The MS Arctic Explorer was a ship which sank off St Anthony, Newfoundland, in the Strait of Belle Isle, on 3 July 1981.
The 165 foot, 900 tonne icebreaker sank in calm seas in less than 20 minutes leaving 13 crew members dead and 19 survivors drifting in two inflatable liferafts for more than two days until rescued by the Canadian Coast Guard. The ship was chartered to Geophysical Service Inc., a seismic exploration company, which was owned by Texas Instruments at the time she sank. It was often incorrectly reported that the ship hit an iceberg. It appears that a ballast problem was the more likely cause.
The Arctic Explorer had just left the port of Saint Anthony, heading for Frobisher Bay, when it took on a list to starboard and sank three hours into its voyage. Following two days without any communication to the shore base, the vessel was reported missing to the Canadian Coast Guard, who mounted an air search and found the survivors within six hours.