Fortuna – Incident Photo Of The Week

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August 12, 2010

The incident is not recent this week but the photograph is. The talented photographer of this image, Rickard Gillberg, tells us more about the ill-fated cargo ship Fortuna:

Rescue helicopter Lifeguard 907 (a Sikorsky S-76) is hovering behind the relics of an old cargo vessel at northern Fårö, Sweden. Stranded shipwrecks are a very rare sight in the country, but this one is an interesting exception.

The year was 1968 and the 51 year old German freighter MF Fortuna was headed southbound with a crew of five when she struck bad weather. The crew tried to find lee behind the Norsholmen islet, but ran heavily aground. The waves swelled the deck and the crew struggled to launch the lifeboat, but the ship rocked too violently and the lifeboat became flooded by water.
At half past three on the morning of October 28th a witness on dry land saw some distant emergency flares and made the crucial distress call. A military rescue helicopter was launched instantly and it managed to salvage all five people onboard within an hour.

The most of MF Fortuna has now been swallowed by nature, 40 years later, but the bow still remains. She sits on the shallow shores of Norsholmen, in the middle of the Baltic Sea, and waits for nature to take the rest of her back.

Seems like Fortuna was kind of an unfortunate name for this ship….

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