10 Tragedies Of The Deep: Remembering Major Cruise Ship Disasters

10 Tragedies Of The Deep Remembering Major Cruise Ship Disasters - Merchant Navy Info - blog

The Titanic is considered the worst passenger cruise ship sinking. However, many historic cruise ships suffered the same fate, although they were not as famous as the RMS Titanic. The first cruise ships were built in the 1850s, but they gained great importance after the end of the World Wars, and vacations at sea became attractive. In the past, cruise ships were also built to target the wealthy sections of society. Additionally, 19th and 20th-century cruises were fraught with many risks compared to today’s voyages, which have become relatively safe due to advances in maritime technology. However, one similarity remains. The cruise is as exciting and exciting as it was then. This article describes how many cruise ships have sunk,.

1. The Ill-Fated RMS Titanic 

Perhaps the most infamous cruise ship disaster was the RMS Titanic. The Olympic-class ocean liner belonged to the White Star Line and was built in Northern Ireland. It was designed by Thomas Andrews and was the largest passenger ship of its time,  capable of carrying over 3,000 people. This ship was described as unsinkable because she has 16 watertight compartments that she can close in the event of a collision. Unfortunately, the ship sank during her first voyage from Southampton to New York. 

She struck a huge iceberg near Newfoundland, Canada, in April 1912,  and three hours later, she drowned, killing 1,500 of her 2,208 crew. The cold waters of the North Atlantic killed everyone from hypothermia before help arrived. His 1997 film directed by James Cameron forever remembered this ship’s accident. The Titanic was approximately 270 meters long and 28,042 meters wide. She had nine decks, and her gross tonnage was 46,328 tons. She was equipped with only 20 lifeboats and could accommodate 1,178 passengers. If there had been more lifeboats, precious lives would have been saved.

2. The Mighty Costa Concordia 

The Costa Concordia sank due to a small mistake by the captain and one of his officers. She was a spacious passenger ship with 17 decks, a three-story theater, a swimming pool, a gymnasium, a restaurant, and more. The ship had space for over 4,000 people. According to the investigation report, on January 13, 2012, the ship struck an underwater rock while sailing near the coast of Isola del Giglio. Captain Francesco Schettino turned off the computer navigation alarm, believing he could navigate the area on his own.

Unfortunately, he left his glasses in the cabin, and by the time he received his glasses, they were already damaged. The ship capsized and sank near Tuscany. Despite six hours of rescue efforts, 34 people died. Shockingly, despite persuasion from Japan Coast Guard officials, the captain abandoned the ship with 300 passengers still on board. He was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to 16 years in prison in 2017. 

3. The Graceful, Ms. Estonia Cruise Ferry 

MS Estonia was collided and sunk in the Baltic Sea in bad weather. This ship was built in 1980 by Meyer Werft in Papenburg, Germany. Before 1993, it was known by other names such as “Viking Sally” and “Wasa King.” She sank in September 1994 while sailing from Tallinn to Stockholm. According to reports, the ship sank due to the storm and high winds of 35 to 45 miles per hour after the bow door was unlocked.

This caused her ship to heel to her starboard side, after which excessive flooding of her vehicle deck caused her to become completely submerged. Within an hour, the ship rose sharply, and 852 people fell to the ocean floor. Only 137 passengers survived and were rescued. MS Estonia had a length of 155.43 m, a width of 24.2 m, a draft of 5.5 m, and a gross tonnage of 15,598 tons. It had nine decks and ten lifeboats, but not enough to accommodate 2,000 people. It can also carry over 410 cars.

4. Rms Lusitania 

The German attack on the cruise ship RMS Lusitania in 1915 was one of the major reasons the United States entered World War I. She was also attacked as a naval vessel, as she also had British military weapons on board. Military submarine U-20 attacks a cruise ship en route from New York to Liverpool. She was launched in 1906, built by John Brown and Corporation, and operated by the Cunard Company. The giant steamship was the largest and most luxurious ship of its time. She was approximately 240 m long, 27 m wide, and had a draft of 10.2 m, weighed 31,550 tons, had ten decks, and had a maximum sailing speed of 26.3 knots. It could easily carry 2,160 people and over 800 crew members. In this sinking, she lost 1,201 lives, most of them Americans.

5. Ss Andrea Doria  

SS Andrea Doria did not sink due to rough seas or collisions with icebergs or underwater formations. Instead, a radar misidentification caused her to collide with another passenger ship, the Stockholm. Therefore, this is considered the world’s largest radar-induced collision. The incident could not be avoided because visibility was obscured by thick fog. The accident occurred in July 1956 off the coast of Nantucket, Massachusetts, on a liner bound for New York.

Eleven hours later, the ship crashed under the starboard bridge and was engulfed by waves, giving surrounding ships enough time to respond to the SOS call. More than 50 people died, mainly from the impact, and more than 1,650 people were rescued.  Owned by Italian Line, it was built for a whopping $30 million. This ship with a total length of 212 m was equipped with 10 decks and powerful steam turbines, which allowed her to reach a maximum speed of 23 knots.

6. Ss Eastland 

When this tourist ship docked in a Chicago River port on  July 24, 1915, she killed 844 people. The ship rolled onto her starboard side and plunged into the water, trapping most of her passengers on board. This is one of the largest shipping accidents in  Great Lakes history. The accident occurred when 2,500 people boarded the ship, which was preparing for a cruise around Michigan. Possible causes of this disaster were design errors, overloading, and inadequate ballast tanks. She was then salvaged and given to the US Navy for restoration and modification. It became a gunboat named USS Wilmette and was used for training. It was dismantled after World War II. Introduced by  Michigan Transportation Company in 1903. The 275-meter cruise ship was equipped with 11 lifeboats and 37 life rafts. Her top speed was 16.5 knots.

7. Rms Empress Of Ireland 

The Empress of Ireland, carrying 1,477 passengers, collided with another Norwegian ship, the 6,000-ton Storstad, due to poor visibility in the St. Lawrence River. In May 1914, she had over 1,000 deaths. This was her second-largest cruise ship disaster at the time, after the Titanic disaster. The cruise ship followed the North Atlantic route between Liverpool and Quebec. There were 42 lifeboats, but only four were able to be lowered into the sea as she listed to starboard, causing panic and confusion on board.

The situation was made worse by the bitter cold and the inability to close the waterproof doors and portholes. The 168 m long and 20 m wide cruise ship was launched in 1906. The ship was owned by the Canadian Pacific Steamship Company and designed by Francis Elgar. Mirfield Shipping and Engineering was responsible for the construction. Her gross tonnage was 14,191, she had two steam engines and a propeller, and her top speed was 20 knots.

8. Ss Admiral Nakhimov 

The collision between the cruise ship SS Admiral Nakhimov and the bulk carrier Pyotr Vasev was due to the negligence of the captains of both ships. The bulk carrier’s captain did not respond to the cruise ship’s warning signals. Mr. H was not on the bridge when the two ships met at 5 knots. A shipwreck occurred in 1986 when she was on her way to Sochi in Tsemes Bay near the port of Novorossiysk. I carried her 1,234 passengers, of whom 423 died in the crash and its aftermath. Originally known as SS Berlin II, this cruise ship operated the Crimea-Caucasus route.

She was built by Bremer Vulkan and owned by Norddeutscher Lloyd. It was a majestic ship with a total length of 174 m, a width of 21 m, and a total weight of 17,054 tons. She could comfortably accommodate 1,125 passengers and over 300 of her crew. She had a cruising speed of 16 knots.

9. Ss Morro Castle 

The cruise ship SS Morro Castle caught fire and sank in September 1934, killing over 135 passengers and crew. A total of 318 passengers and 239 crew members were on board for the voyage from Havana to New York. The accident occurred when the fire spread from the library to the deck and cabin, engulfing the superstructure in flames. What bothered me was that the ship’s decorations were made of wood and other flammable materials. The fire could not be extinguished due to severe weather, incompetent personnel, and the ship’s design. There were several lifeboats on board, but only 12 of hers were able to be launched. 

The deck burst into flames underfoot, and passengers plunged into the ocean waves. The ship was abandoned in the afternoon, and the survivors were taken to a New Jersey coast. Interestingly,  the ship’s captain, Robert Wilmot, had passed away suddenly the night before. The first mate assumed command in fear of strong northeast winds and dark clouds. The exact cause of the fire remains a mystery. However, the cause is the overheating of the funnel and circuit. There are also rumors of arson by the crew in connection with this incident. Belongs to Agwi Navigation Company and was built in 1930. The cruise ship, with a total length of 155 meters, could carry 489 people, excluding 240 crew members, at a speed of 20 knots.

10. Saint-Philibert 

In June 1931, tragedy struck a small passenger ship sailing on the Loire River near the French coast. The ship was carrying 500 people, mainly workers and their children, from the port of Nantes. She exceeded capacity by 80%. The danger was doubled when they encountered rough seas and stormy weather that was unprecedented in the summer. The captain and her crew panicked, unable to do anything.

Only eight of the 500 passengers and crew survived this tragic accident. A severe storm forced the passengers to take shelter near the engine casing, and the ship listed to starboard, eventually being hit by a huge wave and capsized. The ship was not equipped to deal with bad weather, and neither the captain nor the crew had any experience. There was also no proper communications equipment on board. A trial was held in 1933, the victims’ families lost their case, and the shipowner was released without punishment. The cruise ship was 32 metres long, 6.4 metres wide and had a gross tonnage of 189 tons.

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