This cruise ship sank due to what was probably the biggest incident arising from neglect of the ships health. In 1994 on August the 4th, Oceanos sank.
The ship had been victim to either intentional or unintentional neglect, amazingly it sailed the day before it sank with a gaping ten centimetre hole in the “water tight” bulk head between the generator and the sewage tank, with loose hull plates and check valves that had been stripped for parts from a recent cruise.
For these many reasons, there was an explosion heard apparently from near the engine room, on the 3rd of August at 2130 hours. As soon as the ships crew and the captain realised the ships fate, they fled, packing their belongings and being the first to leave – failing to fulfil the emergency procedures of closing the lower deck port holes. Not even an alarm was raised to the passengers. By the time the passengers realised that the boat was sinking, through people in the lower decks seeing water spilling in, the captain and the crew were already departing.
The Oceanos sailed into 40 knot winds and thirty feet swells, the storm then worsened and meant that the ship was rocking side to side so much that plates were falling off the tables while people were eating and decorations were falling over.
As the water was entering through the 10cm hole and as there was no check valves in the holding tanks, the water began to enter the ship through every shower, waste disposal unit and shower connected to the system, and as the water had flooded the generators, the power to the engines had been cut in fear of shorting the electrics, the Oceanos was now just a sitting duck in bad weather.
Luckily however for the passengers, vessels that were nearby picked up the distress call and raced to the location in order to save the passengers. It took the South African Air Force and the Navy seven hours and 16 helicopters to rescue every single person on board, saving 571 people.
The Oceanos managed to stay afloat all the way until 1530 hours on the 4th of August before it finally reached its watery grave.