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Knock Nevis

The Knock Nevis is a Norwegian owned supertanker, formerly known as Seawise Giant, Happy Giant, and Jahre Viking. It is 458 meters (1504 feet) in length and 69 m (226 ft) in width, making it the largest ship in the world. It was built between 1979 and 1981, sunk by the Iraqi airforce in 1986 during the Iran-Iraq War, and refloated in 1991.

The ship

Knock Nevis has a deadweight of 564,763 t (tonnes) and a summer displacement of 647,955 t when laden with nearly 650,000 m³ (4.1 million barrels) of petroleum. It sits 24.6 metres in the water when fully loaded, which makes it impossible for it to navigate even through the English Channel, let alone man-made canals at Suez and Panama. It sits too deep for most harbors, so it needs to be loaded and unloaded while anchored at open sea, which increases the risk of accidents and spillages. The ship sails under the flag of Singapore. It is crewed by 40 people.


Knock Nevis was built at Sumimoto Corporation 's Oppama shipyard in Japan for a Greek owner who went bankrupt before the ship was finished. The unfinished ship was bought by a Hong Kong shipping magnate who had it extended for several meters, thus increasing its load-carying capacity and making it the largest ship ever built. The ship was finally floated two years later and named Seawise Giant.

At first it operated in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, but it was then used for exporting oil from Iran during the Iran-Iraq War. In 1986, the ship was attacked and sunk in the Strait of Hormuz by Iraqi aircraft with Exocet missiles. At the end of the Iran-Iraq War in 1989, the ship was refloated, repaired, and renamed Happy Giant. In 1991, it was renamed again, this time to the Jahre Viking.

In March 2004, the ship was sent to the Dubai drydocks to be refitted as a floating storage and offloading unit [1]. There, it was given its current name, Knock Nevis. The ship will operate at the Al Shaheen oilfield in the waters of Qatar.

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Last updated: 11-08-2004 07:35:13