Ghost Ships: Abandoned vessels found roaming the seven seas
The "Mary Celeste" departed from New York with over 1700 barrels of American alcohol bound for Genoa on November 7th 1872.
On November 15th, another vessel named the "Dei Gratia" followed the "Mary Celeste" due to the fact that it had a roughly similar course across the Atlantic Ocean.
Captain Morehouse of the "Dei Gratia" had already met Captain Briggs of the "Mary Celeste" in a past occasion.
On December 5th 1872, there were no distress signals emanating from the "Mary Celeste" and after the captain and some crew members observed and hailed at her for over two hours with no reply they decided to set off in a small boat and boarded her.
Strangely, no one was found on board but, the vessel was in great condition. The chronometer and sextant were also not found on board.
Captain Morehouse's stated that the whole crew may have left in a hurry thinking the vessel was sinking. The ship's slate showed that the “Mary Celeste" had made it to the island of St. Mary in the Azores on November 25th.
To this day the fate of the crew members of this ship remain a mystery.
Carroll A. Deering
It was August 19th 1920, with Captain William Merritt and a 10 man crew the "Carroll A. Deering" would prepare to set sail from Norfolk, Virginia with a destination of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
A short time after, Captain Merritt got sick and he and his son which was the ship's first mate were let off the vessel. Captain Worm ell was hired to replace Merritt, and Charles McLellan would be the first mate.
On September 8th, the ship docked in Rio, and left on December 2nd.
McLellen, the first mate was heard by several mariners threatening Wormell. He was put in jail, but Wormell had him released so they could continue their journey across the sea.
On January 29, 1921, a ship approached the U.S coast guard Lightship in North Carolina. A man from the ship told the light keeper that his vessel had lost his anchors.
The keeper took note and said he would report it as soon as possible. He noted that the crew was wandering around the foredeck of the ship (crewmembers usually aren’t gathered here).This would be the last time anybody was seen aboard the "Deering".
On February 4, 1921, the Wrecker rescue of Norfolk approached a shipwreck that was later identified as the "Carroll A. Deering". There were no signs of the crew.
There were only a few further investigations.
The fate of the crewmembers aboard this vessel remains a mystery still.
On October 3rd 1955, the "MV Joyita" set sail with 15 people on board(2 of them were children) off of Samoa's Apia bound for the Tokelau Islands .This was the last time the passengers aboard the Joyita would ever be seen again.
The ship had two engines, and the clutch engine was busted. The captain made the call that it was safe to set sail on only one engine.
The boat was supposed to arrive at Tokelau 2 days later but, the boat never showed up. On October 6th, Fakaofo port reported that the ship never arrived.
After a rescue mission was launched, five weeks later, on November 10, the ship was found floating in the middle of nowhere partially submerged. No passenger was on board. It was discovered that a pipe had rotted away letting water into the vessel, which is what caused it to sink, but it was still in optimum conditions and seaworthy and the captain would of known this.
The windows of the ship were smashed, and the ships one working engine was covered in mattresses, for no apparent reason. A doctor’s bag was found with rags filled with blood instead of tools. The boat's navigation lights were on, and all of the electric clocks had stopped at 10:25pm.All of the three life rafts and navigational equipment were also missing, and so was all the cargo.
Since the captain would know that ship wouldn’t really sink there was no reason to leave in a hurry.
Many theories were given. One said that maybe the captain was injured and as the water entered the boat the passengers panicked and left in the life rafts and were eaten by sharks. Another one says that maybe pirates stole the cargo and killed everyone aboard. One even says that a Japanese ship attacked the Joyita. Others such as mutiny have also been speculated.
The 25 people were declared missing and never found.
The Jenny left the Isle Of Wight in 1822, and it simply dissapearred forever... until September 22 1860 when Captain Brighton of the Whaler Hope saw a strange ship emerge from the gap of the disintegrating walls of an ice barrier.
Seven men were standing by the main deck. The crewmembers of the Hope soon made a shocking discovery; the men aboard the main deck were frozen solid. The bodies had been preserved by the cold of the Antarctic.
In the master's cabin, the captain of the Jenny was found sitting in his chair, Captain Brighton spoke to him but the man was frozen solid man apparently was writing a log entry.
The last log entry that the captain had made read: May 4, 1823. No food for 71 days.
"I am the only one left alive".
The body of the captain's wife was also found frozen in another room. All of the bodies were well preserved due to the cold of the Antarctic.
The Jenny had been stuck between the walls of an ice barrier in the Antarctic for almost 40 years as the people aboard quickly froze and hardened to their inevitable fate as mother nature did her job and had absolutely no mercy destroying every trespasser that dares enter it.
On April 15th 2007, three men set sail along the coast of Australia aboard a boat named the "Kaz II". The sea was a bit choppy that day but that of course was no problem for the experienced sailors.
Onboard was Derek Batten of 56 years of age and Peter and James Tunstead that were 69 and 63.
Three days later their boat was found drifting toward the Great Barrier Reef. No traces of the men were found but everything else seemed to be perfectly in place.
Food was even set out on the table, there also was a laptop opened and still turned on, all of the emergency systems were functional and all the lifejackets were hanging on their hooks.
It is speculated that since the conditions of the sea weren't in their favor and no one was wearing their life jacket, one of the men fell overboard and the others tried to save him and perished in the attempt.
These may all have logical explanations, but the stories about the creatures and vessels and other incredible things that the sea has witnessed is something that will certain remain a mystery forever... and after.
© 2014 Ivan Chavez