Friday, 25 July 2008

American Star

American Star is an amazing shipwreck I stumbled across, first on Flickr, then further as I did a bit of Googling.

I've just finished re-reading a book I discovered as a kid, "The Wreck of the Mary Deare" by Hammond Innes. It's just a good old yarn of the sea, but immediately made me think of this poor old ship.

This is a fascinating tale of how nature takes back it's own.

"SS America" was a Transatlantic ocean liner built in 1940, the sister ship of "SS United States". Renamed a few times in her 54-year history, with various different owners, (including time spent as a troop carrier in WWII), she was finally renamed "SS American Star". After a failed towing operation from Greece to Thailand, she was shipwrecked on the west coast of the island of Fuerteventura, Canary Islands (Atlantic Ocean, off Africa's north-west coast) on January 18, 1994.

Within the first 48 hours of pounding surf of the Atlantic, the American Star broke in two just past the second funnel. The ship was declared a total loss on July 6, 1994. The stern section soon collapsed completely to port and sank in 1996, while the bow continued to remain intact.

14 years later, there is almost none of her left.

Tis a humble reminder of the power of the ocean.


Click on these fascinating pics below to see a larger-scale image open in a new window.

Original condition:

January 18 1994 - freshly beached:

1994 - Broken in half:

Stern collapsing, 1996:

10 years gone - both sections:

September 2000:

Bow section with funnel intact - August 2004

Ariel photo c.2005 (incl. remains of the stern underwater):

August 2006:

September 2006:

Three pics in contrast - rapid disintergration:

2006 - 2007 comparison:

All that's left, Feb 2008:

All that is left (diagram):

Here's also a series of disintegration photos, from the past four-or-so years.

Here's some more photos to explore: -> "Australis Today"

Peas be with ewe

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  1. Wow is right. And she was a beautiful ship too. Have you read anything on the Edmund Fitzgerald that sunk in Lake Superior? There's an interesting story to that ship as well, along with Gordon's lovely song

  2. ash to ash, and dust to dust ---or rust to rust ...a good reality check on the puny power of mankind over the power of mother nature.