The 23-year old Argo Merchant had a history of mishaps and spills over the years, including two other groundings. It had been described as "an old and poorly managed ship."
It departed Venezuela on Dec. 3, 1976 and was expected to arrive at Boston, Mass., 10 days later but was delayed by weather and mechanical problems.
The U.S. Coast Guard planned to board and inspect the vessel in Boston, but of course, the vessel never made it to port.
This view of the Argo Merchant was captured at Balboa, Panama City, Panama earlier in 1976.