Remains of the American Star shipwreck

The American Star was a luxury liner owned by the U.S. shipping company United States Lines and built in 1940. It was considered the largest passenger ship ever built in the U.S. up to that time.

She suffered a heavy storm on January 15, 1994 between Gran Canaria and Fuerteventura, when she was being towed by a Ukrainian ship. Due to the storm and negligence, the tug cut the cable and the American Star was adrift. Three days later, after several disagreements between the interests involved, the ship ran aground on Garcey beach. Forty-eight hours later – while the owners, the tugboat company and the insurer were arguing without agreeing on what action to take – the ship was torn in two by the sea’s onslaught.

On July 6, the ship was declared a total loss. When the Civil Guard removed the fence, the hull was the victim of looting by the locals, who made off with all kinds of items and accessories. The shipwreck was a real tourist attraction.

After splitting in two, the stern half sank permanently into the ocean. The other half, the bow half, remained on the recognizable beach and was known as a ghost ship. In 2007 the bow was permanently destroyed and today the remains are only visible from a bird’s eye view and in calm seas.