Beached Tanker of Sukhumi – Sukhumi, Georgia - Atlas Obscura

Sukhumi, Georgia

Beached Tanker of Sukhumi

Spilling petroleum and diesel into the water since 2009. 

Sorry, Beached Tanker of Sukhumi is permanently closed.

This Turkish oil tanker broke anchor in late 2009 and has been stuck on the beach in Sukhumi, Abkhazia, ever since. Little else is known about the tanker, which has been spilling petrol and diesel fuel into the water. Over time, the tanker will cause serious damage to the local ecosystem and population. It is suggested that the tanker was taking fuel from Turkey to Abkhazia.

Sukhumi is the capital of the breakaway republic of Abkhazia, though it is only recognized as independent by Russia, Nicaragua, Venezuela, and Nauru. In the local Abkhaz language it is called Aq’wa and it is known as Suxum in Russian.

Because of this isolation, it is very poor and ignored by the international community with the government having a budget of only roughly $150 million dollars a year and therefore have been unable to remove the tanker (which was there illegally in the eyes of the Georgian government and much of the international community).

It has instead become a favorite local fishing spot and is free to explore to all those who make it to Abkhazia.

Update 2017: The tanker has now been removed for safety reasons.