I have flown into Hewanorra Airport, on the south coast of the island of Saint Lucia, several times over the past few years and, like many photographers, I had invariably requested a window seat.
On a few of those occasions, looking down from the air during the final descent into the airport, I spotted a shipwreck, stuck in the sand along an empty stretch of coastline with no buildings or tourist hotels nearby.
On other occasions, although I was looking out for it, I didn’t see the wreck, presumably because I was sitting on the wrong side of the airplane.
Over the course of several visits, I became intrigued with this wreck and, having spotted it again upon flying into Saint Lucia last week, I made my mind up to find and photograph it.
Although I had asked several Saint Lucians about this wreck, no-one knew its whereabouts and, certainly, nobody was able to give me any information about the ship. It seems that there are so many shipwrecks strewn around the island’s shoreline, stranded in the wake of the various hurricanes that have blown through the eastern Caribbean over the years, that Saint Lucians pay little attention to individual wrecks.
There are several well-known shipwrecks laced around the island’s shoreline but most are underwater, sunk deliberately to provide attractions for scuba-diving tourists. This one, however, enjoys no such glamorous purpose. It seems to have been a working freighter that reached the end of its useful life and was simply abandoned on this isolated stretch of coastline to avoid the cost of a more purposeful disposal.
Whatever its history, this beauty looks like it has been here for many years. The hull is heavily rusted, with several gaping holes in the metal and, if ever there was a name painted on the hull, none is visible now.