SS America – The American Star rests in Fuerteventura

An ocean liner built in 1940 for the United States Lines and designed by the noted American naval architect William Francis Gibbs. She carried many names in the 54 years between her construction and her 1994 wreck: SS America (three different times), troop transport USS West Point, SS Australis, Italis, Noga, Alferdoss, and American Star.

In October 1992, the ship was sold yet again, with the intention of being refitted to become a five-star hotel ship off Phuket, in Thailand. In 1993, left Greece under tow on 22 December 1993, but the tow proved impossible due to inclement weather. She then returned to Greece for a few days until the weather calmed down. On 31 December 1993, American Star left Greece for the last time, under tow by Ukrainian tugboat Neftegaz-67.

The deterioration of the remains of American Star / Image source

American Star and Neftegaz-67 sailed into a thunderstorm in the Atlantic. The tow-lines broke. On 18 January, the ship ran aground at Playa de Garcey, off the west coast of Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands.

The ship was declared a total loss on 6 July 1994. The 105 meter stern section collapsed completely to port and sank in 1996, while the 116 meter bow section remained intact.

Over the subsequent years, the wreck continued to collapse. At last report, a small section of the bow as well as the keel of the vessel was still visible at low tide.

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