Robertsport Ghost Ship – Robertsport, Liberia - Atlas Obscura

Robertsport Ghost Ship

Robertsport, Liberia

After several weeks of radio silence, this abandoned oil tanker washed up on a remote beach in Liberia. 

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In 2016, this mysterious ship bearing the name Tamaya 1 washed up on the shores of Robertsport, Liberia. After the 60-meter-long ship washed ashore, it took government officials several days to realize what had happened, as the Liberian coast is largely unmonitored. Two days later, the government officials learned about the mystery ship on their shores, the Coast Guard boarded the vessel to investigate. The lifeboats were missing and there was no trace of the crew. The Ministry of National Defense put out a statement saying that the bridge was “gutted by fire” and all documents onboard the ship had been burned to a crisp.

Theories began to circulate about the cause. The Tamaya was an oil tanker bound for Dakar, Senegal, that had last been seen some three weeks before it washed up on the Robertsport beach. Some suspected the crew and ship had been victims of piracy. That theory was dismissed, as the vessel’s last known position was outside of the waters where pirate groups typically operate.

Several months after the incident, the alleged owner, Nigerian national Robert M. Saigba, came to Liberia to meet with government officials. Saigba claimed that the crew was forced to abandon ship to a fishing vessel, leaving behind the Tamaya and their lifeboat. The lifeboat was later found washed up in Edina, Liberia, about 125 miles away.

Know Before You Go

The ship is a short coastal hike south from Nana's Lodge. Following the coast will get you to the ship, but you will have to either walk across some slippery rocks on the coast or go around them through the forest. The hike is not too difficult but you should take care to wear proper shoes that have grip, not beach sandals.

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