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2,862 Luxury Vehicles Lost At Sea

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Khatir Soltani

All 24 Crewmembers Saved but 2,862 Luxury Vehicles Drowned

The Tricolor capsized shortly before submerging.

During incidents like these it's important to think positively. At least the Tricolor, a car carrier operated by Wallenius Wilhelmsen (W&W) Lines of Oslo, Norway, wasn't filled to its 5,830 vehicle capacity and most importantly, all 24 crewmembers were saved.

Just the same 2,862 U.S.-bound Volvos, Saabs and BMWs and 77 containers of miscellaneous goods were lost, a treasure trove that might be worth diving for. But while a salvage company has sent a ship with divers on board to try to find a way of removing the wreck that lies in approximately 25 m (82 ft) of water, salvage experts are fairly certain that all the cars will need to be written off. The estimated value of the cargo is about $74 million CAD while the Tricolor is estimated to worth approximately $62 million CAD.

The Tricolor on its side just prior to submerging in 25 m (82 ft) of water.

But the cars were insured, right? That's true, but only for about $70 million, according to W&W. That's about $24,360 apiece, not quite enough to cover the cost of these luxury models.

The car carrier sailed from Zeebrugge, Belgium, on December 13th, the beginning of one of a routine round-the-globe voyage. At approximately 1:25 AM (0130 GMT) on December 14th the Tricolor was rammed by another freight ship, the Bahamian-registered Kariba, amid dense fog. The Kariba limped back to port with a crushed bow but the Tricolor sank shortly after the accident.

Khatir Soltani
Khatir Soltani
Automotive expert
As a car enthusiast, he tests and compares vehicles from different categories through the eyes of the consumer, ensuring relevant and objective reviews.
  • Over 6 years experience as a car reviewer
  • Over 50 test drives in the last year
  • Involved in discussions with virtually every auto manufacturer in Canada