World’s major disasters at sea in peacetime

Following is a timeline of some of the world’s major peacetime shipping disasters

• April 15, 1912 – Canada: The White Star passenger liner Titanic sank on her maiden voyage off Newfoundland after hitting an iceberg. Of the 2,200 passengers and crew aboard the ship, dubbed before its departure as unsinkable, 1,523 died.

• May 29, 1914: At least 1,012 people were killed when The Empress of Ireland passenger liner collided with a Norwegian freighter on the St Lawrence River in Canada. It was carrying 1,057 passengers and 420 crew.

• October 29, 1955: The Novorossiysk, formerly the Italian battleship Giulio Cesare, was moored near the shore at Sevastopol. She was the flagship of the Black Sea squadron of the Soviet Navy. The ship exploded, capsized and sank, killing 609 crew.

• July 25, 1956 – United States: Swedish American Line’s, Stockholm and the Italian Line’s Andrea Doria collided 45 miles off the coast of Nantucket Island in the US. Both ships were badly damaged but luckily the death toll was low with the Stockholm losing five crew and the Andrea Doria losing 45 passengers out of the 1,134 that were on board. The Andrea Doria sank.

• March 6, 1987: The car ferry Herald of Free Enterprise capsized and sank shortly after leaving the Belgian port of Zeebrugge. The vessel had 463 passengers and crew on board when it left the port with its bow doors still open. 193 people were killed.

• April 11, 1991: 140 people on the Italian ferry, the Moby Prince, died with only one crew member surviving when it rammed an anchored oil tanker, the Agip Abruzzo.

• Dec 15, 1991: 464 people were killed when the Salem Express hit coral outside the port of Safaga, 600 km southeast of Cairo in the Red Sea.

• December 2, 1994: The luxury liner Achille Lauro, ill-starred symbol of a once glorious Italian passenger fleet, sank off Somalia, more than two days after fire turned her into a floating inferno.


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