RMS Empress of Ireland

The Ship

Struck amidships by the Norwegian coaler Storstad. 29 May 1914

The second worst peacetime disaster in maritime history involved the Clyde-built RMS Empress of Ireland
It sank in 1914 with the loss of 1012 passengers and crew - just two years after the tragedy of the Titanic, which sank with the loss of 1513 lives.
She had been built for the Canadian Pacific Railway Co at Fairfields shipyard in Govan.
In June 1906 she made her maiden voyage from Liverpool to Quebec.
Despite being delayed by fog she managed to achieve a North Atlantic record by covering 460 knots in a single day.
On May 28th 1914, she set sail from Quebec on her 96th voyage. The following day, close to shore in the Gulf of St Lawrence, disaster struck in the shape of the Norwegian collier SS Storstad.
In heavy fog, the fully-laden collier, with her heavily plated bow designed for ice-breaking, ploughed into the liner's starboard side, gouging a hole more than 15ft deep.
The liner sank within 14 minutes in about 130ft of freezing water.
SS Storstad survived - only to be torpedoed three years later off the coast of Ireland.

My Postcards

Not postally used.
Postcard series: Valentine's


Posted 7 Sep 1911.
Postcard series: Hugo Lane & Co. Liverpool


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