The disturbing wreck of the SS America

The SS American Star, originally launched as the SS America in 1940, was a luxury ocean liner built by Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Company in Virginia, USA. It served as a troopship named USS West Point during World War II and returned to civilian service post-war, later being renamed SS Australis for cruises. Over its lifespan, the ship underwent multiple ownership changes and served various purposes, reflecting a rich maritime history.


In 1994, the SS American Star was being towed to Thailand to be converted into a floating hotel when it encountered a severe storm off the coast of Fuerteventura, Canary Islands. The tow line snapped, and the ship ran aground on the west coast of the island. Efforts to salvage the ship were unsuccessful, and it was declared a total loss, left stranded on the beach.



Over the years, the ship’s structure deteriorated rapidly due to the harsh marine environment, eventually breaking in two and collapsing into the sea. Today, only small remnants are visible above water, with most of the wreck submerged. The SS American Star’s dramatic wreck and its picturesque setting have made it a point of interest for maritime historians, shipwreck enthusiasts, and photographers.

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