Report - - RMS Mülheim shipwreck, Land's End, Cornwall - August 2019 | Other Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - RMS Mülheim shipwreck, Land's End, Cornwall - August 2019

Sam the climber

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member

The Zeus was originally flying the flag of Antigua and Barbados, when she was bought by a German shipping company and renamed RMS Mülheim in 1999. She was a 295 foot steel cargo ship, carrying plastic car parts from Ireland to Germany, when disaster struck as she rounded Land's End on her way to Lübeck. At 5am on the 22nd March 2003, the Chief Officer fell and hit his head, knocking himself unconscious. When he awoke, the ship was travelling at 13 knots towards the Cornish coast, and it was too late to avoid running aground.

About a kilometre north of the Land's End Hotel, she was shipwrecked. The 6-man Polish crew were rescued safely by a helicopter scrambled from RNAS Culdrose, but her diesel and much of her cargo were lost.


After teaching the basics of multipitch trad climbing to a friend on a nearby sea cliff, I suggested a visit to an urbex spot I'd been longing to visit nearby. Humouring me, she agreed to walk to a point about a kilometre north from the Land's End Hotel, then down the hill into the obvious zawn at SW 347 258. Walking past signs warning of sharp metal, we scrambled down to the short area of beach, where half the Mülheim remains rusty but intact, while the other half appears to be scattered across a large ground area.

Climbing aboard, we found a rusty metal playground, with sketchy ladders and occasional holes in the floor where the deck has rusted through. In the bottom, we discovered the remains of an engine room, with all sorts of mechanical parts scattered around in the Mülheim's uniform orange. It's difficult to imagine the hard work, the boredom, and the sudden panic that she must have witnessed before her disastrous undoing, but there is something beautifully serene about this empty shell, lying so close to the crashing waves that carried her to her final resting place. Though comfortable enough on the vertical granite cliffs nearby, I've never felt at home at sea, and I was reminded of how arbitrarily deadly the ocean can be.

Finding no other way out of the zawn, we scrambled back up the damp path the way we came. We were glad to be in sensible footwear, as parts of the path had running water dribbling down it, but it took a couple of days to get the rust stains off my hands, as I had left my gloves with the climbing kit at the top.













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See a sticker, remove a sticker
28DL Full Member
Nice to see again, took a quick peek few months back, suprising how resistant this back part is, still seems the same as photos from a few years ago


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Stumbled across this wreck whilst on holiday (haven’t put a report on as it’s pretty well covered), nice little adventure down the cliff to it and it’s a different kind of explore. I would suggest that if your in the area it’s well worth a look.

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