This ship beached in 1976 on the Lespecier beach in Landes. I tried to go there on morning to get some better lights (earlier would have been nice, but well, that's it). By continue reading, you'll find 19 pictures and an extract from the true story that happened there.
Comparison feature is for sure active on the first picture so you'll be able to compare before and after adjustements. Open your eyes, it's very slight. A similar adjustment have been applied to the rest of the pictures.
The steam-ship Virgo, 109.25 meters long, flying the Greek flag, built under the name Grönnebek in 1954 by Orenstein-Koppel yards in Lübeck in Germany, has left Bayonne and is sailing to Portugal. In the night of 1 to December 2, 1976, storm at sea is terrific. Off Bilbao, unable to sail to west, the master of Virgo changes the heading to North to try to avoid the hurricane, but the ship drifts and runs aground 5 km in the south of Mimizan at 3 O'clock in the morning, with waves up to 14 m, starboard towards the coast.
From the beach, the rescues are organized and the crew can leave the vessel early in the morning.
The curious begin to run to the beach to see the abandoned vessel and some of them rediscover the pirate instinct of their "Gascon" ancestors. Some intrepid young guys successfully board the ship and steal cigarettes, cans and even the ship's compass. They are caught by the policemen as they leave the board!
A few days later, the ocean takes again the Virgo which seems to leave the beach alone, but waves reject her immediately on the sand, port side toward the coast, this time.
The destiny of the old ship is quickly sealed. She will be broken up on the sand. The dismantling begin in April 1977 but in early July, a massive fire destroyed the remnants of the wreck. Firefighters will fight long hours to extinguish the fire and prevent it from reaching the 70 tonnes of fuel oil still remaining in the tanks of the Virgo.
The old Greek ship is finaly completely broken up at the end of summer 1977.