List of shipwrecks in 1979

The list of shipwrecks in 1979 includes ships sunk, foundered, grounded, or otherwise lost during 1979.

table of contents
Jan Feb Mar Apr
May Jun Jul Aug
Sep Oct Nov Dec
Unknown date


1 January

List of shipwrecks: 1 January 1979
Ocean Cape  United States The 80-foot (24.4 m) crab-fishing vessel sank in the Gulf of Alaska approximately 22 nautical miles (41 km; 25 mi) from Cape Fairweather (58°48′30″N 137°56′45″W) on the south-central coast of Alaska. The tug Stalwart ( United States) rescued her four survivors from a life raft on 5 January.[1]

6 January

List of shipwrecks: 6 January 1979
Two unidentified warships Khmer Rouge Battle of Ream: The warships were sunk by the corvettes HQ-05 and HQ-07 (both  Vietnam People's Navy).[2]

7 January

List of shipwrecks: 6 January 1979
Unidentified warship Khmer Rouge Battle of Ream: The warship was sunk by the patrol boats T-208 and T-215 (both  Vietnam People's Navy).[2]

8 January

List of shipwrecks: 8 January 1979
Betelgeuse  France The tanker exploded and sank in Bantry Bay, Ireland, with the loss of 50 lives.

10 January

List of shipwrecks: 10 January 1979
Two unidentified warships Khmer Rouge The warships were sunk by the corvette Pham Ngu Lao and the patrol boats HQ-03, T-197, T-199, T-203 and T-205 (all  Vietnam People's Navy) off Ream, Cambodia.[2]

13 January

List of shipwrecks: 13 January 1979
Mineral Hoboken  Belgium Collided with Mipo ( Panama) at New Orleans, Louisiana, United States, and was damaged.[3]

19 January

List of shipwrecks: 19 January 1979
Glacier Queen  United States The floating hotel′s wreck – refloated after sinking at anchor in November 1978 in Seldovia Bay (59.4274°N 151.7249°W / 59.4274; -151.7249 (Seldovia Bay)) in Cook Inlet on the south-central coast of Alaska – was scuttled in 12,000 feet (3,700 m) of water in the Gulf of Alaska 100 nautical miles (190 km; 120 mi) west of Cape Saint Elias on the southwestern tip of Alaska′s Kayak Island after being towed out to sea by the salvage tug Salvage Chief ( United States).[4][5][6][7]


6 February

List of shipwrecks: 6 February 1979
Edna B  United States The crab-fishing vessel was destroyed by fire in the Gulf of Alaska 25 nautical miles (46 km; 29 mi) south of Seward, Alaska. Her crew of four reached a cabin on the south-central coast of Alaska on the shore of Driftwood Bay (59°56′N 149°13′W), where one of them died. The cutter USCGC Cape Jellison ( United States Coast Guard) rescued the three survivors on 11 February.[8]

14 February

List of shipwrecks: 14 February 1979
François Vieljeux  France The container ship foundered in rough seas 45 nautical miles (83 km) south west of Cape Finisterre with the loss of 23 lives.[9]
Home  United States The 33-foot (10.1 m) sailboat was wrecked on the southern tip of Long Island in the Alexander Archipelago in Southeast Alaska southwest of [[Ketchikan, Alaska}Ketchikan]], Alaska. The family of four on board survived on shore in the wilderness for over a month, suffering severe frostbite and hypothermia, before being rescued.[10]
Revi  Panama She foundered 2.5 nautical miles (4.6 km) (53°39′N 0°23′E) off the Humber Lightship ( United Kingdom).[11]

19 February

List of shipwrecks: 19 February 1979
Renown  United States The 86-foot (26.2 m) crab-fishing vessel burned and sank without loss of life in the Gulf of Alaska approximately 15 nautical miles (28 km; 17 mi) south-southeast of Sitkinak Island in the Kodiak Archipelago.[12]

28 February

List of shipwrecks: 28 February 1979
Alaska Roughneck  United States The 198-gross register ton, 113.5-foot (34.6 m) or 130-foot (39.6 m) landing craft ran aground and sank near King Cove, Alaska, with the loss of two lives. The fishing vessel Seven Seas ( United States) rescued her two survivors.[13]
Sirius  United States The 72-foot (21.9 m) crab-fishing vessel ran aground on Douglas Reef (58°45′45″N 153°16′00″W) north of Kodiak, Alaska, and was pounded to pieces by the surf. The crab-fishing vessel Polar Star ( United States) rescued her entire crew of six.[14]


15 March

List of shipwrecks: 15 March 1979
Kurdistan  Liberia The tanker struck ice in the Cabot Strait which fractured her hull. She subsequently broke in two during a gale. Her crew were rescued by CCGS Sir William Alexander ( Canadian Coast Guard). The bow section was sunk on 1 April by HMCS Margaree ( Maritime Command); the stern section was towed to a European port where a new bow was constructed. She was returned to service.[15]

16 March

List of shipwrecks: 16 March 1979
Pacific Pride  United States The 80-foot (24.4 m) fishing vessel was destroyed by fire off Harvester Island (57°39′N 154°00′W) in Uyak Bay on the coast of Kodiak Island. The fishing vessel Cougar ( United States) rescued her entire crew of four.[1]

29 March

List of shipwrecks: 29 March 1979
USCGC Cuyahoga  United States Coast Guard The wreck of the cutter – sunk in a collsion on 20 October 1978 and later refloated – was scuttled in the Atlantic Ocean 15 nautical miles (28 km; 17 mi) off the Virginia Capes to form an artificial reef.

30 March

List of shipwrecks: 30 March 1979
Angelina Lauro  Italy Caught fire at Charlotte Amalie, United States Virgin Islands and sank. Refloated 2 July.


7 April

List of shipwrecks: 7 April 1979
City of Seattle  United States The 84-foot (25.6 m) crab fishing-fishing vessel sank in the Gulf of Alaska 80 nautical miles (150 km; 92 mi) south of Yakutat, Alaska. The United States Coast Guard rescued everyone on board.[16]

18 April

List of shipwrecks: 18 April 1979
Joann  United States The 86-foot (26.2 m) vessel sank off Alaska. The vessel Yankee Clipper ( United States) rescued her crew.[17]

27 April

List of shipwrecks: 27 April
Tarek  Cyprus Lebanese Civil War: The coaster was sunk by Limpet mines while at anchor off Tyre, Lebanon.[18][19]

28 April

List of shipwrecks: 28 April 1979
Gino  Liberia The tanker collided with Team Castor ( Norway) and sank in the English Channel. All crew rescued by a Soviet merchant ship.[20]


13 May

List of shipwrecks: 13 May 1979
R. B. Hendrickson  United States The fishing vessel ran aground and sank.[21]

16 May

List of shipwrecks: 16 May 1979
Zerstörer 1  German Navy The decommissioned Fletcher-class destroyer was sunk as a target in the Mediterranean Sea by a torpedo fired by the submarine U-29 ( German Navy).

17 May

List of shipwrecks: 17 May 1979
HMAS Air Sprite  Royal Australian Navy The decommissioned air-sea rescue vessel was sunk as a target by a RIM-24 Tartar missile fired by the guided-missile destroyer HMAS Brisbane (  Royal Australian Navy ).

20 May

List of shipwrecks: 20 May 1979
Charlotte B  United States The 80-foot (24.4 m) crab-fishing vessel sank in 27 feet (8.2 m) of water while docked in the small boat harbor at Kodiak, Alaska, pulling some of the dock under with her. She was refloated and scuttled at sea on 13 June.[16]

26 May

List of shipwrecks: 26 May 1979
Pillar Cape  United States While returning from Togiak to Cold Bay, Alaska, the 32-foot (9.8 m) seiner sank off Cold Bay.[1]


12 June

List of shipwrecks: 12 June 1979
Restless C  United States The 52-foot (15.8 m) fishing vessel capsized and sank in Hallo Bay on the south coast of the Alaska Peninsula in Alaska, perhaps after colliding with another vessel. Two of her four crewmen were lost; the other two were rescued by the vessel Awtam ( United States) [12]
Spirit  United States The 50-foot (15.2 m) fishing vessel capsized and sank without loss of life in the Gulf of Alaska approximately 6 nautical miles (11 km; 6.9 mi) north of the Barren Islands (58°57′N 152°15′W) off the south-central coast of Alaska.[14]

13 June

List of shipwrecks: 13 June 1979
Charlotte B  United States After sinking on 20 May at her dock in the small boat harbor at Kodiak, Alaska, the 80-foot (24.4 m) crab-fishing vessel was refloated, towed out to sea, and scuttled in the Gulf of Alaska.[16]

21 June

List of shipwrecks: 21 June 1979
Petro Bouscat  Senegal Stranded in the Sanaga River (3°29′N 9°44′E) and abandoned as a constructive total loss.[3]

26 June

List of shipwrecks: 26 June 1979
Lady Fame  United States A storm destroyed the motor vessel off the south-central coast of Alaska near Cordova.[22]

30 June

List of shipwrecks: 21 June 1979
Bunga Kenanga  Malaysia The ship ran aground in the Kori Creek, India and was abandoned.[23][24]


1 July

List of shipwrecks: 1 July 1979
Seasprite  Greece The cargo ship ran aground in Kori Creek, in the Gulf of Kutch and was a total loss.[25]

3 July

List of shipwrecks: 3 July 1979
Kairali  India The bulk carrier disappeared in the Arabian Sea about 500 nautical miles (930 km) west of Margao, India, after sending a final radio message on this date.

4 July

List of shipwrecks: 4 July 1979
Brown Bear  United States The 86-foot (26.2 m) fish tender burned and sank in Prince William Sound on the south-central coast of Alaska 3 nautical miles (5.6 km; 3.5 mi) south of Glacier Island (60°53′N 147°11′W). The vessels Glacier Queen and Lulubell (both  United States) rescued all five people aboard.[26]

5 July

List of shipwrecks: 5 July 1979
Hokuto Maru No. 5  Japan The fishing vessel sank in the Bering Sea southwest of Saint Paul Island with the loss of six lives after colldiing with the fish processing vessel Tsuda Maru ( Japan). The United States Coast Guard rescued 20 survivors from both vessels.[10]

19 July

List of shipwrecks: 19 July 1979
Atlantic Empress  Greece Collided with Aegean Captain ( Greece) off Trinidad and Tobago, causing a large oil spill.
USS Tiru  United States Navy The decommissioned Balao-class submarine was sunk as a target in the Atlantic Ocean 200 nautical miles (370 km) off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, at 36°N 73°W by the submarine USS Silversides ( United States Navy).

24 July

List of shipwrecks: 24 July 1979
Bev Ann  United States The motor vessel sank in Prince William Sound on the south-central coast of Alaska.[26]


3 August

List of shipwrecks: 3 August 1979
Atlantic Empress  Greece Sank in deep water following damage sustained in collision on 19 July.

5 August

List of shipwrecks: 5 August 1979
Blue Pacific  United States The 98-foot (29.9 m) crab-fishing vessel ran aground in Izhut Bay (58°11′N 152°15′W) on the coast of Afognak Island in Alaska′s Kodiak Archipelago and was destroyed by the surf. Her crew survived.[26]

11–15 August

List of shipwrecks: 11–15 August 1979
The Fastnet race  United Kingdom A total of 25 yachts were sunk in Force 11 winds with the loss of 15 lives.

26 August

List of shipwrecks: 26 August 1979
Quebecois  Canada The lake freighter ran aground on a mud bank at the entrance to Lake St. Clair due to an electronic malfunction. The vessel was freed after nine hours without suffering significant damage.[27]

27 August

List of shipwrecks: 27 August 1979
Shadow V  United Kingdom The Troubles: The fishing boat was destroyed off Mullaghmore, County Sligo, Republic of Ireland, by a bomb planted by the Provisional IRA. Lord Mountbatten of Burma and three other people died in the blast.[28]


14 September

List of shipwrecks: 14 September 1979
Yakutat  United States The barge dragged her anchor in the Kaliakh River, was swamped, and sank north of the river and west of Cape Yakataga, Alaska. Two men on board were swept overboard and died; a 15-year-old girl survived by clinging to wreckage in the water all night and swimming to shore in the morning.[29]

19 September

List of shipwrecks: 19 September 1927
Austri  Norway The roll-on/roll-off cargo ship capsized in stormy weather in the Sognefjord and drifted ashore at Byrknesøyna, Norway. Of the nine-man crew, five were lost, while four were rescued by local boats.[30][31][32]

23 September

List of shipwrecks: 23 September 1979
Transilvania  Romania The passenger ship, built at the shipyard Burmeister & Wein in 1938, capsized on 23 September 1979 at Galatz, where it was due to be restored at a local shipyard. It was partially scrapped with the rest of the wreck removed in 2009.

24 September

List of shipwrecks: 24 September 1979
Angelina Lauro  Italy The retired passenger liner sank in the Pacific Ocean while under tow to shipbreakers in Taiwan

Unknown date

List of shipwrecks: Unknown date September 1979
USS Ozark  United States Navy The decommissioned mine countermeasures support ship, serving as a target ship, was driven aground near Perdido Key, Florida, in Hurricane Frederic. She was salvaged and returned to service as a target ship.


6 October

List of shipwrecks: 6 October 1979
Harder  United States The 48-foot (14.6 m) vessel sank near Kodiak, Alaska. The charter vessel Ten Bears ( United States) rescued her crew.[10]

8 October

List of shipwrecks: 9 October 1979
Angel Marie  United States The shrimp-fishing vessel was blown onto rocks in Chugach Bay (59°11′N 151°34′W) on south coast of Alaska′s Kenai Peninsula and broke up in the surf. Her crew of two survived.[13]

12 October

List of shipwrecks: 12 October 1979
USS Alfred A. Cunningham  United States Navy The decommissioned Allen M. Sumner-class destroyer was sunk as a target by five laser-guided bombs in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Southern California.

13 October

List of shipwrecks: 13 October 1979
Lady Sarah  United States The 86-foot (26.2 m) fishing vessel sank in the Bering Sea near Akutan Island in the Aleutian Islands. The fishing vessels Sea Wolf and Ocean Leader (both  United States) rescued her crew.[22]


4 November

List of shipwrecks: 4 November 1979
Aeolian Sky  Greece Sank off St Aldhelm's Head after collision with Anna Knueppell ( West Germany) the previous day.

6 November

List of shipwrecks: 6 November 1979
Pool Fisher  United Kingdom Sank off the Isle of Wight. Thirteen of the fifteen on board were killed.[33]

8 November

List of shipwrecks: 8 November 1979
Ryoto Maru No. 2  Japan During a storm, the factory trawler was wrecked without loss of life in Village Cove (57.12531°N 170.28517°W / 57.12531; -170.28517 (Village Cove)) near Tolstoi Point (57°07′40″N 170°16′40″W) on Saint Paul Island in the Pribilof Islands. A United States Navy explosive ordnance disposal detachment and United States Coast Guard personnel later demolished the wreck with explosives and thermite grenades as part of a post-wreck clean-up.[12]

11 November

List of shipwrecks: 11 November 1979
Belvaux  Belgium Collided with Vishva Vibhuti ( India) in the Scheldt and beached to prevent her sinking. Later refloated, repaired and returned to service.[34]

14 November

List of shipwrecks: 14 November 1979
El Lobo del Mar  United States The motor vessel sank off Juneau, Alaska.[8]
Pelican  United States The barge ran aground in Chichagof Bay (55°01′30″N 131°58′50″W) on the southeast coast of Prince of Wales Island in the Alexander Archipelago in Southeast Alaska. She later broke up during a storm.[1]

15 November

List of shipwrecks: 15 November 1979
Independenţa  Romania The crude oil tanker collided with the motor vessel Evriali ( Greece) and sank with the loss of 43 crew.

23 November

List of shipwrecks: 23 November 1979
Hellion  United States The 38-gross register ton, 59-foot (18.0 m) crab-fishing vessel disappeared during a storm near Dutch Harbor, Alaska, with the loss of her entire crew of three.[10]

24 November

List of shipwrecks: 24 November 1979
Ocean Pride  United States The fishing vessel sank in the Bering Sea.[35]

30 November

List of shipwrecks: 30 November 1979
Daylight  United States The 37-foot (11.3 m) troller was blown onto rocks, capsized, and sank in a gale in Seven Fathom Bay (56°47′30″N 135°18′45″W) in Southeast Alaska 18 nautical miles (33 km; 21 mi) south of Sitka, Alaska. A United States Coast Guard helicopter rescued the two men aboard.[36]

Unknown date

List of shipwrecks: Unknown date 1979
Berge Vanga  Liberia Sank in the South Atlantic with the loss of all 40 crew.
Jayawang  Singapore Sank off Bangkok, Thailand.


5 December

List of shipwrecks: 5 December 1979
Salinta  Canada The badly damaged 33-foot (10.1 m) gillnet fishing vessel was found washed ashore at Tree Point (54°48′15″N 130°55′45″W) in Southeast Alaska. She had departed Prince Rupert, British Columbia, Canada, on 2 December for a day trip to Portland Inlet on the coast of British Columbia, but had not returned. All three adults (a man and two women) and seven children (three boys and four girls) on board were lost.[14]

6 December

List of shipwrecks: 6 December 1979
Norrona  United States The herring packing vessel heeled over and sank in a few minutes after her stern became submerged in heavy seas 3 nautical miles (5.6 km; 3.5 mi) off North Cape (56°35′45″N 135°08′15″W) near Whale Bay (56.6192°N 135.0000°W / 56.6192; -135.0000 (Whale Bay)) on the southwest coast of Baranof Island in the northern Alexander Archipelago in Southeast Alaska. The fishing vessel Lazaria ( United States) rescued her entire crew of three.[37]
Malmi The cargo ship capsized and sank in the Baltic Sea 40 nautical miles (46 miles; 74 km) northeast of Gotska Sandön after her cargo shifted in heavy weather.

14 December

List of shipwrecks: 14 December 1979
Captain Said  Panama Ran aground off Şile, Turkey. Refloated in August 1980, repaired and returned to service.[34]
Caroline of Leigh  United Kingdom The Moody 36 yacht sank three miles (4.8 km) off Lulworth, Dorset while heading for Bordeaux, France with the loss of four lives.[38][39]

16 December

List of shipwrecks: 16 December 1979
Heye P  West Germany Driven ashore in a gale at Prawle Point, Devon, United Kingdom and wrecked.[40]

18 December

List of shipwrecks: 18 December 1979
Columbia  United States The 105-foot (32.0 m) vessel sank at Unalaska in the Aleutian Islands with the loss of one life.[16]

19 December

List of shipwrecks: 19 December 1979
Arctic Wind  United States The 117-foot (35.7 m) fishing vessel sank in Kalekta Bay (53.9780°N 166.3292°W / 53.9780; -166.3292 (Kalekta Bay)) on coast of Unalaska Island in the Aleutian Islands. She was salvaged in June 1980, repaired, and returned to service.[13]
Rough Draft  United States The fishing vessel was wrecked in Southeast Alaska in the vicinity of Inian Island (58°15′N 136°19′W) near Elfin Cove, Alaska. Both members of her crew perished.[12]

20 December

List of shipwrecks: 20 December 1979
Ulysses  Panama The coaster ran aground off Naples, Italy, a total loss.

25 December

List of shipwrecks: 25 December 1979
Lee Wang Zin  Panama After departing Prince Rupert, British Columbia, Canada, with a cargo of 54,000 tons of iron pellets and a Taiwanese crew of 30 aboard, the 741-foot (225.9 m) bulk carrier capsized with the loss of all hands in a storm in Dixon Entrance on the Canada-United States border between British Columbia and Alaska, possibly after running aground on Celestial Reef. Her overturned hull drifted 25 nautical miles (46 km; 29 mi) and ran aground in Kendrick Bay (54.8741667°N 132.01°W / 54.8741667; -132.01 (Kendrick Bay)) on Prince of Wales Island in the Alexander Archipelago in Southeast Alaska on 27 December. The United States Coast Guard later attempted to tow her out to sea and scuttle her in deep water, but the towline broke 9 miles (14 km) south of Forrester Island and she sank in 1,000 feet (300 m) of water.[22][41][42]

26 December

List of shipwrecks: 26 December 1979
Lindblad Explorer  Panama The cruise ship ran aground off Wiencke Island, Antarctica. Later refloated and returned to service.

30 December

List of shipwrecks: 30 December 1979
Leschi  United States The fish processing vessel – a retired Washington sternwheel steam paddle ferry – sank in shallow water in Shotgun Cove (60°48′05″N 148°32′30″W) in Prince William Sound near Whittier, Alaska. Her wreck became a popular recreational dive site.[22]

Unknown date

List of shipwrecks: Unknown date 1979
Epimonos  Greece The tanker caught fire off Rouen, Seine-Maritime, France. She was declared a constructive total loss.[43]


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See also

Ship events in 1979
Ship launches: 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984
Ship commissionings: 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984
Ship decommissionings: 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984
Shipwrecks: 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984

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