Spanning over the beautiful blue waters of Tampa Bay is the iconic and remarkable SkyWay Bridge. But just as remarkable as the bridge’s engineering is the stories of tragic events that have occurred at its location over the years.
in 1980 two completely different tragedies happened in the waters near the bridge giving the bridge an infamous and eerie reputation.
On January 28th, 1980, the Blackthorn, a 180-foot vessel used to maintain and replace navigational buoys, was attempting to sail out of Tampa Bay. The Blackthorn’s captain had left the deck and left a junior officer in charge when the vessel encountered the tanker Capricorn floating in the bay. The ships were unable to make radio contact so the Capricorn blew two short whistles to communicate that they needed to pass starboard to starboard but the inexperienced junior officer didn’t understand.
The Blackthorn did make an attempt to avoid the Capricorn however, the two ships collided. Miraculously, the impact did not damage the Blackthorn, but unknown to all was the fact that during the collision, the Capricorn’s anchor got stuck in the side of Blackthorn’s hull. As the two ships moved apart, the Blackthorn capsized and twenty-three Coast Guard officers lost their lives.
A second Tragedy
On May 9th of the same year, in the same exact waters near the Skyway Bridge, the huge freighter Summit Venture was traveling through the channel when a sudden storm blew in out of nowhere, bringing with it heavy rains and gusty squalls.
The Captain of the freighter try as he might, was unable to keep control of the ship in the intense winds and the massive ship collided with two main supports that held up the middle and tallest span of the Skyway Bridge.
The roadway began to break away and fall to the water below and the captain watched in horror as vehicles began to plunge the 150 feet to the bay below.
35 people would met their untimely death on that horrible stormy day .
Ghostly Sightings of a Suicidal Blonde Woman
Both the original bridge and the replacement bridge built after the 1980 disaster, have been the site of countless suicides. In fact, over 200 people have tragically jumped to their deaths from the Skyway.
One of the most famous ghost stories of the Skyway is the blonde hitchhiker that gets a ride on one side of the bridge but vanishes before the good samaritan driver reaches the other side.
With all the tragedy that has occurred around the Skyway, there is no wonder why it is considered one of the most haunted locations in the Tampa Bay Area.