Newfoundland and its curse of shipwrecks

The area where the Titan submersible disappeared, diving among the wreckage of the Titanic, has a long history of shipwrecks. The island of Newfoundland belongs to Canada. It is located 450 kilometers offshore from the continental coast of North America. From there, the ship with the submarine Titan, which imploded with its crew while exploring the most famous shipwreck in history, the Titanic, departed.

Newfoundland Island

Newfoundland Island, famous for being a shipwreck area.

The Atlantic surrounding the island of Newfoundland has a long list of shipwrecks beginning long before the Titanic. The climatic conditions in that region are very dangerous. The waters have an average annual temperature of 7º C, so falling into the water is deadly. As if this were not enough, some 40 thousand icebergs surround the island.

However, it is a very rich area for fishing, especially cod. Thousands of boats go there for this reason. The navigability conditions are extreme and that is why numerous shipwrecks have occurred there, some of them very recent. The most famous is that of the Titanic, which linked Southampton with New York. It was on April 15, 1912 on her maiden voyage, when she struck an iceberg 600 kilometers off Newfoundland.

Other shipwrecks that occurred in the area.

One of the earliest recorded shipwrecks is that of the Whaler San Juan in 1565. It was caught in a storm while returning to Spain with 1000 barrels of whale blubber. Her entire crew was saved because there were other vessels in the area.

In February 1982, a terrible storm brought down an oil rig killing 84 people. This tragedy is known as the “Ocean Ranger disaster.” Although this disaster was not as popular as the Titanic disaster, it also inspired books and movies.

In turn, in the same month, only days after Ocean Ranger, a freighter of the then Soviet Union was wrecked in the same waters. In the wreck of the Mejanik Tarasof 33 people lost their lives.


In February 2009, a new shipwreck occurred, that of the Spanish ship Monte Galiñeiro. Two explosions on board and a fire in the engine room, accompanied by extreme weather, were the cause. Thanks to the crew being able to get to safety in time, there were no casualties. More recently, in February 2022, the vessel Villa de Pitanxo sank there with 21 victims.

After more than 100 years have passed since the sinking of the Titanic, the Canadian coast still remembers the tragedy. Even in Fairview Cemetery, Halifax, 120 victims of the English ship are buried. In Halifax, you can visit the Museum of the Atlantic, with priceless objects from the famous shipwreck. There are deck chairs, personal items and even some white canvas burial bags where the corpses found at sea were placed.

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