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SS American Star

SS American star was laid down on August 22, 1938 at that time she was given the name SS America She has had many names over the years between her construction and her 1994 wrecking, the American star was originally built as an ocean liner and was one of a small number of ships that had interiors that were designed by women.

The ship has quite a colorful past she was used as a troop transport ship during world war 2 during this time she was renamed USS West point, in 1941 the FBI uncovered the Duquesne spy ring and it emerged that two Nazi spies were members of the ship’s crew they were subsequently imprisoned on espionage charges.

 

 
After the end of the war she resumed her former career as a cruise liner under her original name SS America, her cruise career continued under various names and ownership changes up until 1980 when she was laid up, over the next 13 years her future became uncertain with the possibility of being converted to a prison ship but this never happened, and in the late 1980s she was sold for scrap, however after her lifeboats and davits had been removed the salvage company pulled out of the deal. In early 1993 she was sold again now carrying the name SS Alferdoss it was the intension to convert her into a hotel ship based in Phuket Thailand, in August 1993 she was renamed to SS American Star and some minor modifications were carried out including painting of her funnels and removal of the propellers.


On New Year's Eve 1993, American Star left Greece on her final journey Towed by the Ukrainian tugboat Neftegaz 67 after entering a thunderstorm in the Atlantic the tow lines broke and attempts to re attach them proved unsuccessful, On January 17, the crew aboard American Star was rescued and the ship was left adrift and ran aground the next day on a beach near Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands after 2 days of pounding from the sea the ship broke in two just past the second funnel, on July 6, 1994 The ship was declared a total loss, 2 years later in 1996 the stern section collapsed and sank, the bow section remained virtually intact for the next 10 years until April 2007 when the starboard side finally collapsed causing the wreck to break in half and fall into the sea, As of February 2012, only a few feet of the ship is visible above the water. 

 


Ship Specifications

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  • Size: Medium
  • Length: 663 feet
  • Beam: 93 feet
  • Speed: 22.5 Knots
  • Tonnage: 26,454
  • No of former names: 8
  • Crew: 643
  • Passengers: 1,202
  • Maiden Voyage: 22 august 1940
  • Current Status: What remains lies on a beach at Fuerteventura, Canary islands.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Former Names

SS America (1940-41), USS West point (1941-46),  SS America (1946-64)
SS Australis (1964 - 78), SS America (1978), SS Italis (1978 - 80)
SS Noga (1980-84),  SS Alferdoss (1984-93)  SS American Star (1994)

 

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Nautical Terms

Afterdeck - Deck behind a Ship's Bridge

Bow - The Front of the Ship (pointy bit)

Beam - The Greatest Width of the Ship

Bridge - The Location From Which a Ship is Steered and its Speed Controlled

Cargo Hold - A Space for Storing Cargo

Capstan - Upright Device for Winding in Heavy Ropes or Cables

Davit - Device for Hoisting and Lowering a Boat

Flagstaff - Flag Pole at the Stern of a Ship

Forecastle - The Section of the Upper Deck of a Ship Located at the Bow Forward of the Foremast

Foremast -  Mast nearest to  the Bow of a Ship

Galley - The Kitchen area of a Ship

Helm - Ship's Steering Wheel

Hull - The Main Structure or Body of a Ship

Knot - A Measure of Speed Equal to One Nautical Mile (6076 feet) per Hour

 

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