon, as well as the Ria d’Etel, oiling the shores of Etel, Belz and Locoal-Mendon to varying extents.

On 29 December, all leisure and professional shellfish harvesting in the Ria d’Etel was temporarily banned by the order of 16/12/2011. This ban was lifted on 19th January 2012 for professionals.

From 16 December, lightering operations were conducted initially by the French Navy, then by the Dutch company Smit working together with Les Abeilles International. Access to the tanks was difficult, and several holes needed to be drilled.


System set up to pump the fuel out of the ship, December 2011. © Cedre.

It is difficult to estimate the exact quantity of pollutant released into the water. Nevertheless, for comparison, theErika was transporting 31,000 tonnes of heavy fuel oil (n°6) while TK Bremen contained a total of less than 200 tonnes of IFO 120 (Intermediate Fuel Oil, 120 cSt at 50°C) and marine diesel.

Just after 3 am, Cedre‘s duty engineer was alerted by the French maritime authorities. At 5 am, Cedre‘s response centre was activated and at 5:30 am two engineers were dispatched on site upon request by the Préfecture du Morbihan. A third joined them later in the day.

These 3 experts conducted surveys and advised the authorities on pollution response.

Booms from the Saint-Nazaire Polmar stockpile and the Morbihan fire brigade were deployed in the Ria d’Etel to protect the most sensitive sites in this area classed Natura 2000. SAGEMOR (Société de gestion des ports du Morbihan) booms were also deployed in Etel marina.

TK Bremen - Barrages mis en place dans la ria d'Etel. Source Cedre.

TK Bremen - Barrages mis en place dans la ria d'Etel. Source Cedre.
Booms deployed in the Ria d’Etel, December 2011. © Cedre.

Over the weekend, on 17 and 18 December, around 200 people from the fire brigade, civil protection and the relevant local authorities cleaned up the bulk of the oil and oiled seaweed at risk of being remobilised at the mouth of the ria and on Erdeven beach. SITA was in charge of collecting, transporting and treating waste recovered on the shoreline.

The response units made up of fire brigade and civil protection personnel were gradually demobilised until the 26 December, when the emergency response command system was lifted.

Shoreline clean-up

The event was managed through a Monitoring Committee and a Steering Committee that met regularly under the auspices of the Maritime Prefect and the Prefect of Morbihan.

Reconnaissance surveys were conducted on the coastline and the southern bank of the Etel River to identify and characterise the different areas polluted. An organisation was set up to define, monitor and inspect clean-up sites with the different parties involved, taking into account the health-related, technical and environmental constraints specific to each site.

From 26 December, the ship owner and his insurer contracted Le Floch Dépollution to conduct clean-up operations. The contractor’s teams had previously conducted clean-up on this coastline during the Erika pollution.

In terms of Cedre staff, members of the EPIF team (Pilot Response and Training Team) remained on site at all times to organise the opening, monitoring and closure of clean-up sites. They also took part in field surveys and made recommendations on clean-up techniques. In January, the Director of Cedre visited the site on the 4th, took part in the Monitoring Committee meeting on the 20th and the Steering Committee meeting on the 26th.

Near the vessel, mop nets were laid to recover pollutant in suspension in the water. This technique was also used during the Prestige spill in the Landes area of France on a different pollutant.

TK Bremen - Filets serpillière sur le bas de la plage. Source Cedre.

TK Bremen - Filets serpillière sur le bas de la plage. Source Cedre.
Mop nets on the lower foreshore, December 2011. © Cedre.

Surfwashing tests were conducted from 19 to 21 December on Kerminihy beach. This technique involves moving sand down to the lower foreshore to be cleaned by natural wave action. The pollutant placed in suspension through this technique was recovered using mop nets and sorbent booms.

Two surfwashing operations were conducted from 19 to 21 January and 13 to 15 February 2012.

TK Bremen - Test de surfwashing du 20 décembre 2011. Source Cedre.

TK Bremen - Test de surfwashing du 20 décembre 2011. Source Cedre.
Surfwashing test on 20 December 2011. © Cedre.

From 26 December, final clean-up operations began, directly financed by the ship owner’s insurer. Up to 60 people were mobilised to clean several sections of the Ria d’Etel.

These areas were assessed jointly by LDF, ITOPF, Cedre, the local mayor, the site manager or owner and various stakeholders according to the site.

Following this assessment, Cedre drafted a report specifying the extent of the pollution, the clean-up techniques to be deployed and the degree of clean-up on which the different parties had agreed. The same representatives were later called upon to inspect the sites upon their completion, as the work conducted by LFD progressed.

The areas prioritised were:
– oyster farming areas
– areas used by the general public (beaches, harbours etc.)
– difficult access natural areas.

The clean-up operations at the various sites were completed by mid-March 2012. In total, Cedre contributed to the set-up, monitoring and inspection of 11 sites, for which reports were drawn up.

Dismantling the wreck

Bunker fuel pumping operations were completed on 23 December 2011, to be succeeded by deconstruction operations. The TK Bremen was cut up on site (Kerminihy beach) by the Dutch company Euro Demolition, which was also contracted in 2006 to cut up the Rokia Delmas.

Dismantling operations began on 6 January 2012, by the bow of the vessel, following prior preparation of the site and access routes.

Several companies were contracted for various operations, including some local businesses: SODEPOL (asbestos removal), ALZEO (tank cleaning), Recycleurs Bretons (general cleaning of ship), ACTIS (assessment of impact on Natura 2000 reserve). The company TECNITAS was in charge of the overall coordination of operations.

The teams worked shifts day and night on the site. An enormous 280-tonne crawler crane, delivered in parts on 5 January, cut the wreck up into 10 to 20 tonne sections. There were around 2,000 tonnes of scrap metal to be cut away. The site was monitored by the military police, then the company SGS contracted by the insurer. The company GDE Atlantique based in Lorient, specialised in scrap metal recycling, collected the 1,850 tonnes of steel from the TK Bremen.

On 10 January, patches of oil were observed around the wreck, caused by bunker fuel released as it was being cut up. This fuel oil was contained in the fore part, under the hold, and could not be recovered during pumping.

The dismantling of the ship was completed on 26 January 2012. Sand screening operations around the deconstruction site followed.

From this date, efforts focused on dune rehabilitation, based on the specifications drawn up by ALTHIS for the ship owner. In mid-March 2012, the Prefect for Morbihan and the Maritime Prefect, accompanied by local authorities and site managers, visited the area where they observed that the dune had been restored. The goal – fixed by the French authorities for the ship owner – of restoring the site to its initial condition by 6 April 2012 had been met. The last steering committee meeting was 16th March on Erdeven beach.

The cost of dismantling the wreck and restoring the beach were covered by the Turkish ship owner.

A year after the end of wreck dismantling and site rehabilitation operations, for which the Syndicat mixte du Grand Site Gâvres-Quiberon was given a special award presented by French Environment Minister Delphine Batho, pieces of the ship were still being recovered from the shoreline. This debris, mainly washed up during the spring tides and storms, was generally a few dozen centimeters long, but some pieces were larger, including one section measuring almost 1 m², recovered on 24 January 2013.

As part of the three-year vigilance agreement between the State, the General Council, the commune of Erdeven, theSyndicat Mixte and Blue Atlantique Shipping, the collection of this debris should be the responsibility of the ship owner. However, this agreement has not yet been signed. Meanwhile, the town and the Grand Site Gâvres-Quiberon have had to deploy considerable resources and implement major recovery efforts.

Name: TK Bremen

Date: 16/12/2011

Location: France

 

Accident area: south of the Ria d’Etel, Morbihan

Cause of spill: grounding

Quantity transported: 150 tonnes of IFO 120 and 40 tonnes of Marine Diesel Oil (MDO)

Type of pollutant: IFO 120 / Marine Diesel Oil (MDO)

Ship type: cargo vessel

Date built: 1982

Shipyard: Busan, South Korea

Length: 109 m

Draught: 6.74 m

Flag: Malta

Owner: Blue Atlantic Shipping Ltd., Malta

Manager: Adriyatik Gemi Isletmeciligi ve Ticaret, Turkey

P&I Club: Skuld

 

 

Le Bremen échoué sur la plage d'Erdeven, Morbihan, France. 16/12/11. Source Cedre.


TK Bremen grounded on Erdeven beach, Morbihan, France, December 2011. © Cedre.

 


Official records of ship movements in the port of Lorient. ©Marin’Accueil.

 

Analyses

On Monday 19 December, samples of the cargo arrived at Cedre for analysis. They were used as a reference for comparison with samples taken for pollution monitoring purposes.

Samples of shellfish in the Ria d’Etel were taken by Ifremer, the Brest-based laboratory IDHESA (Institut Départemental d’analyses, de conseil et d’expertise en Hygiène alimentaire, Eau et environnement et Santé Animale) and ARS (Regional Health Agency).

TK Bremen - Echantillons reçu au Cedre pour analyse . Source Cedre.
Samples received by Cedre for analysis, December 2011. © Cedre.

Legal proceedings

The President of the Region of Brittany, Jean-Yves Le Drian, decided to file a complaint against persons unknown on 19 December for ecological damage and prejudice to the image of Brittany, and to bring civil proceedings before the court of Brest.

Furthermore, a judicial enquiry into the oil spill has been opened by the high court of Brest. The ship’s captain was presented to the court of Brest on 20 December as an assisted witness. He was heard by the prosecutor Bertrand Leclerc and was released on the 21st. Following his hearing he left for Malta, where he risks 5 years of prison and a 7.5 million euro fine.

On 6 January 2012, the association Robin des Bois filed a complaint “against persons unknown for oil pollution and endangerment” with Brest’s high court.

Two enquiries are currently in progress: a nautical enquiry led by Maritime Affairs and a technical enquiry led by Bea mer.

 

Compensation

A compensation fund limited to 2.1 million euros was set up by the insurer for professionals and individuals who suffered damages due to the grounding of TK Bremen.

 

 

Pictures in the News: Erdeven, France pb-120107-bremen-cannon.photoblog900 t07_36085718 The-cargo-ship-TK-Bremen-stranded-on-the-beach-at-Kerminihy-beach-at-Erdeven-near-Lorient-France-on-December-16-2011.-AP-PhotoDavid-Vincent

Freighter Lady Rana Ashore

The 81-meter long, 2822 dwt freighter Lady Rana went ashore on the coast in Sharjah, UAE.   The vessel was moored off shore when heavy swells of 3 to 4 meter waves and winds of 54kph  pounded the vessel until it lost it’s anchor lines.   All the crew onboard were able to save themselves by using a rope ladder as the vessel was close to the shoreline.  The Lady Rana now rests just 300 feet from the freighter Sea Mermid which went ashore earilier this month (see photo).   Salvage will be difficult as the Lady Rana went over several rocks resulting with many holes in the hull.

 

Source : shipwrecklog.com

Shipwreck in Stokksund

Faith is like a vessel that carries us across the raging ocean; a good faith is able to be tested and tried without breaking, and, most importantly, stay the course. A ship that cannot get you to the destination you set out for is no ship you wish to board; likewise, there is a faith that appears to cut across the waves smoothly in the beginning of its journey, looking as though it will run strong and swift, but eventually becomes the ghostly graveyard of a shipwreck!

SHIPWRECKING THE FAITH

Hold faith and a good conscience; which some having thrust away make a shipwreck concerning the faith.

~1 Timothy 1:19

Give diligence to present yourself approved by God, a workman who doesn’t need to be ashamed, properly handling the Word of Truth. But shun empty chatter, for it will go further in ungodliness, and those words will consume like gangrene, of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus; men who have erred concerning the truth, saying that the resurrection is already past, and overthrowing the faith of some.

2 Timothy 2:15-18

The faith that suffers shipwreck and is overturned is the faith that strays from the truth and is consumed by ungodliness.

To cast away our confidence, trust, and true hope in Christ for anything else will always end in tragedy.  Those things, whether it be a more comfortable gospel that promises you a greater liberty (but is still a slave to corruption- 2 Peter 2:19), or the promise of fulfillment in the lusts of the flesh, always make shipwreck of the faith.  They are not the Ark of God’s Covenant that will safely carry us through to the end.

Often times we look at our friends and think they are making great progress in their faith.  We see them sailing on a faith that carries immorality as its cargo and think we, too, can burden our vessels of faith with such cargo.

However, we should heed the warning that Paul gave Timothy, who had seen the end of these men himself, and warned that the faith which is consumed by ungodliness is soon overturned!

NO HOPE FOR A SHIPWRECKED FAITH

There is a difference between someone that has gotten off-course in their faith and someone that is shipwrecked.  While there is great peril in going off course since all faiths that were shipwrecked began by going off course, it is always possible to repent and change course.

However, making shipwreck of the faith is final.  We often think we are a long way off from losing our faith while wandering in the wilderness of ungodliness, but it is impossible to see the “hidden reefs” (Jude 12, NASB or WEB) that often lie just below the surface of the raging sea.  They can come to you as an innocent friend who strikes the blow that causes you to fall away, or a severe trial that overwhelms you.

No one ever made shipwreck of the faith while staying the course.

But how can I say that making shipwreck of the faith is final?

For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame.

~Hebrews 6:4–6

This is the frightful end of the faith that loves the world and has gone wandering off the course that has been set before us by Jesus Christ our Savior.

CONCLUSION

If you are wandering in your faith and carrying the weight of ungodliness as your cargo, then it is now time that you cast your cargo overboard and return to the straight and narrow path.  We know that God tells us the love of the world, the lusts of the eyes, the lusts of the flesh, and the pride of life are all cargoes that He will not allow to enter His Kingdom.

As Paul told Timothy, give yourself to the Word of God, that you may be strengthened and return to the right course.

If you’re still on course, rejoice in Christ, and be diligent in keeping the watch that you do not stray from the course that is given by Jesus Christ our Lord!

May you abide in Christ, and He in you, Amen!

 

A story by : Click Here

Photo by Knut A. Dahl

HMAS Protector, Australia

The gunship was built in 1884 for the South Australian government and served in several conflicts including the Boxer Rebellion, World War I and World War II. In 1943, while serving for the US Army, the ship collided with a tugboat and was abandoned, later on being moved to the Heron Island where it was deliberately sunk to act as a breakwater. Today, the ship’s iron hull is visible from Heron Island and can even be reached by foot at low tide.

Ayrfield Shipwreck, Australia

The 260-feet (29-meter) 1,140-ton steam boat was built in the United Kingdom in 1911 and registered in Sydney a year later. After being bought by the Australian Commonwealth Government, the ship was used as a supply ship for American troops in the Pacific area during World War II. After the war, the ship served as a commercial vessel until 1972 when it was retired from service and was “buried” in Homebush Bay near Auburn, New South Wales.

 

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