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:icontitanicfan1000: More from Titanicfan1000




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July 19, 2011
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Titanic was the first disaster of such a catastrophe but not the only one. The RMS Empress of Ireland hit a disaster two years after Titanic and had enough lifeboats, but, even with enough lifeboats, the Empress of Ireland would lose the majority of her crew and passengers. The Empress of Ireland was like any other transatlantic ocean liner. The Empress of Ireland was built by Fairfield Shipbuilding & Engineering Co. at Govan near Glasgow in Scotland. She had two funnels and could go up to a speed of 20 knots with two twin propellers. The company that owned the Empress of Ireland was the Canadian Pacific Steamship Company. She was proven a fast and reliable ship.

On the 28 May 1914, just two years after the disaster of the Titanic the Empress of Ireland left Quebec, Canada for Liverpool, England. Like many ships there were three classes: the wealthy in first class up on the higher decks; the middle class passengers in second class in the middle decks; and the poor third class passengers down on the lower decks; as well as whatever space was left for the crew. She carried 87 first class passengers, 253 second class passengers, 717 third class passengers, and 420 crew members. A total of 1,477 people were on board the Empress of Ireland as she left Quebec. On the early morning of the next day the Empress of Ireland had entered a fog. Captain Henry Kendall decided to stay on the bridge because he was worried about the fog. Then coming out from the fog was the Norwegian ship SS Storstad. There was no time to avoid the collision and the Storstad smashed into the Empress of Ireland's starboard side.  

Captain Kendall did his best to avoid the collision but it still happened. The Storstad broke out of the hole and survived but the Empress of Ireland was fatally wounded. Captain Kendall claimed that he ordered whistle blasts to signal the Storstad but the crew of the Storstad claimed they never heard the whistle blasts. Like the Titanic, the Empress of Ireland had a watertight compartment design but really because of her small size she would still sink slowly with the two compartments flooded that the Storstad hit. Everything seemed ok, Captain Kendall ordered the lifeboats to be prepared and there were enough for everyone and he ordered a wireless distress signal to be sent. However, one thing that was not taken into thought was the hundreds of open portholes that were immediately taking in water. In one minute passengers are asleep in their cabins and the next they are drowning in water and this happened mostly on the starboard side.

On the port side passengers woke up, put on their lifebelts, and gathered up on the boat deck. Immediately the crew began loading and lowering the lifeboats but then catastrophe came. With only 4 lifeboats lowered, the crew could not load any more people into the lifeboats because the Empress of Ireland had reached such a list that loading and lowering the lifeboats became impossible. The list became so heavy that passengers started falling from the boat deck off the starboard side. Captain Kendall was at the bridge when he fell and slid down the deck into the sea and was eventually picked up by a lifeboat. Among the passengers was seven-year-old Grace Hanagan and when the Empress of Ireland began to turn over she and her parents slipped from the boat deck into the water. Grace went under twice but finally grabbed some wreckage. She was late picked up by a lifeboat but found out her parents had died.  Out of the 1,477 people on board the Empress of Ireland, 1,012 perished and there were 465 survivors. Only 4 children survived out of the 134 who were onboard. Out of the classes: 60% of first-class perished; 70% of second-class perished; 60% of third-class perished; and out of the crew 30% perished.

Really the only way this disaster is popular with people would be the fact that it is the largest maritime disaster in Canadian history. When comparing the Empress of Ireland to the Titanic there are major differences on why the disaster is not famous. The Empress of Ireland was not a big mammoth like the Titanic. Despite a first-class none of them were the famous passengers like on the Titanic. The beginning of World War 1 and the sinking of the Lusitania in 1915 soon made the Empress of Ireland forgotten. Also the fact that it was not as dramatic as the Titanic )like the fact that she had enough lifeboats) also is a reason for her to be forgotten. Still, the disaster of the Empress of Ireland is a sad one in history.
The Empress of Ireland.

Picture: The Empress of Ireland.

I do not own this picture.
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:iconrd-dd1843:
RD-DD1843 Featured By Owner May 18, 2013
Shortly it will be the 99th anniversary of the disaster. I wonder what the Canadians plan to mark the century next year.
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:iconrd-dd1843:
RD-DD1843 Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2012
Wikipedia mentioned that this was the 98th Anniversary of the sinking earlier this week (Wednesday, I believe). It also mentions in the article that there are several Canadian productions about the sinking.
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:iconrd-dd1843:
RD-DD1843 Featured By Owner May 19, 2012
For a movie about Empress to work concentrate on the following leading up to the fast ending of the ship:

1) Captain Kendall's celebrity as the former Captain (in 1910) of the Canadian Pacific liner Montrose, who tipped off Scotland Yard that the murderer Dr. Hawley Harvey Crippen was on board with his girl friend Ethel Le Neve headed for Canada.

2) Show the summoning of the large contingent of Salvation Army members going to the grand meeting in London.

3) Show the successful stage career of Sir Henry Irving's son Laurence and his wife before they book passage.

4) Show the carreer as a big game hunter Sir Henry Seton - Carr.

The Irvings and Seton - Carr and most of the Salvation Army members were lost. Kendall actually survived.
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:iconwildstar302:
Wildstar302 Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2012
I say they should make a movie about the empress, to let people remember.

I mean Titanic and Lusitania were made into movies, so why not the empress? and they made a movie called Britannic and Britannic was nicknamed "the FORGOTTEN Sister"

R.I.P. all who perished in the forgotten sinking. T_T
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:iconbruiser235:
Bruiser235 Featured By Owner May 13, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
They did a Lusitania movie? What's it called?
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:iconwildstar302:
Wildstar302 Featured By Owner May 13, 2012
Lusitania: Murder on the Atlantic
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:iconbruiser235:
Bruiser235 Featured By Owner May 14, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks for the title.
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:iconwildstar302:
Wildstar302 Featured By Owner May 14, 2012
you're welcome, it's on YouTube.
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:icontitanicfan1000:
Titanicfan1000 Featured By Owner May 13, 2012  Student Writer
I do not know its name, but I have seen it. I just entered Lusitania movie on Youtube and found it right here: [link]
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:icontitanicfan1000:
Titanicfan1000 Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2012  Student Writer
Agreed. The Empress of Ireland would be an interesting movie, but I think the problem would be that the sinking was so fast and the voyage was so little. The movie would have little to do with the ship, but you would have to mostly talk about random characters.
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