Sunk in Bermuda Waters on April 4, 2017
Niobe Corinthian has been a talk of the town for over a decade and has got its own interesting story. It has gone through many controversies and ill fates since the time it was brought into Bermuda.
This 175ft strong well built ship with very strong beams was originally built by Shell Oil to serve the oil rigs in Gulf of Mexico. However later it changed its ownership and the new owner modified the ship and refitted it with large number of gaming machines and converted the ship to a floating Casino. The top deck was a fully glass covered bar.
The ship was brought in to Bermuda in 2005. However the prevailing strict gaming laws of the island prevented any such casino gaming meant for islanders and tourists on the island's soil or water.
In order to bypass the law, the captain took the ship 12 miles off the coastline of Bermuda into international water areas where such gaming to be carried out as it was then out of Bermuda's jurisdiction. However the ship had to come back to the shores of Bermuda for mooring. And this continued to violate the laws of the island.
In 2006 the ship was raided and over 100 gaming machines were sized, the captain Fermin Reyes and the manager George Kezas who operated the floating casino were arrested. Both of them were later convicted with the charges of illegally importing gaming machines to Bermuda.
Adding to the owes, in 2007 the ship caught fire just before it was preparing to sail again to run its casino offshore. In 2008 the ship was once again raided. And thereafter the ship remained docked and abandoned at the Marginal Wharf in St. Davids (in St. George's parish) at the east end. It was rusting and was heavily plundered by the locals and soon became an eyesore.
Eventually the Government of Bermuda took over the possession of the ship in 2014 and in 2016 decided to sink the ship and make it a wreck site for divers. Several different organizations including The Department of Marine and Ports, Bermuda Intact Wreck Initiative, Department of Environmental Services etc have been deeply involved for inspection, cleaning and making the ship safe for divers. All gaming machines and other related parts including the glass bar had been removed.
On April 4, 2017 at around 3:30pm, the ship was towed about 12 miles off the northern shore of St. George's and about 1.5 miles to the west of North Rock Navigational Beacon where it was drowned. It now sits straight up at the seabed about 70ft below the sea surface. During low tide, the top of the ship is about 16ft below the water surface making it an excellent dive site for both scuba and free divers.
Being close to the reefs, the divers can spot many different fish at the dive site. Like all other protected wreck diving sites, fishing is not permitted with in 200 meters of the wreck. It is estimated that the ship will remain intact for 30 to 40 years before it starts to disintegrate.
1) Visit Famous Bermuda Shipwrecks
to know about amazing stories of many other famous ships that were wrecked in Bermuda waters.