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Batumi, Georgia

Özlem Shipwreck

A shipwreck named Desire at the shore of Batumi. 

Sorry, Özlem Shipwreck is permanently closed.

Shipwrecks are decidedly captivating and eery. Looming ghostlike deep beneath the water’s surface, resting motionless in the dark, from the world-famous to the unknown, they can be found close by nearly any shoreline.

While most remain subsurface, silently resting beneath the waves and leaving the sparkling water above pristine and undisturbed, their inherently striking appearance is magnified in those rare instances when the wreck is above the surface.

Whether it be part of a ship graveyard or simply the shell of a once-mighty vessel, forgotten after its use ran out, above water shipwrecks are a fascinating glimpse at something usually hidden from view.

The Özlem (Turkish for “Desire”) is one such above-surface shipwreck at the shore of Batumi, Georgia’s main coastal town. The Turkish tanker ran ashore near the Black Sea port, and has remained in the exact spot where it “sank,” half-crippled, during the ensuing years.

Broken in the center, the tanker’s middle part sank into the murky water, leaving its ends to jut out of the water – a colorful tragedy that attracts an ever-growing number of curiosity seekers.

Local kids use the tanker’s remains as a diving board. In recent years the shipwreck has become a minor tourist attraction among holidaymakers in the coastal town.

Update April, 2017: Local authorities removed the wreck a couple years ago.