What Was the Most Shocking News of 2014?

Unicorn Brig pirate ship

By Kayla Turner 2014-12-19 16:20:17

2014 saw its share of weird, shocking and sad news within the maritime world – whether it was a rat-filled ghost ship haunting the coast, cruise passengers reporting a UFO sighting, or a real-life castaway tale.

So what did MarEx readers find most intriguing? Below is the ‘Top 7 Most Read Articles of 2014’:

7. Video Shows Fishing Boat Crew Being Murdered: In August, a disturbing video surfaced on YouTube reportedly showing fishermen being murdered at sea off Fiji. The video appears to be filmed from the deck of one of several fishing boats. A tuna boat moves in towards the upturned wreck of a small boat. The video then shows three men in the water, clinging to wreckage. The men are shot multiple times as they try and swim away.

6. WATCH: Container Ship Collision on the Suez: In September, when entering the Suez Canal at Port Said, there was an impact between the Hapag-Lloyd vessel “Colombo Express” (8,750 TEU) and the “Maersk Tanjong”. The ships suffered some damage, but both vessels were able to continue on. Three containers were lost over the side from the Maersk Tanjong.

5. Russia Sinks Own Warship?: Remember back in March when the Russian Navy Ochakov Kara-class cruiser was sunk to blockade the Ukrainian Navy ships deployed in Novoozerne? The Ochakov was towed to the navigating channel. They filled her with water, and some sort of explosion followed.

4. Two Dead on Captain Phillips' Ship: Sad news came in February when two former Navy SEALs, and maritime security guards employed by Trident Group, were mysteriously found dead aboard the Maersk Alabama. Autopsies later found that the men died due to a toxic mixture of heroin and alcohol. The vessel, infamous for its high-profile 2009 hijacking portrayed in the movie "Captain Phillips," was moored in the Seychelles in the Indian Ocean. 

3. U.S. Merchant Mariner Killed in Ship Accident Before Baby Born: In an effort to raise funds, MarEx shed light on Harlan Crouch, 44, who lost his life July 3rd onboard a Liberty Maritime vessel during cargo operations in the Persian Gulf. He was a U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, N.Y. graduate (Class of 1996) and was working on a cargo ship as a mate at the time of his death. He left behind his wife, who was 7 months pregnant with their first child, a son, at the time of his death.

2. Why a U.S. Coast Guard?: MarEx featured writer Craig H. Allen Sr. explained why the Coast Guard's multi-mission identity makes it more valuable than ever, as it celebrated its celebrated its 224th birthday back in August.

1. 'Pirates of the Caribbean' Ship Sinks: With nearly 22,000 views and roughly 700 social media shares, the dramatic May sinking of the iconic ship [seen in main photo] used in two of the ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ films off St. Lucia was MarEx’s most read article of the year! Ten crewmembers aboard the ship were rescued by the St. Vincent Coast guard after it started to buckle in choppy waters. It was on its way to be repaired at the time of its sinking. The Brig Unicorn was built in 1948. During its film career, the Brig Unicorn served as The Henrietta in ‘The Curse of the Black Pearl’ and as The Terrashaw in ‘Dead Man's Chest’. The ship also rose to stardom appearing as a slave ship in the 1970s TV series, Roots.

The opinions expressed herein are the author's and not necessarily those of The Maritime Executive.