Shipwreck Jump

By Robb Flynn

Flashback to Turks and Caicos, we took waverunners out to a shipwreck called La Famille Express.  Bless the British West Indies and their glorious lack of safety regulations and laws, this shit would be SOOO shut down if it was in American waters. But here they allow you to climb up and jump off into the 7 to 8 foot water. ⠀

The inside of this thing is beautiful and terrifying all at the same time.  Jagged shards of rusty metal everywhere you look once you climb in, not to mention rusty pockmarked floors that look extremely unstable to support someone’s weight walking across it.  It is literally a tenitis nightmare. ⠀

The whole family went for it though, and it was a blast!! In fact Zander went twice, and Wyatt went three times.  Technically not a shipwreck, it was dislodged from an island about 90 miles away in a hurricane, and now is permanently stuck about a mile and a half offshore in the shallow waters.  If you ever go to Providenciales, definitely worth the adventure!

More on La Famille Express:

The history of the La Famille Express began in 1953 and in a much colder environment – the Soviet Union. The vessel started life as an oil rig service ship, transferring supplies to remote offshore oil wells. At its initial lunch, the ship was christened the Форт-Шевченко, or Fort Shevenko in English, after the military port town in the Caspian Sea.

The La Famille Express's anchor.
Decades later in 1992, the Fort Shevenko was decommissioned. For about ten years, the ship saw various uses in the Baltic area, and then became the maritime La Famille Express under the Panama flag in 1999, and served as a regional freighter ship in the Caribbean. At this point in its life, the La Famille Express was in poor condition and being used to transport bulk rock, not something that a valued freighter ship would be used for. 

The La Famille Express became firmly planted in the shallow waters of the Caicos Banks during Hurricane Frances in 2004. Under the high winds, the unmanned vessel had actually dragged its anchor from the South Dock area of Providenciales, a distance of almost 12 miles (19km). This anchor is still in the water near the ship.