gCaptain’s Top 20 Most Viewed Stories of 2017

Another great year in the books here at gCaptain. This year we published thousands of maritime stories and racked up more than 20 million website views. Here’s a look back at the stories receiving the most clicks in 2017. 

(Headlines are linked, will open in new tab)

20. Video: Boxing Day Storm in North Sea

The first post on a list was actually posted in the first few days of 2017 after “Storm Conor” hammered the UK with heavy wind and rain on Boxing Day 2016 (that would be December 26). The video was posted to Youtube by Bigwavemaster1, who works on an Emergency Response & Rescue Vessel and basically has to ride out some the worst weather on the planet while holding station next to North Sea oil rigs 24/7. 

19. American Maritime Industry Fights Back Against False Claims on Jones Act and Relief Efforts in Puerto Rico

You won’t catch us using the term “fake news” in a non-facetious way, so let’s just some that some of the media coverage of the Jones Act in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria devastating Puerto Rico contained some misinformation. This post was the bases of the U.S. maritime industry’s refute to many of those false claims. 

18. Tug Crosby Commander Sinks in the Gulf of Mexico

One person died and three were rescued after the U.S.-flag tugboat Crosby Commander sank in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Louisiana back in May. 

17. USS Fitzgerald Ignored Warnings Before Collision

The collisions involving U.S. Navy Seventh Fleet destroyers could easily be argued as the biggest maritime story of 2017. This particular post was just one of the many shocking revelations in the days, weeks, and months following the accidents. 

16. Video: Sketchy Pilot Transfer

Not much to say here except, yeah, this transfer was super sketchy. Here’s a little tease: 

15. Video: Ferry Slams Into Pier in Santo Domingo

Ferry’s hitting piers is sort of an on-going storyline here at gCaptain. We should almost create a template for these posts and we’ll save some time next time it happens.

14. Video: Out of Control Ferry Slams Head-On Into Pier

Like I mentioned above… Check out the video below and find more details in the link ^^^.  

13. Giant Crane Collapses After Being Hit By Ship at Jebel Ali

Somehow nobody was seriously injured when a giant crane collapsed at Jebel Ali after it was hit by a CMA CGM containership back in May 2017. (Sorry, but the video appears to be no longer available)

12. MV Rena Grounding’s First Year in Photos

This is actually an old post from October 2012 which we posted on the 1-year anniversary of the MV Rena’s grounding on Astrolabe Reef in New Zealand. The incident ended up being labeled the worst maritime disaster in the country’s history and, if I recall correctly, there is still a fight over whether the owner is allowed to abandon what’s left of the wreck. 

11. Video: Offshore Vessel Capsizes During Launch

You would think in this day and age things like this wouldn’t happen, but, alas, they do. 

10. VLOC Stellar Daisy Sinks in South Atlantic

Only one crew member survived after the Stellar Daisy, one of the world’s largest iron ore carriers, broke up and sank in the southern Atlantic Ocean during a voyage from Brazil to China. The vessel, which still hasn’t been located, was one of many operated by South Korean shipping company Polaris that were converted from existing very large crude carriers in the late 2000’s. Polaris is now in the process of phasing out the remaining conversions. 

9. Large Containership CSCL Jupiter Grounds Near Antwerp

The vessel was refloated at the next high tide, but it was hard to tell that that would be the case from looking at photos during the low tide.

CSCL Jupiter hard aground
CSCL Jupiter hard aground on river Scheldt near Bath, Netherlands, August 14, 2017. Photo: Anton v/d Aarssen?

8. UFO Reported in Gulf of Mexico

So, this happened back in March. As the story goes, a guy was working on an offshore supply vessel in the Gulf of Mexico when he said he saw a UFO ‘fives times’ the size of his vessel come out of the water and hover near an oil rig. His story made it to the National UFO Reporting Center (actually real) and onto forums for UFO trackers, where the witness account has so far not been debunked. After hearing about the Pentagon’s UFO program (again, actually real), I now think I believe this story. 

Dramatization of reported event

7. USS John S. McCain Collision: AIS Shows Tanker’s Track During Collision

Perhaps some of the popularity of this post was fueled by early conspiracy theories that the destroyer may have been rammed by the tanker as it approached Singapore. I mean, how else is something like that possible? Well, the U.S. Navy’s report on the collision (and that involving the Fitzgerald) found that those theories were probably the furthest from what actually happened – for better or worse, I’m not really sure.

6. Maersk Containership Grounds in Italy

This story turned out to be not that big of a deal (in my opinion, I’m sure it was a huge pain for someone). But put “Maersk” and “grounding” together in a headline, add in some photos, and you have yourself a recipe for a top 10 most viewed story. 

Gustav Maersk aground in the Strait of Messina, Italy, January 10, 2017. Photo credit: Italian Coast Guard

5. Searchers Locate FV Destination Wreck in Bering Sea

One of the more interesting and tragic stories on our list. The American fishing vessel Destination sank on February 11, 2017 with the loss of all six crew members while fishing for crab northwest of St. George, Alaska, a small and remote island in the Bering Sea. The reason it’s on this list, however, is because the Destination incident was featured in the season finale of “Deadliest Catch”. Well, apparently the episode is somewhat of a cliff-hanger, because each time after the show airs, viewers flock to Google for an update and they end up landing on our site. 

4. Some Idiot Drives Truck Onto Jetty, Needs Airlift Off

If we were giving out Darwin Award winners, this guy would take it. Seriously, what an idiot.

3. Six Missing After Crab Fishing Vessel Sinks in Bering Sea

Ultimately with the FV Destination, the worst fears were realized. This was just a terribly tragic incident and a huge loss for the Alaskan fishing and maritime community. 

2. World’s First Ship Tunnel to Bypass Norway’s Most Dangerous Waters

Seems like a no brainer.  Has this not been done before?

An illustration of the Stad Ship Tunnel. Image credit: Norwegian Coastal Administration

1. The USS Fitzgerald is At Fault. This is Why.

The top story on our list with nearly 200,000 online views is gCaptain founder John Konrad’s early take on why the Fitzgerald is (or was) at fault. The article sparked a huge online debate about the incident, with many criticising John that his ‘take’ was too soon following the accident. In the end, however, we didn’t need a magic crystal ball to know who would ultimately be blamed.