Margaret, the ship sleeping leaning to the dam

June 25, 2018

Sank on the night of 2 and 3 December 2005, the Georgian ship is still lying against the dam of La Spezia. Virtually invisible to the eyes, hiding  its story under the sea

On the night of December 2, 2005 was a stormy night. The Gulf of Poets, usually very sheltered, has wrought a force 5 sea with a violent south-west wind with gusts that reached 50 knots. On this horde night, the ship Margaret – a Georgian cement of 84 meters in length – left from Genoa to reach the Bulgarian port of Varna. Empty, the captain aska the Harbour of La Spezia to enter the Gulf, to shelter from the fury of the weather. Since then, it has never gone.

The shipwreck: the moorings break, Margaret crashing into the reef and sinking

Having received the request of Margaret, the Harbour Master allows the crew to stop the ship and anchor in the bay, waiting for the weather conditions to improve.
Despite the military force provides the captain of the Georgian ship precise coordinates, he makes a small positioning error, to prove fatal.
The strong storm – in fact – snatched the old ship anchors and dragged it inexorably towards the dam. Futile attempts to avoid the impact: the Margaret clashes the rocks and sinks.

Margaret sinks, but 13 sailors are rescued

Almost immediately it is clear that to save the boat there is nothing to do in the 84 meters of the ship gliding slowly beneath the sea surface.
Two sailors, seen the danger, jump into the water. A first manages to swim to the dam, the second does not equal good fortune.
Torescue him will be the men and helicopters of the Coast Guard – off from the airport of Luni – which then lead to secure the other 10 crew members.
In the video below you see some phases of the fearless intervention.

Made safe, the wreck rests still leaning to the dam

Once human lives are saved , it’s time to worry about the environment and the local economy: the sunken ship is a few hundred meters from the muscles farms, in the heart of the Gulf. The leak of liquid from the wreck could be a disaster.
Luckily only a few small leaks have occurred, contained by the panels positioned to combat the spread of any spills. The ship’s tanks, then, have been emptied by the Dutch company Blacks / Smit.


Kayak in the Gulf of Poets at sunset - 60 €

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After being the subject of an environmental impact study, which was classified as “low risk”, the wreck has not been touched.
Today, resting 10 meters deep, the Margaret seems asleep against the dam.

The cover photo is by Dronetech

Teresa Turano



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