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Timeline of Maritime Disasters (1850-1909)
1910 "Pericles" March 31 - G. Thomson and Company's "Pericles" strikes a reef off the coast of Australia. All 500 passengers made it to safety before the ship sank.
1912 "Titanic" April 15 - White Star Line's "Titanic," while on her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York, hits an iceberg and sinks in the North Atlantic.
1913 "Volturno" October 9 - Uranium Steamship Company's "Volturno" catches on fire in the mid-Atlantic. Rescue ships saved most of the 1,024 passengers. The "Volturno" eventually sank killing 136.
1914 "The Empress of Ireland" May 29 - Canadian Pacific Line's "The Empress of Ireland," enroute from Quebec to Liverpool, is hit by the Norwegian ship, "Storstad." Attempts to send out wireless messages failed. The ship sank, taking over 1,000 lives.
1915 "Lusitania" May 7 - Cunard Line's "Lusitania," one of the largest and fastest ships of her time, is struck by a German torpedo near the coast of Ireland and sinks 18 minutes later. 1,200 died.
1920 "Afrique" January 12 - Compagnie des Chargeurs Rénuis's "Afrique" reports engine trouble in the Bay of Biscay. Bad weather prevented rescue ships from saving more than 32 of the 458 passengers.
1922 "Egypt"
May 22 - Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Company's "Egypt" collides with a steamer, the "Seine." Most of the lives were saved by the "Seine." In 1935, divers recovered 90% of the gold that went down with the "Egypt."
1927 "Principessa Mafalda" October 25 - Navigazione Generale Italiana Societŕ Riunite Florio & Rubattino's "Principessa Mafalda" has an irreparable boiler malfunction. Rescue efforts saved more than 900 on board before the ship capsized and sank, taking 303 lives.
1928 "Vestris" November 12 - Lamport & Holt's "Vestris" encounters rough seas while enroute to Barbados and Buenos Aires from New York. Lifeboats were launched saving most of the passengers and crew. The ship eventually capsized and sank.
1930 "Tahiti" August 15 - Union Steam Ship Company of New Zealand's "Tahiti" is headed to San Francisco when the engine malfunctions, prompting the captain to call for help and abandon ship.
1932 "Georges Philippar" May 16 - Messageries Maritimes's "Georges Philippar" catches fire near the Gulf of Aden. Quick response to the SOS calls accounted for many lives being saved. The ship sank four days later.
1934 "Morro Castle" September 8 - New York & Cuba Mail Steamship Company's "Morro Castle," sailing from Havana to New York, is engulfed with flames off the New Jersey coast. A series of careless errors led to a blazing inferno that took over 100 lives and sparked an investigation on maritime safety by the U.S. Senate.
1934 "Dresden" June 20 - North German Lloyd's "Dresden" hits a submerged rock while cruising in the North Sea. The damage caused the ship to list 90° before sinking.
1939 "Athenia" September 3 - Anchor-Donaldson Line's "Athenia" is rammed by two torpedoes while sailing across the Atlantic. The ship went down twenty minutes after the incident, taking with it over 100 lives.
1940 "Niagara" June 19 - Canadian-Australasian Line's "Niagara" enters a mine field in the Hauraki Gulf while enroute from Auckland to Vancouver. Wireless calls made to nearby ships saved the lives of all passengers and crew members.

1850 - 1909 | 1910 - 1940 |1953 - 1994