Margareth, the ship sleeping leaning to the dam

Sank on the 2nd December 2005, the Georgian ship is still lying against the dam of La Spezia. Virtually invisible to the eyes, hiding its story under the sea.

The night of December 2, 2005, was a stormy night. The Gulf of Poets, usually very sheltered, has wrought a force five sea with a violent southwest wind and gusts that reached 50 knots. On this horde night, the Georgian 84-meter-long cement Margareth left Genoa to get to the Bulgarian port of Varna empty. Instead, the captain requested the La Spezia harbor to enter the Gulf to shelter from the fury of the wind. Since then, it never left La Spezia again.


Having received the request from Margareth, the Harbour Master allows the crew to stop the ship and anchor in the bay, waiting for the weather conditions to improve.
Although the military force provides the captain of the Georgian ship precise coordinates, he makes a slight positioning error to prove fatal.
The intense storm snatches the old ship’s anchors and drags it inexorably toward the dam. Vain attempts to avoid the crash, and Margaret clashes with the rocks and sinks.

Margaret sinks, but 13 sailors are rescued

Almost immediately, it is clear that to save the boat, there is nothing to do in the 84 meters of the ship sinking slowly under the sea surface.
Two sailors, seeing the danger, jump into the water. One swims to the dam; the second does not manage to.
The men and helicopters of the Coast Guard off the airport of Luni will rescue him and then lead the other ten crew members to safety.
In the video below, you see some phases of the fearless intervention.


Once lives are saved, it’s time to worry about the environment and the local economy, as the sunken ship is a few hundred meters from the mussels farms in the Gulf. Potentially, the leak of liquid from the wreck could be a disaster.
Luckily only a few small leaks have ensued from the wreck, contained by the panels positioned to combat the spread of any spills. The ship’s tanks, then, have been emptied by the Dutch company Blacks / Smit.
After being the subject of an environmental impact study classified as “low risk, ” the wreck has not been touched.
Today, resting 10 meters deep, Margareth seems asleep against the dam.

The cover photo is by Dronetech

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