Witness the Exact Moment a Huge Ship Is Snapped in Half by a Massive Wave

Written by Sharon Parry
Updated: October 20, 2023
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In this very distressing footage, you witness the moment that a huge wave snaps a large ship in two. It is in heavy seas and is anchored off Bartin on Turkey’s Inkumu coast and will eventually sink in the Black Sea to the east of the country. It had been traveling from the Georgian Port of Poti to the Port of Burgas in Bulgaria on January 15, 2021. A large wave lifts the ship and suddenly you can see the front distort accompanied by the sound of twisting metal. Shortly after there is a mayday call.

Watch the Terrifying Footage Below

This ship was the MV Arvin, a Ukrainian-owned dry bulk carrier. Tragically, some of the seafarers on board lost their lives in the incident. Reports describing the sinking indicate that the ship was described as structurally unsound, corroded, and poorly maintained.  

How Many Cargo Ships Sink Each Year?

Everyone knows that working at sea is a dangerous occupation as the elements can be harsh and unpredictable. Sadly, a lot of cargo carriers do sink, despite modern safety designs and procedures. Statistics show that 54 merchant ships were lost during 2021 alone. That works out as an average of roughly one a week. Around 100,000 merchant ships were operating on our seas during that year so the annual loss is around 0.05 percent of the world’s fleet every year.

View on the containers loaded on the cargo ship, she is transiting Suez Canal.

Modern cargo ships have safety features to reduce the risk of sinking.

©Mariusz Bugno/Shutterstock.com

What Makes a Ship Sink?

The most common reason that ships sink is that they take on too much water. There are many potential contributing causes which include a breach of the hull, adverse weather, fires, human error, and poor maintenance. Sometimes, it is a combination of causes. The single most common scenario is for the hull to be broken open by a collision, grounding, or strong waves.

Modern ships should be equipped with modern technology which reduces the risk of them sinking. However, vessels that are not maintained properly will always be at higher risk.

What Is the Impact When a Ship Sinks?

The most obvious and important impact is the tragic loss of life. Not all sinking incidents result in people getting killed but there are other impacts. These include financial losses associated with a loss of both the ship and the cargo. There can also be knock-on effects in terms of delivery delays, environmental impacts, cleanup costs, and a loss of reputation.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Maximillian cabinet/Shutterstock.com

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About the Author

Dr Sharon Parry is a writer at A-Z animals where her primary focus is on dogs, animal behavior, and research. Sharon holds a PhD from Leeds University, UK which she earned in 1998 and has been working as a science writer for the last 15 years. A resident of Wales, UK, Sharon loves taking care of her spaniel named Dexter and hiking around coastlines and mountains.

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