MYSTERY SHIP MUSTER
The Zebrina was a three-masted sailing barge which was found without a crew. It left its port in Southern England in October 1917 with a cargo of coal and was bound for Saint-Brieuc in France. The ship was found after it ran aground. There were no crew aboard and it is thought that some sort of conflict related to World War 1 was to blame. Did a German U-boat threaten the Zebrina? Was the crew of the Zerbina forced to board an enemy boat? Some people believe that the crew was taken aboard a U-boat which was then sunk, thus the crew of the Zerbina was never found.
In a chilling note left by the captain of the boat Schooner Jenny, which was trapped in ice in the Antarctic, he wrote, “May 4, 1823. No food for 71 days. I am the only one left alive.” The captain was found still sitting in his chair with his pen in his hand, preserved by the frigid Antarctic weather. The crew of the whaling ship that discovered Schooner Jenny an incredible 17 years later, found the six crew members and a pet dog preserved by the freezing Antarctic climate.
The SS Baychimo was a boat used to trade pelts and provisions from the Inuit people along the coast of Canada. Though this 230-foot cargo steamer was used to the harsh conditions found in the north coastal Canadian coast, this did not stop it from getting stuck in pack ice on October 8th, 1931, resulting in half of its crew abandoning ship. The remaining 15 crew decided to wait out the winter in a wooden shelter they had built near the stranded ship. A fierce blizzard struck on November 24 and the ship was later found to be missing.
It was assumed the ship had sunk, but three days later it turned up some 45 miles away. The crew then gathered up cargo they had left on the ship, believing the ship would be crushed by the pack ice. Over the next few decades the abandoned SS Baychimo was sighted and even boarded. It was last seen stuck in ice off the Alaskan Coast in 1969. Will it turn up again? Time will tell.
The Bel Amica, a classic style schooner, was found abandoned off the coast of Sardinia. Everyone was mystified. The Italian coast guard reported in 2006 that the ship contained a half-eaten meal made up of Egyptian food, and French maps of North African seas, clothing, a flag of Luxembourg and a wooden plaque with the name Bel Amica. The Italian authorities soon uncovered that the ship had not been registered in any country. After in-depth investigation it was found that the Bel Amica was a modern yacht which belonged to a Luxembourg owner who presumably didn’t register the vessel, possibly for for tax evasion purposes. Trying to hide from the taxman doesn’t always pay.