Timeline: Major peacetime ship disasters since the Titanic

Thu Feb 2, 2012 5:46am EST

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(Reuters) - A ferry sank on Thursday off the coast of Papua New Guinea with scores of people missing, Australian rescue authorities said.

Following is a timeline of some of the major peacetime shipping disasters since the Titanic sank 100 years ago:

April 15, 1912 - CANADA - The White Star passenger liner Titanic sank on its maiden voyage off Newfoundland after hitting an iceberg. Of the 2,228 passengers and crew aboard the ship, dubbed "unsinkable" before departure, 1,523 died.

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

October 25, 1927 - ATLANTIC - The luxury Italian liner Principessa Mafalda was headed for Rio de Janeiro from Cape Verde with 288 crew and 971 passengers when it caught fire and sank off the Brazilian coast. More than 300 people died.

January 31, 1953 - The Princess Victoria sank in the North Channel (between Scotland and Northern Ireland) during a storm. About 133 people were killed.

October 29, 1955 - SOVIET UKRAINE - The Novorossiysk, flagship of the Soviet Navy's Black Sea fleet, was moored at Sevastopol. It exploded, capsized and sank with the loss of 609 crew.

July 25, 1956 - UNITED STATES - The Swedish American Line's Stockholm and the Italian Line's Andrea Doria collided 45 miles off the coast of Nantucket Island. The Stockholm lost five crew, while the Andrea Doria sank, losing 45 of 1,134 passengers.

April 22, 1980 - PHILIPPINES - The ferry Don Juan, en route from Manila to Bacolod, sank in the Tablas Strait after it collided with the barge Tacloban City. At least 1,000 died.

August 31, 1986 - SOVIET UNION - Passenger liner Admiral Nakhimov collided with cargo ship Pyotr Vasev off the Black Sea port of Novorossiysk. A total of 423 passengers and crew died.

March 6, 1987 - BRITAIN - The car ferry Herald of Free Enterprise capsized and sank 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 open and 193 were killed.

December 20, 1987 - PHILIPPINES - In the worst peacetime sea tragedy, the ferry Dona Paz sank after colliding with the tanker Vector in the Sibuyan Sea, killing 4,375 on the ferry and 11 of the Vector's 13-man crew.

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

December 15, 1991 - EGYPT - 464 people were killed when the Salem Express hit coral off the port of Safaga in the Red Sea.

September 28, 1994 - ESTONIA/FINLAND - In Europe's worst peacetime disaster, 852 people drowned when the Estonia, carrying 989 people, sank off the Finnish island of Utoe, en route from Tallinn to Stockholm.

December 2, 1994 - ITALY - The luxury liner Achille Lauro sank off Somalia, some two days after catching fire. The ship had been hijacked in 1985 by Palestinians, who killed an elderly Jewish-American passenger and dumped his body overboard.

February 3, 2006 - EGYPT - The ferry Al-Salam Bocaccio 98 sank 90 km (56 miles) from Safaga after a fire broke out on the car deck. Of the 1,414 people aboard, 1,026 were killed.

June 21, 2008 - PHILIPPINES - The Philippine passenger and cargo vessel Princess of the Stars sank in central Philippines after being hit by a typhoon. It is thought only 52 of the 825 on board survived.

January 13, 2012 - ITALY - The Costa Concordia, a luxury cruise liner, hit rocks and keeled over. Of 4,229 passengers and crew, at least 17 people died. Fifteen people remain unaccounted for.

February 2 - The MV Rabaul Queen ferry sank 9 miles off Finschhafen on Papua new Guinea's north coast, with at least 350 people on board. Merchant ships picked up around 238.

(Reporting by David Cutler, London Editorial Reference Unit; Editing by Ron Popeski)

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