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Disasters at Sea is a documentary series about the most mysterious and unexpected marine disasters in recent history, recreated through the visceral first-hand accounts of seamen and women on their worst day, and for some, their finest hour. Disasters at Sea is a Documentary & Biography, History, Reality series that is currently running and has 2 seasons (13 episodes). The series first aired on September 28, 2018. It has mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 8.2.

Disasters at Sea is available for streaming on the Smithsonian Channel website, both individual episodes and full seasons. You can also watch Disasters at Sea on demand at Apple TV+, CBS, Amazon Prime, Amazon, Hulu, Vudu, FuboTV, The Roku Channel, Google Play, iTunes online.

Friday at 9:00 PM on Smithsonian Channel
2 Seasons, 13 Episodes
September 28, 2018
Documentary & Biography, History, Reality
8.2/10
Cast: John Dickhout, Michael Pongracz, JoAnn Nordstrom
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Disasters at Sea Full Episode Guide

  • The fishing boat Lady Mary and her crew are hauling scallops in near-freezing waters off the shores of New Jersey in 2009. On their final night, something goes wrong, and the vessel suddenly begins to sink. The freezing waters, coupled with a delayed response from the Coast Guard, lead to the death of six of the seven men onboard. It's up to the Coast Guard to find out what happened and why emergency units weren't alerted until 90 minutes after the ship sank.

  • Thousands of vessels are lured to Alaska's Bering Sea every year by the lucrative fishery. But the weather and seas can be rough, and for one trawler in 2001, they were even deadly. The speed at which the Arctic Rose sank on April 2nd stunned the fishing industry; there wasn't even time for its captain to issue a mayday call. This prompted the Coast Guard to launch its highest level of investigation. Together with the NTSB, they needed to discover why the ship sank so fast in order to prevent a similar disaster from happening again.

  • In March 2006, the Queen of the North sank after running aground on Gil Island in Wright Sound. What caused this historically strong and sturdy vessel to sink?

  • On December 28 2014, the Italian-owned car ferry Norman Atlantic had just left a Greek port with 487 passengers and 12 crew aboard, bound for Southern Italy, when a deadly and disastrous fire broke out on the car deck. What caused the ferocious flames on this passenger ferry and why did it spread so quickly?

  • Containership SS El Faro is halfway into its run from Jacksonville, Florida to San Juan, Puerto Rico, carrying 12,000 tons of cargo. The massive 790-foot vessel is built for rough weather, but it's about to meet its match in the form of Category 3 hurricane Joaquin. After the 33-person crew loses a battle against 115-MPH winds and 26-foot swells, the U.S. Coast Guard and NTSB join forces to find out why the ship sailed straight towards the eye of the storm.

  • Containership SS El Faro is halfway into its run from Jacksonville, Florida to San Juan, Puerto Rico, carrying 12,000 tons of cargo. The massive 790-foot vessel is built for rough weather, but it's about to meet its match in the form of Category 3 hurricane Joaquin. After the 33-person crew loses a battle against 115-MPH winds and 26-foot swells, the U.S. Coast Guard and NTSB join forces to find out why the ship sailed straight towards the eye of the storm.

  • A violent crack tears the MSC Napoli apart and leaves the crew stranded. As the investigators dig into the cause of the wreck, they discover an alarming design flaw.

  • Flooding forces the crew of the Alaska Ranger to abandon ship in frigid waters off the coast of Alaska, setting off a massive rescue effort by the Coast Guard.

  • When a ship sinks off the coast of Antarctica, investigators must turn to the photos and videos taken by the surviving passengers to find out what went wrong.

  • When the MV Rocknes capsizes, investigators suspect the pilot veered off course. But soon they uncover a series of mistakes that happened before the ship left port.

  • When the SS Marine Electric sinks in a storm off the coast of Virginia, killing 31 sailors, the Coast Guard turns up a shocking cause for the disaster.

  • When an underwater image of a shipwreck suggests the crew is to blame, the families of the dead refuse to believe it and launch an intensive quest for answers.