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Shipwrecks you can see from your desk using Google Earth

PortandTerminal.com, January 20, 2020

HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA – In all, it’s estimated that, beneath Earth’s waters, there are 3 million shipwrecks. Some of them can be seen using Google Earth. Here are just a few of them.

SS Maheno

Shipwreck as seen from Google Earth
The SS Maheno lies on the coast of Fraser Island in Australia. This is how it looks on Google Earth

During WWI, New Zealand converted this passenger ship into a floating hospital. After the war, it returned to being a passenger ship but was then sold for scrap in 1935.

The ship was being towed from Sydney harbour to its final location when a huge storm cut off the rope between it and the boat it was attached to.

The ship’s propellers had been temporarily removed so the eight crew members on board had no choice but to travel with the ship as it washed up on the beach of Fraser Island.

Rusted shipwreck on a sandy beach
This is what the SS Maheno shipwreck looks like from the beach Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Staten Island Ship Graveyard

Shipwrecks as seen from Google Earth
Credit: Google Earth

The Staten Island ship graveyard is a marine scrapyard located in the Arthur Kill in Rossville, near the Fresh Kills Landfill, on the West Shore of Staten Island.

The scrapyard was founded in the 1930s by John J. Witte and managed by him until his death in 1980. It was then taken over by his son-in-law, Joe Coyne, who described it as similar to an automobile salvage yard, with the boats serving as a source of parts to sell.

Large number of shipwrecks on the shoreline of Staten Island
Here’s a better view of what it looks like.

Abandoned St Christopher

Shipwreck as seen from Google Earth
Credit: Google Earth

The St Christopher shipwreck can be seen in the harbor of Ushuaia in southern Argentina.

It served as a rescue tug boat for the British Royal Navy during WWII but was sold to Argentina in 1947. A decade later the ship had engine problems, which meant it had to be beached and abandoned.

The vessel is an American-built rescue tug that served in the British Royal Navy during World War II, as part of the Lend-Lease Act, according to NavSource Online. The Royal Navy decommissioned the tug after the war and sold it in 1947 to a man in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He chartered it for salvage operations, but it ran into engine trouble and rudder damage in Beagle Channel by Ushuaia.

The St. Christopher ran ashore and was abandoned in 1957, and photographers have snapped photos of the deteriorating tug ever since. To prevent environmental disaster, its remaining fuel was drained in 2004, according to NavSource Online. 

MS World Discoverer

Shipwreck as seen from Google Earth
Credit: Google Earth

The MS World Discoverer sits just off the shore of one of the Solomon Islands in the Pacific Ocean.

The Danish cruise ship was constructed in 1974 and met disaster after striking a rock during a cruise in 2000, according to the History channel. The crew sent out a distress signal and arranged for all of the passengers to be safely escorted to a passenger ferry.

A shipwreck named World Discoverer partially submerged in the water
This is what it looks like today

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