It's not often that one can spot a shipwreck above ground. In fact, by definition, most wrecks are left at sea, forced to confront their fate at the bottom of the ocean. In the case of the MS World Discoverer, however, this oceanliner tells quite a different story. Rather than perishing at sea, the ship sunk after running aground... and is still in the same place to this day.
On the remote Solomon Islands, which, as many would later find out, are surrounded by reefs, this ship sits on its side on a coastal beach. From above, it's an odd picture - but for those visiting the ship on the ground, it's even more of an illusionary scene.
How The MS World Discoverer Ended Up On The Solomon Islands
While it seems like ships rarely go down nowadays, the tale of the MS World Discoverer is one that's still fairly recent as far as maritime history goes. The fated journey began back in 2000 when the Solomon Islands would soon present a challenge that no ship has left to overcome. The hazard of coral reefs in shallow water is something that is usually discovered on a ship's radar, with the exception, at the time, of this Pacific cluster. The uncharted reefs would soon cause a problem for the ship, which would eventually fall victim to their unforgiving grasp.
Prior to that, though, the oceanliner had traversed an 8,000-mile journey that, at the time, seemed far more harrowing than a trip to the South Pacific Islands. Interestingly enough, the ship was built to withstand potential brushes with icebergs as it made routine trips to the Antarctic. As the oceanliner was making its way back with a stop in the South Pacific Islands in April, it ran into one of these large uncharted reefs. The skilled captain, Oliver Kruess, was able to navigate the damaged ship into Roderick Bay. At this point, the ship began to list and Roderick was left with no other choice but to intentionally ground the ship, lest it slipped under the water for good. The result was the MS World Discoverer being led aground intentionally after the crew had been rescued, where it still sits, turned on its side to this day.
Efforts To Retrieve The MS World Discoverer
While the ship would have been in a decent enough position to have been recovered, all efforts on that front were lost. Due to the ongoing civil war on the island at the time, no salvation effort was successful. This, in combination with the tidal changes and general wear and tear of the waves, the ship further deteriorated the more the ship sat. It got to the point where the ship has been deemed a loss to the fleet, and it remains on the Solomon Islands to this day.
The MS World Discoverer: A Modern-Day Tourist Attraction
For the locals on the Solomon Islands, the ship has become somewhat of a tourist attraction. It's easy enough to see by land but according to Vaval, there are some companies that offer (unauthorized) tours of the interior of the ship, as well. Obviously, these are highly dangerous and it goes without saying that one ventures near this shipwreck at their own risk. However, just spotting this ship from the beach is a worthy experience for many. It's not every day that a ship is wrecked on solid ground, let alone ground that's above sea level, and the fact that the ship is still intact is truly remarkable.
While the ship continues to deteriorate, it still remains an attraction for visitors to the islands. The Solomon Islands still remains one of the least-visited destinations in the world, which makes having the chance to witness this above-water shipwreck all the more alluring to those who are especially adventurous. Not only are the islands practically untouched with the exception of the locals and something like 30,000 people who visit annually, but their beauty is unparalleled, as well. When it comes to islands in the South Pacific, the Solomon Islands have plenty to offer intrepid tourists.
It's Also A Haven For Diving And Snorkeling
While this attraction happens to be above-ground, the Solomon Islands, in particular, is a haven for divers and snorkelers. With plenty of reefs (as the MS World Discoverer unfortunately discovered) and marine life surrounding, there will always be something new to see and explore in these waters. This oceanliner is one of many dive sites, and visitors will be happy to know that adventure awaits at practically every beach.