The Shipwreck of Lady Elizabeth – Falkland Islands - Atlas Obscura
Unusual adventures and hidden discoveries. Explore our 2018 trips now »

Falkland Islands

The Shipwreck of Lady Elizabeth

This haunting ghost ship stands beached in the waters off the coast of the Falkland Islands. 

Called the “Lady Liz” by locals, this three-masted rusted iron barque drifted into Whalebone Cove in February, 1936, and has remained ever since.

The Lady Elizabeth was launched from Sunderland, England, on June 4th, 1879. She was built to replace a prior Lady Elizabeth, which had sunk off the coast of Western Australia in 1878. The second Lady Elizabeth voyaged all around the world, hauling cargo successfully for over 30 years.

On December 4th, 1912, the Lady Elizabeth left Vancouver with a shipment of lumber. She was headed for Mozambique. While sailing around Cape Horn, she encountered strong gales. The ship was damaged, much of the cargo lost, and four men were thrown overboard. While limping into Berkley Sound on her way to Port Stanley for repairs, she suffered extensive damage to her hull when she struck Uranae Rock, off Volunteer Point. Once reaching Port Stanley, she was declared unseaworthy and bought by the Falkland Island Company to be used as a floating timber warehouse.

On February 17, 1936, a fierce storm battered the Lady Elizabeth. She broke free of her moorings, drifted into Whalebone Cove and was beached on a shallow sandbar. Over the years, she has been vandalized by opportunists who have stolen her wood and other valuables. Today, she still stands, corroded but proud. Her current owner, the Crown Receiver of Wrecks, has attempted to convert her into a floating museum, but the project has stalled due to lack of funding.