Extended version of this page |
Back to postcard
S.S. American Star
Built in 1940 and launched by Eleanor Roosevelt, the 'S.S. America' as she was christened replaced the 'S.S. Leviathan' as the Queen of the American Merchant Marine. She was soon requisitioned for trooping duties during the Second World War as the 'U.S.S. West Point'. After the war she was re-christened the 'S.S. America' and started her transatlantic duties.
In 1963 she was sold to Chandris Lines becoming the 'S.S. Australis' and was set to work on the emigrant service between the UK and Australia. Fourteen years later in 1977 she was retired and laid up in New Zealand. This lasted two years until 1978 when she was sold to the Venture Cruise Lines of New York and brought out of retirement and given her original name back. Within ten days she was up for sale again and the Chandris Lines bought her back naming her this time the 'S.S. Italis'. She had a further two name changes: the 'S.S. Noga' and 'S.S. Alferdoss' before being sold again this time to Chaoprayha to become a deluxe floating hotel in Phuket, Thailand. Her name was changed yet again this time to the 'S.S. American Star'.
She was dry docked in Piraeus and prepared for the journey to Thailand in December 1993. In January of 1994 during a Force 11 storm she broke free from her tow lines and ran aground on the Playa de Garsey, Fuerteventura. Before any salvage operation could get underway she broke in two and was declared a total loss. The local inhabitants pillaged her and many houses around the island are furnished with various goods 'salvaged' from the wreck. Even an entire bar, the Cafeteria el Naufragio in Puerto Del Rosario is fitted out from the 'S.S. American Star'.
This windfall however has had its price as there have been at least eight recorded deaths since the ship went aground mostly due to people trying to swim out to the wreck.
Extended version of this page | Back to postcard