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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. Stories of humans against nature, heroism in the face of catastrophe, and deadly secrets buried at sea. Witness some of the most harrowing shipwrecks in modern history, presented through immersive firsthand accounts of the disasters and marine investigations that followed. From cruise liners to bulk carriers to fishing boats, we look back on the final moments of these doomed vessels and those who sacrificed it all to try to save their ships and their crews.

Disasters at Sea is a series that is currently running and has 3 seasons (19 episodes). The series first aired on September 28, 2018.

Where do I stream Disasters at Sea online? Disasters at Sea is available for streaming on Smithsonian Channel, both individual episodes and full seasons. You can also watch Disasters at Sea on demand at Paramount+, Amazon Prime, Amazon, Hulu, Vudu, FuboTV, The Roku Channel, Google Play, Apple TV online.

Friday at 9:00 PM on Smithsonian Channel
3 Seasons, 19 Episodes
September 28, 2018
Documentary & Biography, History, Reality
8.1/10
Cast: John Dickhout, Michael Pongracz, JoAnn Nordstrom
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Disasters at Sea Full Episode Guide

  • Stories of humans against nature, heroism in the face of catastrophe, and deadly secrets buried at sea. Witness some of the most harrowing shipwrecks in modern history, presented through immersive firsthand accounts of the disasters and marine investigations that followed. From cruise liners to bulk carriers to fishing boats, we look back on the final moments of these doomed vessels and those who sacrificed it all to try to save their ships and their crews.

  • It was a doomed ferry trip, full of unexpected heroes and villains. When MS Herald of Free Enterprise capsized within minutes into its journey across the English Channel, dozens of passengers and crew members rushed to save the lives of the 539 people trapped on board. Despite their efforts, 193 died in the accident. In the investigation that followed, evidence would put the ship's management and the entire ferry industry under the spotlight. Visceral reenactments and interviews with survivors and examiners shed new light on this harrowing disaster.

  • When a fishing vessel and its experienced crew vanish off the Alaskan coast, investigators discover a series of troubling clues.

  • When a massive cargo ship explodes in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, an expert chemist uncovers what happened.

  • An explosion on a chemical tanker in 2004 off the coast of Virginia leads to heroic rescue efforts and an investigation full of shocking revelations.

  • It was a maritime catastrophe that never should have happened. A 590-foot bulk carrier made of fracture-resistant steel and built to survive the roughest of storms snaps in two in the middle of the North Atlantic, killing 21 of the 25-man crew. Investigators race to find out what caused the accident. What they discover is a deadly history involving bulk carriers, raising the terrifying possibility that other active vessels could be in danger. Harrowing recreations and interviews with two lucky survivors bring this disaster at sea to life.

  • 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.