Shipwreck is a misfortune with a ship on the water, in which the vessel is in distress and needs to be abandoned.

The reasons for this are, inter alia, damage, capsizing, stranding, running aground on rocks or reefs, shoals, severe damage ( such as fire, leakage ) or involvement in Tang (see Sargasso Sea ).

The passengers and the crew must save himself and get help. They are shipwrecked.

From the 1970s, numerous cases are occupied, in which saw passing by in rafts or boats ships in 0.5 to 1.5 nautical miles distance shipwrecked and they have not been able to make their presence felt and to cause the ship's crew, they on board to take. Thus, for example, describe Maurice and Maralyn Bailey, whose yacht Auralyn on March 4, 1973 sank about 300 miles off San Cristobal in the Galapagos Islands, which were taken on 30 June 1973 from a South Korean fishing boat on board, in its Book a total of seven encounters with ships that drove past them.

Under international maritime law ( Geneva Convention II of 1949), all ships are obliged to interrupt their journey to take shipwrecked.

Rescue and medical care at sea

Targeted help provide the world's search-and - rescue organizations in Germany, the German Society for Sea Rescue ( GMRS ) is active.

Hospital ships are generally larger vessels whose primary task is the medical and other supplies that find themselves at sea in need. This includes not only the sick and injured and shipwrecked with a. Another important task of hospital ships is the transport of sick and injured persons by sea. Most hospital ships belonging to the military medical corps. A hospital ship in the service of a civil institution is the Spanish Esperanza del Mar. Their main area is the Atlantic Ocean along the West African coast between Morocco and Mauritania and Ghana. The home port of Las Palmas in Gran Canaria.