Video from 2021 shared as oil tanker caught amid Hurricane Idalia

By: Annet Preethi Furtado
August 31 2023

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Video from 2021 shared as oil tanker caught amid Hurricane Idalia


The Verdict False

The video supposedly showing a ship stranded during the Category 3 landfall of Hurricane Idalia in August is an old video from 2021.

Claim ID ef279ea2

On August 30, 2023, Hurricane Idalia struck the shores as a Category 3 storm in Keaton Beach, on Florida's Gulf Coast near Tallahassee. Following a swift escalation in strength during its course across the Gulf of Mexico, the hurricane briefly attained Category 4 status. It made landfall in Florida's Big Bend area with maximum sustained winds of 125 miles per hour, after which it eventually reduced in intensity to a Category 2 storm. CBS News reported videos and photographs that vividly depicted the aftermath of the storm's impact on the Florida Big Bend region, showing the damage resulting from its powerful winds, intense rainfall, and large waves.

What's the claim?

Against the backdrop of the hurricane, inaccurate and misleading images and videos are circulating on social media in connection to the storm. One such video, posted on platform X on August 30, shows an oil tanker navigating through a fierce storm. It garnered 9,132 views and 125 likes. The post caption reads, "Oil Tanker Caught in Tropical Storm Idalia on 8/28 - Surprisingly, it remained stable." The 16-second-long video inside this post contained the inlaid text: “Oil Tanker Nearly Gets Flipped” and the date 8/28/23.

Another iteration of the post from August 28, carrying an 11-second version of the same video of the oil tanker, reads, “#BREAKING #USA #Florida Oil Tanker almost flips after being caught in tropical storm Idalia off the coast of Florida.” The archives can be found here and here

The video is being shared with a claim that it shows a ship stuck amid Hurricane Idalia. (Source: X/@matttttt187/@NationalIndNews/Altered by Logically Facts)

However, the video is from 2021 and doesn't show a ship navigating through Hurricane Idalia in August 2023.

What we found

We analysed the video and found that Getty Images published the video in 2021 and captioned it "Oil Tanker Caught In Horrible Storm In the North Sea." The video from Getty Images lasts 46 seconds, while the widely circulated viral video is a cropped version lasting less than 16 seconds. By comparing the alignment of the ship's bow at the 0:01 timestamp in the viral video with the 0:25 timestamp in the Getty Images video, it becomes evident that the viral footage is unrelated to Cyclone Idalia. The same yellow object can be seen on both the ships. The video's description on Getty Images read: "An Oil Tanker navigating through an immense tempest on August 16, 2021, in the expanse of the North Sea." The credit for the video is attributed to Thomas A.D./Licet Studio.

Comparison between the viral video and the video posted by Getty Images. (Source: X/@matttttt187/Getty ImagesAltered by Logically Facts)

Furthermore, the 45-second video matching that which was published by Getty Images was shared on Newsflare, an online platform for video news, on August 16, 2021, with the caption: "Astonishing Captain's View of an Oil Tanker Battling Heavy Seas During a Storm near Denmark." 

Comparison between the viral video and the video posted on Newsflare. (Source: X/@matttttt187 /Newsflare)

The same video clip was extensively shared and went viral in June 2023 as footage of a ship stuck in a chaotic storm during Cyclone Biparjoy. Logically Facts debunked the claim at the time.


Screenshot of the viral posts from June 2023 claiming it to be footage of a ship stuck in a storm during Cyclone Biparjoy. (Source: X/@Hayeeyou/@Ninad0921/ Altered by Logically Facts)

The verdict

The video purportedly showing an oil tanker flailing in the sea amid Hurricane Idalia is an old video from 2021. Therefore, we have marked the claim as false. 

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Global Fact-Checks Completed

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