Valtaki Beach – Laconia, Greece
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Located right by the shore and easily accessible, the wreck of the Dimitrios dates back to December 1981. Impounded by authorities, it washed up on the beach, damaged and burned, after slipping its mooring. It has been suggested the fire was deliberate to hide evidence of cigarette smuggling.
Eleusis Bay – Gulf of Elefsina, Greece
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The MS Mediterranean Sky was built in 1952 and got her current name when sold in 1971. Financial difficulties led to her being seized and abandoned in the late 1990s. She was grounded in the bay in 2002 and keeled over not long after.
Conception Bay – Skeleton Coast, Namibia
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Lying eerily inland and partially covered by sand, the wreck of the Eduard Bohlen is about half a kilometre from the shoreline and has been slowly decaying on the dry Namib Desert coast since running aground in thick fog in 1909.
Praia de Atalanta – Boa Vista, Cape Verde
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In 1968, the Cabo Santa Maria, laden with gifts from Spanish dictator Francisco Franco to supporters in Brazil and Argentina, ran aground on the Cape Verde islands. All its cargo was eventually saved.
Vori Beach – Andros, Greece
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Not much is known about the shipwreck of the Semiramis but locals have their theories. Its dramatic setting and rocky surrounds make it a drawcard for photographers and tourists.
Tangalooma – Moreton Island, Australia
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The 15 ships that make up Tangalooma Wrecks were deliberately sunk in the early 1960s to form a breakwater for smaller vessels. Home to an array of marine life, this site is also a popular snorkel and scuba-diving spot.
Kalotaritissa – Amorgos, Greece
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Lying close to the shore in a quiet bay near Kalotaritissa Beach since the 1980s, the Olympia is a well-known wreck, famous for appearing in Luc Besson’s movie The Big Blue.
Heron Reef – Heron Island, Australia
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In 1943 the leaseholder of Heron Island, Captain Christian Poulsen, purchased an abandoned naval ship for £10 to use as a breakwater on the western side of the island. It’s now a roost for the brown booby and an attraction for visiting tourists.
Dixon Cove – Roatán, Honduras
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Although many ships have been purposely sunk on Roatán to attract scuba divers, the main wreck in this cove is a cargo ship that ran aground in 1971. It’s now a local landmark and photo opportunity for the cruise liners that dock in adjacent Mahogany Bay.
Homebush Bay – Sydney, Australia
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From the 1960s, parts of Homebush Bay were used as a ship-breaking yard. The remaining wrecks on the site (open to the public since 2003) have become overgrown gardens, with the most visible being the SS Ayrfield.
Long Bay Beach – Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands
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A victim of Hurricane Frances in 2004, the freighter La Famille Express broke free of her mooring and ended up in a shallow reef a few kilometres off Long Bay Beach where she lies today – an off-the-beaten-track tourist attraction and landmark for nearby vessels. Image: Matthew Straubmuller CC-BY-NC-SA 2.0
Big Tub Harbour – Lake Huron, Canada
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There are many shipwrecks in the Great Lakes but one of the most popular is that of the schooner Sweepstakes. It sits clearly visible and intact in only six metres of water near another wreck, The City of Grand Rapids.
Roderick Bay – Nggela Sule Island, Solomon Islands
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Built in 1974 and shipwrecked in 2000, the cruise ship MS World Discoverer is the youngest ship on this list. After she struck an uncharted rock in the Sandfly Passage, a local ferry was used to transport passengers to safety. When the she began to list, the captain grounded her to prevent her sinking.
75 Mile Beach – Fraser Island, Australia
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The wreck of the SS Maheno was abandoned in on Fraser Island in1935. Attempts to refloat her failed after she broke her towline and ran aground in heavy seas on the way to Japan (she had been sold as scrap metal).
Navagio Beach – Zakynthos, Greece
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The MV Panagiotis ran aground on this beach (originally known as Agios Georgios) in October 1980. Now known as Shipwreck Beach, it is a popular tourist attraction.