The Empress of Ireland Disaster - Oceanliners and Classic Cruise Ships Magazine

The Empress of Ireland Disaster

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The Empress of Ireland disaster was the second of the three major ocean liner tragedies that occurred within the three-year span between April 1912 (Titanic) and May 1915 (Lusitania).

The Empress of Ireland Disaster

A commemorative postage stamp depicting the Empress of Ireland tragedy.

On the morning of 29 May 1914, in one of the worst disasters in maritime history, Canadian Pacific Line’s Empress of Ireland, carrying 1,477 passengers and crew, collided with the Norwegian collier Storstad in Canada’s St. Lawrence River.

Storstad smashed 15 feet into Empress’ starboard side. The liner sank in less than 14 minutes, drowning 1,012 of her passengers and crew. Safety measures instituted just two years earlier in the wake of the Titanic disaster had little impact on the liner’s fate.

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