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.

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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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Fishing boat stuck on the barrier reef

Rarotonga is the capital of the Cook Islands, a lovely volcanic island surrounded by a pristine barrier reef.
The Cook Islands which consists of 15 islands in the sparkling Pacific Ocean. The islands hold fascination to scientists who study it’s volcanic origins. Rarotonga is a raised island cone with rainforest leading down to a barrier reef. Inhabited by Polynesians, it was a British protectorate from 1888 and eventually became a New Zealand dependency in 1901. In 1960’s The Cook Islands became a self governing state.

PBY Catalina, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

In 1960, Thomas Kendall, his family, and a photographer from Life magazine set off on a round the world pleasure trip in this Catalina.
On 22nd March they touched down in the Gulf of Aqaba.
The following day they were attacked with automatic gun fire from a headland nearby by local people who had mistaken them for Israeli commandos.
Mr Kendall and his secratary were injured and 4,000 litres of fuel poured onto the sand. After interogation in Jeddah they were all released.

USS LST-480

The remains of the USS LST-480, is seen in West Loch near Pearl Harbor.- The naval vessel sank in an accidental explosion on May 21, 1944 which killed 163 men and sank several other Landing Ship Tank vessels. The LST ships were being loaded with ammunition and gas and were preparing for a voyage to the Marianas Islands, for what was expected to be a brutal invasion, codenamed “Operation Forager.”

Independencia

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After Hurricane Isaac uncovered a shipwreck apparently hidden beneath the sands of an Alabama beach, curious locals learned an unexpected lesson in maritime history while visiting the photogenic hull. Shipwrecks, it seem, exert a very specific type of gravity. They are like train wrecks caught mid-horror and, no, people can’t look away.

The best example of this phenomenon may well be the wreck of the Salem Express, which sits in the Red Sea. The wreck was recent enough — the ship went down in 1991 — that no one struggles to remember the lives that were lost as the ferry sank into the sea after striking a reef, but the wreck is already a huge attraction for divers, who can still see the luggage that still sits in the hull.

The Salem Express is part of an unusual group of shipwrecks because, unlike the Titanic or the Andrea Doria, it can be visited by tourists. While many of the world’s wrecks sit in water too deep to dive, the Express is a long held breath away from the surface. As such it makes our list of the world’s most interesting accessible wrecks.

These boats, which sit above and below the water all over the world, can provide travelers with the same glimpse the folks in Alabama got after Isaac, a view into the gullet of the ocean.