MS Zenobia was a Swedish built Challenger-class RO-RO ferry launched in 1979 that capsized and sank close to Larnaca, Cyprus, in June 1980 on her maiden voyage. She now rests on her port side in approximately 42 metres (138 ft) of water and was named as one of The Times top ten wreck diving sites in the world in 2003.
The Zenobia was built at the Kockums Varv AB shipyard in Sweden and was delivered to her owners Rederi AB Nordö in late 1979. She left Malmo, Sweden on her maiden voyage, bound for Tartous, Syria on 4 May 1980, loaded with 104 lorries with cargo destined for Mediterranean and the Middle East. She passed through the Strait of Gibraltar on 22 May 1980, stopping first at Heraklion, Crete and then to Piraeus, Athens, Greece. On the way to Athens the captain noticed steering problems and the Zenobia began listing to port. Following checks, it was determined the list was caused by excess water that had been pumped into the ballast tanks, this was pumped out and she then departed for her penultimate stop at Larnaca, Cyprus before reaching Syria.
She arrived at Larnaca on 2 June 1980, where the ballast problem had reoccurred, engineers discovered that the computerised pumping system was pumping excess water into the side ballast tanks, making the list progressively worse. On 4 June, the Zenobia was towed out of Larnaca harbour to prevent her becoming an obstruction should the worst happen and was left at anchor roughly 1.5 – 2 km offshore. On 5 June, with the ship listing at around 45° the captain dismissed the engineers and maintenance crew and requests from the captain to return her to Larnaca harbour were denied.