48 Eerily Intriguing Shipwrecks

September 27th, 2012 Permalink

We expect to see ships from land as they sail away, but there is something eerily intriguing about ships that you see from land because they are above-water wrecks. Some are rusty and crusty shipwrecks that didn’t sink completely underwater, while others crashed, collided, or ran aground on the sandy beach or rocky reef. Yet other wrecks were perfectly fine ships that nature picked up and tossed on land via a hurricane, typhoon or tsunami. Even though these abandoned boats litter nature, the shores or shallow waters, there is still a haunting beauty to wrecks and to seascapes with relic ribs where ghostly wreckage remains. It makes us ponder what the story is behind these shipwrecks visible from land and what the sailors endured. The United Nations estimates more than 3 million shipwrecks litter the ocean floor, but we could find no estimate to the number of boats that are abandoned, derelict or beached worldwide. Here are 48 fabulous photos showing eerily intriguing shipwrecks in varying states of destruction and decay. [48 Photos]

Rusted shipwreck resting on a reef in Hawaii - All that remains above water of an unnamed vessel wrecked on the reef long ago

Rusted shipwreck resting on a reef in Hawaii. The photographer noted, “All that remains above water of an unnamed vessel wrecked on the reef long ago.” NOAA Photo #1 by Dr. Dwayne Meadows, NOAA / NMFS / OPR; NOAA’s Maritime Heritage Program

Hauntingly beautiful shipwreck on the Okhotsk Sea, Tungusskaya Bay

Hauntingly beautiful shipwreck on the Okhotsk Sea, Tungusskaya Bay. Photo #2 by © Savitskiy Igor


Nature reclaiming shipwreck at Homebush Bay, Australia

One of the shipwrecks visible and accessible during low tide at Homebush Bay. This was once used as a ship-breaking yard, but it now better known for Sydney Olympic Park. Here, nature via the mangroves, is trying to reclaim the wreck. Photo #3 by Brent Pearson

Shipwreck La Famille Express located near Turks and Caicos Islands

La Famille Express, a general cargo ships built 1950-1959 (Under 3000gt). It wrecked near Providenciales, Turks & Caicos Islands. The photographer noted, “Ship sits in around 7ft of water. Has improvised ladders allowing access to entire ship.” Photo #4 by © Ipwnnoobs

Full moon and one of the shipwrecks rusting into the sands of Necochea, on the Argentine coastline

Full moon and one of the beached shipwrecks rusting into the sands of Necochea, on the Argentine coastline. Photo #5 by Luis Parravicini

Famous shipwreck on the beach at Navagio Bay, Zakynthos Island, Greece

Famous shipwreck on the beach at Navagio Bay, Zakynthos Island, Greece. Photo #6 by Gabriel Hilohi

RMS Mulheim shipwreck lies beneath the cliffs at Lands end, Cornwall

This wreck RMS Mulheim lies beneath beneath the cliffs at Lands end at the most westerly point on the British mainland, at the tip of Cornwall. The photographer explained, “The RMS Mulheim was carrying a cargo of 2,200 tonnes of shredded plastic from vehicles, en route from Cork to Lubeck, when she ran on to rocks between Land’s End and Sennen on 22nd March, 2003. There was no loss of life and most of the cargo and other pollutants from the ship was salvaged…but there was still considerable environmental damage in the near bays and shorelines.” Photo #7 by Gillie (lovestruck)

Sygna shipwreck on Stockton Beach, Australia

Wreck of the Sygna, on Stockton Beach, Australia. Photo #8 by Brent Pearson

Ship that didn't wreck, one of the rusting hulks at Moynaq, in what used to be the Aral Sea, Uzbekistan

This peculiar sight is not a ship that wrecked here. Instead this is the landscape for Moynaq, what was, once upon a time, a major fishing port. It is now 93.2 miles (150 km) from the Aral Sea, Uzbekistan. The once 4th-largest in-land sea shrank by 90%, leaving the fishing community in ruins. An armada of rusting hulks that once made up the proud fishing fleet during the Soviet era is now Moynaq’s major ‘tourist attraction.’ Photo #9 by Martijn.Munneke

Wreck of the passenger vessel MAHENO on Fraser Island, Qld, 22 Sep 1993. Vessel went ashore and broke up 9 Jul 1935 after tow broke

Wreck of the passenger vessel MAHENO on Fraser Island, Qld, 22 Sep 1993. Vessel went ashore and broke up 9 Jul 1935 after tow broke. Photo #10 by © John Wilson

Shipwreck surrounded by camels in the desert

Here’s something you don’t see every day, shipwrecks surrounded by camels in the desert. Photo #11 by WallpapersWa

MV Ranga Shipwreck, Coumeenoole, Kerry, Ireland, 1984

MV Ranga, shipwrecked at Coumeenoole Beach, Kerry, Ireland, 1984. The photographer noted, “This was not the first Spanish shipwreck in these waters. At least one ship from the Spanish Armada went down off the rocks in the middle distance. I just checked the place on Google maps, this shipwreck is long gone.” Photo #12 by josullivan.59

Rusty hulk of abandoned ship in Ireland

The rusty hulk is of an abandoned ship in Ireland. The photographer wrote, “This enormous fishing vessel has been abandoned to the elements at a jetty in Letterfrack, Connemara. The hull is rusted through in places and full of water; it will never sail again. The story is repeated at piers up and down the region, but few of the boats which have been abandoned are quite so large (or so dramatically colored).” Photo #13 by Rob Fahey

Poseidon, a research (survey) Vessel built in 1944 in UK. Shipwrecked at Phaleron Bay, Piraeus, Greece

Poseidon, no really it is. But this Poseidon is a research (survey) vessel built in 1944 in UK. It shipwrecked at Phaleron Bay, Piraeus, Greece. Photo #14 by © Petros Psarras

Rusted relic, wreck of a midget submarine at Aberlady Bay in Scotland

At East Lothian, Scotland, this is one of two rusted XT-Craft midget subs that were towed to Aberlady Bay in 1946, then moored to a concrete block and used for bombing target practice by Royal Air Force aircraft. The photographer wrote, “At Aberlady Bay Nature Reserve, an ignored and little-known gem: the abandoned hulls of two World War II X-Craft midget submarines. They are visible only at low tide, but are easily reached on foot.” Photo #15 by Alex Morrice

Shipwrecked Santa Maria, a rusty crusty 40 year old relic, decaying in the distance of dunes on the beach, waves in the sea, a few miles from the island capital Sal Rei on Boa Vista, Cape Verde

On September 1 1968, Cabo de Santa Maria, a Spanish cargo boat travelling from Brazil, shipwrecked a few miles from the island capital Sal Rei on Boa Vista, Cape Verde. The beach where it is wrecked is named after the ship. After over 40 years of intense sun and the relentless pounding by the wind and waves, the entire eroding structure of the ship will soon collapse into the sea. The photographer noted, “It is an interesting spot, with dunes on the beach, waves in the sea, wind in the air. The only problem is that there is no road to get there. You have to take a jeep, traveling through treacherous sands and big stones that make the car jump.” Photo #26 by Isidro López

Ribs of a relic, Norwegian SS Noren at sunset in England

Ribs of the Norwegian SS Noren as seen at sunset. This amazing old relic is from a March 1897 wreck. It lies just north of St Mary’s Parish Church at Berrow, just south of Brean, England. “When the tide goes out at Berrow, near Burnham-On-Sea, the bones of a long dead ship stick out of the sands as a stark reminder of a savage gale and a gallant rescue at the end of the last century,” explained the photographer. Photo #17 by Steven Meyer-Rassow

Shipwrecked remains of the New Carissa at Coos Bay, Oregon

According to the photographer, “On February 4, 1999, the New Carissa was bound for the Port of Coos Bay, Oregon to pick up a load of wood chips. The ship’s crew was informed by the local bar pilots that weather conditions would prevent the ship (which was empty at the time) from entering Coos Bay harbor until the next morning. The captain ordered the ship to drop anchor 1.7 nautical miles (3.1 km) off the coast in order to ride out the storm. The crew used a single anchor to secure the ship, and according to a United States Coast Guard review of the incident, used a chain that was too short. The short chain and the weather conditions, including winds of 20–25 knots (37–46 km/h), caused the ship to drag its anchor. Poor navigational techniques and inadequate watchkeeping led to the crew’s failure to notice that the ship was moving. Once movement was detected, the crew attempted to raise anchor and maneuver away from the shore, but the weather and sea conditions made this difficult. By the time the anchor was raised, the ship had been pushed too close to the shore to recover.” After an unsuccessful attempt to tow the ship, the fuel was burned off. However, “a significant amount was also spilled from the wreckage, causing ecological damage to the coastline.” Photo #18 by Misserion

The wreckage of the American Star (SS America) seen from land side, Fuerteventura, Canary Islands

Shipwreck of the American Star (SS America) seen from land side of Fuerteventura, Canary Islands. Photo #19 by Wollex

Fogs makes an eerie setting for the shipwrecked Pasha Bulker at Nobbys Beach, Newcastle

Fogs makes an eerie setting for the shipwrecked Pasha Bulker at Nobbys Beach, Newcastle. Photo #20 by John Valentine

Shipwrecked RUZHANY in Sulina, Romania

Wrecked and waiting to be scrapped: Cold winter scene of Ruzhany in Sulina, Romania. A Russian Maritime cargo ship, registered in Ukraine, that was built in 1974. Photo #21 by © Sirotencu Liviu

Rusty and crusty bones from the iron steam ship SS Dicky built in 1885. The wreck is located on Dicky Beach (named after the vessel) on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast

Rusty and crusty bones from the iron steam ship SS Dicky built in 1885. The wreck is located on Dicky Beach (named after the vessel) on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. Photo #22 by Samuel Sharpe

Upclose and in the shadows of a shipwreck Fisherman and his dog near left the Mikinay boat

Upclose and in the shadows of a shipwreck, rusting crusting relic, 20 years in port MDQ: Fisherman and his dog near the Mikinay boat. Photo #23 by Alejandro Groenewold

Abandoned bateau camaret left to die at Shipwreck graveyard in Camaret-sur-Mer

Abandoned bateau camaret left to die at shipwreck graveyard in Camaret-sur-Mer. Photo #24 by Thierry Benquey

Shipwreck at Roatán, Honduras. It was carrying building materials when it ran aground. Locals salvaged most of the cargo and the ship has rested there ever since

“Shipwreck at Roatán, Honduras. It was carrying building materials when it ran aground. Locals salvaged most of the cargo and the ship has rested there ever since.” Photo #25 by Chris Vaughan

Ship graveyard at Hardway, Gosport, England

“Ship graveyard” at Hardway, Gosport, England. Photo #26 by Rob Nunn

Patagonia -- Shipwreck in the Beagle Channel, Ushuaia, Argentina

While we’ve seen the marvelous Marble Caves, this shot from Patagonia is a wreck in the Beagle Channel, Ushuaia, Argentina. Photo #27 by Allen Burt

Decaying bones of the Peter Iredale shipwreck on the shore of Oregon

Decaying bones of the Peter Iredale shipwreck along the Oregon shore. Photo #28 by drwhimsy

Hauntingly beautiful wreck on the island of Amorgos in the Greek Cyclades - monochrome

Enzo’s wreck: Hauntingly beautiful “monochrome / selenium tone version of this wonderful wreck on the island of Amorgos in the Greek Cyclades.” Photo #29 by Jens Auer

 Shipweck graveyard, this wreck sitting on the remains of another wreck

Eastern coast of England Ship’s Graveyard. The photographer said, “An old trawler on the banks of the River Humber….left to decay in the dirty waters….it’s sitting on the remains of another wreck.” Photo #30 by DigiTaL~NomAd

The Sheraton

The Sheraton. “Probably the most photographed landmark at Hunstanton, the wreck of the Sheraton has been below the cliffs at St Edmunds point since 1947,” wrote the photographer. “Built as a trawler in 1907, she served as a radar ship, before being sent to become a target ship in the wash. It was on this journey her towline broke and she was washed up where she now lies. What’s left is all the scrap merchants left, and she’s deteriorating faster as the years go by. In this view, the keel ballast can be seen.” Photo #31 by Paul Belson

Shipwreck, a Leaky Boat

According to the photographer, “HMQS Gayundah was a flat-iron gunboat operated by the Queensland Maritime Defence Force and later the Royal Australian Navy (as HMAS Gayundah). She entered service in 1884 and was decommissioned and sold in 1921. She then served as sand and gravel barge for Brisbane Gravel Pty Ltd until 1950, when she was scrapped. In 1958, Gayundah was run aground at Woody Point at Redcliffe, to serve as a breakwater structure.” Photo #32 by Steve Dorman

Replica of the 'la Grande Hermine' shipwrecked and burned

Life-size wooden replica of the ‘la Grande Hermine‘ shipwrecked and burned. The carrack that brought Jacques Cartier to Saint-Pierre on 15 June 1535, and upon which he discovered the estuary of the St. Lawrence River and the St. Lawrence Iroquoian settlement of Stadacona (near current-day Quebec City). For a time it was featured at the Expo 67 in Montreal (1967) where it served as a floating restaurant. Following the Expo the replica was moved to Quebec City and put on static display in an artificial pond located in a city park, where it remained for at least three decades; poorly maintained. It was broken up completely in the same park where it sat for years. Photo #33 by Saffron Blaze

Cargo on grounded ship Rena on the Astrolabe reef Operation Rena -- New Zealand Defence Force assistance during the recovery operation for grounded ship MV Rena off the coast of Tauranga

Operation Rena — New Zealand Defence Force assistance during the recovery operation for grounded ship MV Rena off the coast of Tauranga. Wikipedia reports, “On 5 October 2011 the Rena ran aground near Tauranga, New Zealand, resulting in an oil spill. On 8 January 2012 the Rena broke in two after enduring heavy winds and seas overnight. By 10 January 2012 the stern section had sunk almost completely.” Photo #34 by New Zealand Defence Force

Point Reyes ShipWreck

Point Reyes wreck. Photo #35 by Chris Pugh

Shipwreck Dimitrius Shipwreck on a shore near Gytheio, Greece

Wreck of the Dimitrios at Laconia, near Gythio, Peloponessus, Greece. Photo #36 by N1RK4UDSK714

The Colombo Queen ran aground during Tropical Storm Linfa on June 21, 2009

The Colombo Queen ran aground during Tropical Storm Linfa on June 21, 2009. Photo #37 by nolativ

Queensland wreck of the Cherry Venture

The wreck of the Cherry Venture in 1993. The photographer wrote, “This photo was taken by my sister. In about 1974, when we went to Queensland to visit the Grandparents, this ship had already run aground on Rainbow beach during a storm earlier in the year. Back then, it was a new ship, but they were unable to re-float it. I distinctly remember the ship being white and blue. This photo is taken about 10 years later. It had become this rusting hulk.” Photo #38 by Brian Yap

Shipwreck, Beach Near Lake Sijung, North Korea

Beach Near Lake Sijung, North Korea. The photographer related this story: “I left the rest of the tour group I was with and wandered down the beach on my own, something thats technically a big no-no in this country. Few hundred meters down the beach and out of sight from where my group was, is this big rusty shipwreck. As I was making my way to the wreck a KPA soldier started making his way towards me, rifle in hand. Mind you, just 2 months prior to this incident a South Korean tourist was shot dead not far away in Kumgangsan for wandering into a sensitive area on her own. My heart froze as the armed soldier walked right up to me, eyes fixed with a cold, emotionless gaze. Thankfully, he didn’t do anything apart from staring at me as he walked right by me.” Photo #39 by yeowatzup

Shipwrecked by Hurricane Katrina, Bayou La Batra 2005 boats ashore

We saw the devastation at abandoned Six Flags in New Orleans. This too was Hurricane Katrina damage in Bayou La Batre, Alabama, showing the cargo ship M/V Caribbean Clipper and 4 fishing boats pushed ashore. Photo #40 by NOAA

Collision of Costa Concordia January 2012 shipwreck

Costa Concordia – January 2012 shipwreck by collision. Photo #41 by Rvongher

Selma near Pelican Island in Galveston Bay

Ship Portrait – Selma.” The photographer wrote, “The wake from a passing ship washes over the wreck of the old concrete ship Selma near Pelican Island in Galveston Bay.” Photo #42 by Louis Vest

No country for old boats, shipwreck at Bénodet, Brittany, France

“No country for old boats” at Bénodet, Brittany, France. Photo #43 by shellorz

On the Alabama shore, Hurricane Isaac uncovered the wreckage of a schooner named Rachel

September 2012: Along a private beach at Fort Morgan, Alabama, Hurricane Isaac uncovered this ghostly wreckage of an old wooden schooner named Rachel. The ship was built during World War I, but the schooner and her 8-man crew ran aground during a tropical storm in 1923. Rachel‘s remains have been uncovered off and on since 1969 during previous storms. When this ship wrecked, it was supposed to have been loaded with lumber, but local lore says the prohibition-era ship was also bringing alcohol from Cuba. Photo #44 by Razvlekis

Forgotten wreck, this boat has been abandoned near the English seaside

Forgotten wreck. The photographer noted, “This boat has been sat there for as long as I know. I find it strange that one day it was anchored there by someone – and then forgotten. Quite sad really.” Photo #45 by Joe Edwards

Shipwreck decays in Puerto Rico port

Shipwreck decays in port at Puerto Rico. Photo #46 by Alejandro Groenewold

Wrong Way, shipwreck by running aground at El Rinconcillo, Andalusia, ES

“Wrong Way,” shipwreck by running aground at El Rinconcillo, Andalusia, ES. Photo #47 by Nukamari

Shipwreck and low fog at Ocean Beach in San Francisco

Shipwreck and low fog at Ocean Beach in San Francisco. Photo #48 by Brocken Inaglory


The wreck theme seemed appropriate since Love These Pics was wrecked and wiped last weekend via hackers with Turkish IPs.

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