10 Amazing “Above-Water” Shipwrecks

Image by yeowatzup

The world’s oceans abound with shipwrecks and a multitude of other nautical artifacts.  Lurking deep beneath the waves of the planet’s most inhospitable waters are some of history’s most grand and feared ships, presenting divers with a fascinating incarnation of a bygone age.  But what about those among us who don’t scuba dive?  Here are 10 corroding old vessels that can be seen clearly from the relative safety of terra firma.

SS American Star, Canary Islands

Image by Wollex

(Image licensed under Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)

The incredible image above shows the wreck of the SS American Star, built in 1940 for United States Lines and wrecked in January 1994 off Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands.  At the time of the accident, the vessel was being towed to Thailand to be used as a floating hotel… More to come on this one later!

Chatham Islands, New Zealand

Image by wili hybrid

This rusty old vessel (above) was captured on the archipelago of the Chatham Islands, New Zealand, in September 2007.  The islands are named after the ship HMS Chatham of the Vancouver Expedition, captained by William Robert Broughton, who claimed possession of the archipelago for Great Britain in 1791.  But it’s fair to say that this old boat doesn’t quite date back to that period in history.  Today, the islands have a grand population of 609 people of European and Maori descent, with surroundings that conjure an atmosphere of exploration and adventure harking back to the early settlers.

 
  • Bruno Diaz

    Hi, regarding the shipwreck at lake Ontario, you can find all the
    info on the boat here http://www.infiltration.org/boats-hermine.html

  • Tom

    Hey Bruno, thanks a lot for the info. That’s a fantastic resource! Could also be worth a follow up article. Cheers!

  • Miriam

    What about this at Navagio in Zakynthos, Greece? I’ve seen it, and it’s an amazing view!:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/dkilim/2753126743/

  • Tom

    Hey Miriam, thanks a lot for posting that photo – that is one awesome shipwreck! I’ve been planning a follow-up article to this one for some time, and when I do I’ll be sure to include this pic!

  • http://www.urbanghostsmedia.com Tom

    Hey Miriam, thanks a lot for highlighting this awesome pic! I’ve been planning a follow-on article to this one for a while now, so when I do I’ll certainly include this pic – and the cool story behind it too!

  • Doug

    You wanted to know about the Lake Ontario shipwreck from your list?

    Text from: http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.aspx?guid=2ce2c148-b08b-4075-9cb9-49273b5b1b90

    This landmark needs no introduction to the population of the Niagara area.
    This ship began in 1914 as a St. Lawerence ferry. In 1991 a business man converted the ship into a floating resteraunt, built to resemble “La Grande Hermine”, better known as the Big Weasel. It was towed down the river and lakes to Jordan harbour and was parked there on Canada Day 1997. There she remained and was mysteriously burnt in 2003. Since she became a charred hull more people have stopped to see and take pictures along with 2 professional photo shoots for magazines. To date the question of what to do with the hull as the original owner has since passed away(and has left unpaid docking bills from her point of origin to here) has yet to be resolved. So far the concensus is to leave her right there. We hope they do, every time we drive by we always look and perhaps wonder what it would of been like to sail on such a ship.

  • Tom

    Hey Doug, thanks a lot for the info. Fascinating stuff! It’s funny how – like ghost towns – people all of a sudden start to take an interest after an object/place has been abandoned or destroyed. I hope they do leave it there, it looks like a local landmark now! I can see a future post coming on too. Thanks again!

  • Sonofworf55

    the apparent wreck on the shore of lake Ontario is a fake it is a steel hulled freighter that was planked and had masts added to make it look like an old sailing ship and placed at the entrance of a marina. vandals have since set fire to it (several times) and burnt off most of the planking

  • Tom

    Wow that’s awesome, thanks a lot for the info! They must have gone to a lot of trouble to add the masts etc to make it look like a legit old time wreck… That’s an interesting story in itself!

  • Tom

    Wow that’s awesome, thanks a lot for the info! They must have gone to a lot of trouble to add the masts etc to make it look like a legit old time wreck… That’s an interesting story in itself!

  • Tom

    Good find there, Doug! Thanks a lot for the info, I need to look into this more!

  • Tom

    Good find there, Doug! Thanks a lot for the info, I need to look into this more!

  • Fewspau

    It was actually a Canadian Coast Guard vessel that was converted to a copy of Samuel de Champlains vessel for Expo 67 to celebrate Canada’s 100th birthday.

  • Fewspau

    Grande Hermine II – it was actually a copy of Jacques Cartier’s boat. My bad.

  • Fewspau
  • scuba girl

    Missing the S. S. Sapona Wreck in Bimini, Bahamas. A concrete ship made during WWI when supplies were short. Once the war was over they sold it to a man in Bimini who used it for rum running during prohibition. During one of his trips, a hurricane ran the ship aground, but he still used it as a stop for rum running, as well as a bar, club and casino. Once another hurricane came along and destroyed the bow, he needed to shut down. During WWII the US Air Force and Navy used it as target practice until the Bahamians told them they had to stop. Today, it sits in 17 feet of water 4 miles south of Bimini, and is a great spot for diving! If you’re lucky you can find old bullet shells from all that target practice.

  • Jswhyman

    “River Princess”?! That is no princess, more like an ogre or hag.

  • Dinos

    There is another well known shipwreck in Greece where there are thousands of pictures of it over the internet. That is in the Valtaki,Gythio,Laconia Greece and it is located on a beach that the ancient city of gythio or gythium lies after it sunk in the sea after a major earthquake. This used to be the ancient seaport of Sparta!   http://www.flickr.com/photos/stg_gr1/4940631653/

  • Dinos

    There is another well known shipwreck in Greece where there are thousands of pictures of it over the internet. That is in the Valtaki,Gythio,Laconia Greece and it is located on a beach that the ancient city of gythio or gythium lies after it sunk in the sea after a major earthquake. This used to be the ancient seaport of Sparta!   http://www.flickr.com/photos/stg_gr1/4940631653/

  • Dinos

    There is another well known shipwreck in Greece where there are thousands of pictures of it over the internet. That is in the Valtaki,Gythio,Laconia Greece and it is located on a beach that the ancient city of gythio or gythium lies after it sunk in the sea after a major earthquake. This used to be the ancient seaport of Sparta!   http://www.flickr.com/photos/stg_gr1/4940631653/

  • Dinos

    There is another well known shipwreck in Greece where there are thousands of pictures of it over the internet. That is in the Valtaki,Gythio,Laconia Greece and it is located on a beach that the ancient city of gythio or gythium lies after it sunk in the sea after a major earthquake. This used to be the ancient seaport of Sparta!   http://www.flickr.com/photos/stg_gr1/4940631653/

  • Dinos

    There is another well known shipwreck in Greece where there are thousands of pictures of it over the internet. That is in the Valtaki,Gythio,Laconia Greece and it is located on a beach that the ancient city of gythio or gythium lies after it sunk in the sea after a major earthquake. This used to be the ancient seaport of Sparta!   http://www.flickr.com/photos/stg_gr1/4940631653/

  • Dinos

    There is another well known shipwreck in Greece where there are thousands of pictures of it over the internet. That is in the Valtaki,Gythio,Laconia Greece and it is located on a beach that the ancient city of gythio or gythium lies after it sunk in the sea after a major earthquake. This used to be the ancient seaport of Sparta!   http://www.flickr.com/photos/stg_gr1/4940631653/

  • Dinos

    There is another well known shipwreck in Greece where there are thousands of pictures of it over the internet. That is in the Valtaki,Gythio,Laconia Greece and it is located on a beach that the ancient city of gythio or gythium lies after it sunk in the sea after a major earthquake. This used to be the ancient seaport of Sparta!   http://www.flickr.com/photos/stg_gr1/4940631653/

  • Dinos

    There is another well known shipwreck in Greece where there are thousands of pictures of it over the internet. That is in the Valtaki,Gythio,Laconia Greece and it is located on a beach that the ancient city of gythio or gythium lies after it sunk in the sea after a major earthquake. This used to be the ancient seaport of Sparta!   http://www.flickr.com/photos/stg_gr1/4940631653/

  • Dinos

    There is another well known shipwreck in Greece where there are thousands of pictures of it over the internet. That is in the Valtaki,Gythio,Laconia Greece and it is located on a beach that the ancient city of gythio or gythium lies after it sunk in the sea after a major earthquake. This used to be the ancient seaport of Sparta!   http://www.flickr.com/photos/stg_gr1/4940631653/

  • Dinos

    There is another well known shipwreck in Greece where there are thousands of pictures of it over the internet. That is in the Valtaki,Gythio,Laconia Greece and it is located on a beach that the ancient city of gythio or gythium lies after it sunk in the sea after a major earthquake. This used to be the ancient seaport of Sparta!   http://www.flickr.com/photos/stg_gr1/4940631653/

  • Dinos

    There is another well known shipwreck in Greece where there are thousands of pictures of it over the internet. That is in the Valtaki,Gythio,Laconia Greece and it is located on a beach that the ancient city of gythio or gythium lies after it sunk in the sea after a major earthquake. This used to be the ancient seaport of Sparta!   http://www.flickr.com/photos/stg_gr1/4940631653/

  • Dinos

    There is another well known shipwreck in Greece where there are thousands of pictures of it over the internet. That is in the Valtaki,Gythio,Laconia Greece and it is located on a beach that the ancient city of gythio or gythium lies after it sunk in the sea after a major earthquake. This used to be the ancient seaport of Sparta!   http://www.flickr.com/photos/stg_gr1/4940631653/

  • http://originalcialis.com/ Verona

    Wow that’s pretty cool!!! Although that makes me pretty scary while wathcing it.

  • Kyleperkins87

    Check out shipwreck on island of Lanai, Hawaii

  • HBG
  • http://www.urbanghostsmedia.com/ Tom

    Awesome, thanks for the link!

  • otherpeoplesthings

    There is another great above water shipwreck in Lake Michigan, The Fransisco Morazan, check it out:

  • scottydoesntknow

    I’ve got tons of wreck photos I’ve taken along the way, here’s quite a few in Angola (Soyo, in the mouth of the Congo and right in Luanda bay), which also has an airplane graveyard right at the international airport in Luanda. The last one is in Male, Maldives, on the edge of the Airport banks. I’ll assume these are all still right where I left them a few years back.

  • Ryan Coleman

    More details on the SS American Star:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SS_America_%281940%29#Wrecked_at_Fuerteventura_.281994.E2.80.932012.29

    She’s underwater most of the time now, doesn’t look at all like the photo anymore, I’m afraid.

 
 
 
 
 
 

Latest Articles

 
 
 
 

Top Lists