Oceanic — A Giant of Her Time - Page 2 of 3 - Oceanliners and Classic Cruise Ships Magazine

Oceanic — A Giant of Her Time

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Oceanic was dogged by bad luck for most of her 15-year career. There was a 1901 collision with Kincora under foggy conditions that resulted in seven fatalities. Then there was the time in April 1912 when Oceanic almost became involved in the near-collistion between New York and Titanic as the brand new liner left Southampton on her ill-fated maiden voyage. (Titanic Second Officer Charles Lightoller, incidentally, was a former Oceanic officer.)

In 1905 Oceanic earned the dubious honor of becoming the first White Star ship to experience a mutiny. Stokers, upset with their hellish working conditions, put down their shovels and other tools, idling the liner. White Star management, and the UK government, weren’t amused. The industrial action resulted in the conviction and imprisonment 35 “black gang” workers.

Converted into an armed merchant cruiser, Oceanic met her demise in World War I, but not in the usual torpedo attack sort of way. She ran aground in the Shetland Islands due to a navigational error. The government hushed up the incident, however, fearing a negative impact on national morale.

The wreck wasn’t salvaged until 1924. Most of the last bits were carted away in 1979.

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