Star Trek: 10 Worst Lost Ships Found By Starfleet, Ranked
One common occurrence used by Star Trek writers to put the characters in a bind is the discovery of a derelict ship in the great unknown. These lost ships are normally just people suffering, or the bodies of those who deserved better, but finding those lost people always causes trouble. Where it's an incurable disease or ruining someone's life, the danger that comes with finding and "saving" a lost ship is rarely worth the time.
Every starship captain has too kind a heart to abandon them, or just pass their ship by, but maybe every once in awhile they really should just leave them be. Here are 10 of the worst lost ships found by Starfleet, ranked.
10 SS Tsiolkovsky (TNG)
As an homage to TOS, one of TNG's weirdest episodes was "The Naked Now." Finding a derelict ship floating in space, the away party beams over and explores a little too liberally. They become infected with a disease that basically intoxicates people and encourages them to feel sensual, do dangerous things, and it dooms them to hurt themselves.
Maybe they should've worn some protective gear, especially with the number of lost ships that give people trouble. Either way, considering this sickness almost had a body count of four whole ships or more (including the original Enterprise), these Starfleet types should be more careful.
9 SS Equinox (VOY)
All the way in the Delta Quadrant, Voyager did spend a little time with another Starfleet ship. Just like Janeway's crew, they were pulled across the cosmos by The Caretaker. They were being attacked by unknown aliens when Voyager found them and, for a while, they traveled together to try to get closer to home.
However, like many missing ships from Starfleet, things didn't go well. In desperation, the Equinox had been sacrificing the aliens after them for fuel. Voyager had to fight back against their own people to stop the Equinox from doing this awful thing, and they have to blow up the ship. Only five Equinox members survived.
8 SS Enterprise-C (TNG)
Even though this is one of the best TNG episodes and is a better, more apt send-off for the late Tasha Yar, running into that other Enterprise caused a lot of chaos. It broke and altered the timeline, pitted them against new enemies, and could have ruined the more peaceful Starfleet future forever.
To give the Enterprise some credit, they more ran into this time aberration and didn't exactly seek it out. But that doesn't make this problematic lost ship find any less dangerous and ruinous than any other, especially since it resulted in a second tragic, miserable death for Tasha Yar (and the birth of Sela).
7 SS Stargazer (TNG)
Finding the Stargazer never would have been a good thing for Picard. While it was his beloved first ship, it also held a lot of traumatic memories for him. Here, he lost one of his closest friends and was left with countless regrets. Facing that after so many years was no picnic.
Even though the Ferengi were baiting Picard on purpose, even interacting with the Stargazer was a mistake and the whole crew should have been on high alert and never let Picard leave. It was a trap, but they let themselves walk deeper into it until it almost was too late.
6 SS Valiant (DS9)
During his time at Starfleet Academy, Nog absolutely idolized Red Squad, an elite group of students who were given extra classes and secret assignments to supposedly become the best of the best. But with the Dominion War going on, Starfleet took it one step too far and started giving these abject children early military training. It's no surprise that it went poorly.
After some tragedies, their ship (the Valiant) was left with Red Squad to lead it instead of any seasoned officers. When Nog and Jake found them, they were running thin mentally, unprepared, and ill-experienced. If Jake hadn't been so suspicious of them, they never would've made it out alive.
5 SS Hiawatha (DIS)
In the end, finding the USS Hiawatha helped save Jett Reno and her entire crew, something that helped prepare the Discovery for dealing with the Red Angel technology.
However, trying to save these people also cost Discovery its new science officer and almost cost them its new captain. If it wasn't for Keyla, Joann, and Michael, Captain Pike never would've survived. Like all lost ships, it almost leads to complete and utter disaster. While everyone is happy Jett and her sarcasm joined the crew, the rescue mission was a bad idea from the start.
4 Axanar Vessel (ENT)
Captain Archer in particular is notorious for bad decisions concerning derelict ships. In one of their first outings, Archer takes himself and others onto a de-pressurized ship. They end up finding hung bodies and corpses. They leave, luckily with no problems, but then Archer forces them to come back. And to think, he almost made it out.
Next time they go back, the hostile ship that destroyed and bled out the other crew appears. If it wasn't for Hoshi's translation skills, they would've been destroyed.
3 SS Bonaventure (TAS)
The first ship to have a warp drive installed was the USS Bonaventure. Unfortunately, this young starship went missing in the 2260s.
Centuries later, the Enterprise (one of the best ships in Starfleet) discovered the lost ship in Elysia, the space version of the Bermuda Triangle. This place is really a powder-keg of danger, as it's filled with countless lost ships. There, the captains of each ship are responsible for every action of every member of their crew. Luckily they escape, but between fighting the Klingons and running into so many lost ships, they really hit a trifecta of bad luck.
2 SS Exeter (TOS)
Kirk and company ran into more than one terribly unpleasant lost ship. One of the worst was the SS Exeter, a ship floating in space over the planet Omega IV. Everyone on board had lost their lives to a terrible disease, but worse, the Enterprise crew discovered that their old captain let them suffer and fled to the planet all by himself to survive. And even better, said captain threatens them.
Happily, they took control of the situation from Captain Tracey, but all it took was finding one lost ship to cause a whole bunch of chaos.
1 SS Pegasus (TNG)
In a Riker-defining episode, the Enterprise finds his old ship (The Pegasus) and helps uncover some mutinous old secrets.
While Riker deserves to face his old demons and grow, digging up those old wounds caused a lot more trouble. After all, it got Romulans and tenuous treaties involved. His old captain may have gotten his just comeuppance, but it caused a lot of arguments and political danger. Riker could've dealt with his ex-captain without finding a cursed lost ship.