World’s largest oil ship since the history of time, Seawise Giant was a Japanese-built crude oil tanker that was delivered in 1979. Known by at least five different names during the course of her service, she was a celebrity oil ship for several reasons.
Stretching over 458.45 meters, she was the longest of all sailing vessels ever built. Her 24.6 meter draft rendered her so large that she couldn’t navigate the Panama and Suez Canals as well as the English Channel. She was also the heaviest ship ever built. Impressed? There’s more! With a deadweight tonnage of 564,763 DWT, the maximum cargo weight she could carry safely remains unmatched by any other ship to this day.
During the Iran-Iraq war of 1980, she was struck down by missiles fired by the Iraqi Air Force while voyaging through the Hormuz Strait. The day was May 14, 1988, she was carrying crude oil from Iran and the missiles set her and the cargo ablaze in no time. Damaged, Seawise Giant sank and was declared a write-off by insurers. However, soon after the war ended, she was raised from the water bed, repaired and by 1991, she was back in service. Though scraped in 2010, her anchor is up for exhibition in the Hong Kong Maritime Museum.