15 Amazing Shipwrecks, Boat Graveyards and Abandoned Vessels Across the World

Rusting Soviet Submarine Graveyard, Kola Peninsula


submarine-graveyard-abandoned-kola-peninsula-3 (Images: www.submarines.narod.ru, reproduced with permission)

Rusting in peace near the Olenya Bay naval base on northwest Russia’s forbidding Kola Peninsula, a ruggedly inhospitable landscape inside the Arctic Circle, lies this amazing fleet of long-derelict military submarines. The abandoned subs have reportedly occupied this spot within one of the world’s most bleak naval facilities since the 1970s, when overworked shipyards struggling to cope with increasing Cold War orders for new vessels simply didn’t have the resources to decommission and dismantle retired ships.


submarine-graveyard-abandoned-kola-peninsula-5 (Images: www.submarines.narod.ru, reproduced with permission)

To remedy the problem and free up space, several vessels were sunk as underwater targets while these submarines were towed to Nezametnaya Cove and abandoned – much to the concern of environmentalists. While a handful were reportedly scrapped during the 1990s, more recent Google Earth imagery shows others still lying near the shore – little more than contaminated, wrecked monuments to the collapsed Soviet Union.

World Discoverer Cruise Ship Wreck, Solomon Islands



world-discoverer-wreck-solomon-islands-3 (Images: Philjones828, cc-sa-3.0; Adrian Turner, reproduced with permission)

At 287 feet long, the World Discover may have been relatively small for a cruise ship, but listing 46 degrees to starboard, its forlorn hull makes for an impressive and very accessible wreck site in the Solomon Islands’ Roderick Bay. Built in Germany in 1974, the vessel was originally called BEWA Discover and operated by Denmark-based BEWA Cruises, before being sold on several times over the coming decades and registered in various ports from Liberia to Singapore.

world-discoverer-wreck-solomon-islands-4 (Image: Adrian Turner, reproduced with permission)

Ultimately renamed World Discover – which remains faded yet resplendent on her rusting hull – the vessel struck an uncharted reef in Sandfly Passage on April 30, 2000. There were no fatalities that day, other than the ship itself, which has remained in Roderick Bay amid civil strife that hampered her salvage. The shipwreck has since become something of a tourist attraction, though its proximity to the shore has made it an easy target for looters.


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About the author: Tom


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