Wreckage of the Dominator

Hull of the DominatorChristmas day seemed like a great time to visit the decaying hull of 44 year old crashed freighter scattered in pieces on the coast of Palos Verdes.

In March of 1961 the Greek freighter Dominator got stranded on some rocks at the base of the cliffs:

The Dominator was a sensational story at the time it went down after striking a reef one early evening in March 1961. It carried 29 crewmen and 9,000 tons of grain. There was no difficulty in saving the crew, only in saving the ship. Tugs struggled for several days, trying to free the freighter from the rocks as crowds gathered to watch from the cliff tops.

It has been sitting on the beach, rusting ever since. Here is a photo taken at some time in the early 1980s, showing the hull more intact than it is now.

To get there we used directions taken from localhikes.com, coupled with my trusty Afoot and Afield in Los Angeles County guide(get one today, seriously). In both cases, the directions took a little interpretation, so we ended up finding a trail down the cliffs which the surfers were using to get down, at the corner of a bluff.

It’s definitely worth checking out, especially if you like to take pictures. Plenty of excellent rust textures, and decaying bolts for macro fanatics. Be aware, though, that the terrain is plenty rocky, so be prepared for that.


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