Any Other Maiden Voyage Disasters


Aug 13, 2011
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While cruising in the Red Sea The French Liner Georges Philippar was completely destroyed on her maiden voyage in May 1930 by mysterious fires, sabotage was suspected.

The death toll was 53.
 

Dave Gittins

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Apr 11, 2001
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I'll bet there were dozens of maiden voyage disasters during WW II. Think of all those liberty ships, to say nothing of u-boats.
 

Jim Kalafus

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Dec 3, 2000
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There was a liner built for the Europe/South America trade named Magdalena, which grounded and broke in half on her maiden voyage, ca 1950. The wreck was well photographed and finding links to views of this disaster from which- fortunately- everyone escaped, should not prove difficult.

The Mohawk, although not a new liner, sank 6 hours into her maiden voyage for the Ward Line.
 
Dec 3, 2005
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The Zenobia cargo ship/car ferry (I've heard her called both) committed suicide on her maiden voyage, but no one died on her, I don't think. I think her ballast machinery went haywire and she suddenly began flooding her port side. I think there was a liner called the Principessa Yolanda (or something close) that sunk like a stone as soon as she was launched.
 
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Wayne Keen

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The HUGE Japanese carrier Shinano was torpedoed and sunk on her maiden voyage. She was originally to have been the third of the Yamato class - but was changed to being a BIG carrier in secret.

Wayne
 
Apr 27, 2005
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Not a sinking, but the French Line's "M.S. Flandre" experienced terrible power interruption on the maiden voyage, which colored her career ever after, in spite of a long life into cheapo cruise line service. I think she's scrapped now. Among those who patronized this vessel was Gypsy Rose Lee, famous American stripper.
 
May 9, 2006
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Going slightly back in time, there was the Vasa which was built as the new and putting-every-other-ship-in-the-shadow flag ship of the Swedish navy. This is what the Vasamuseet has to say about it:

"In 1628 the ship was ready. Sunday August 10 was the day of the Vasa's maiden voyage. The beaches around Stockholm were filled with spectators, among them foreign diplomats. The maiden voyage was to be an act of propaganda for the ambitious Swedish king Gustavus Adolphus.

"The Vasa set sail and fired a salute. But only after a few minutes of sailing the ship began to heel over. She righted herself slightly - and
heeled over again. Water started to gush in through the open gunports. And, to everyones horror and disbelief, the glorious and
mighty warship suddenly sank! Of the 150 people on board, 30-50 died in the disaster. When Vasa had been salvaged in 1961, archaeologists found the remains of 25 skeletons."

That's what we today call a public relations disaster.

Cheers, Monika
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Easley South Carolina
Don't forget the spectacular tale of the Principessa Jolanda which was all but completely fitted out on the ways and which was launched in front of thousands...including members of the Italian nobility.

What does she do?

She slid into the water, she rolled over onto her starboard beam and, she sank on the spot!

Talk about embarrassing!
 
Dec 3, 2005
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Principessa Jolanda...that was her name. I remembered it was an Italian ship that went cradle to grave in a few seconds like that. What caused her to sink? Was she just horrifically unbalanced?
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>Was she just horrifically unbalanced?<<

That would appear to be the case. If I recall correctly, there were issues with the construction of the ways being done at too steep an angle as well. Launching a ship has always been a risky operation. Get the weights and balance wrong or miscalculate the angle of the ways and you just might find yourself looking for a new job.
 
May 9, 2006
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Hm, Noah's Ark? Does that really count? After all, she was run aground on purpose and wasn't damaged. So, I don't think we can call it a disaster.

Cheers, Monika
 

Dave Gittins

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I have it on the authority of a kangaroo whose ancestor witnessed Noah having a few too many and steering the Ark onto the mountain. Good thing for him they didn't have Lord Mersey in those days!
 

John Luxton

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Aug 1, 2006
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Hello - Just joined "ET" and on reading this thread on maiden voyage disasters am surprised that no mention has been made of the loss of the White Star Line "Tayleur" built at Warrington.

Two histories have been published in the last few years - IRON CLIPPER - The White Star Line's First Titanic by HF Starkey and BOUND FOR AUSTRALIA by Edward J Bourke.

Iron Clipper looks at the similarities between the loss of the Titanic and Tayleur, whilst BOUND FOR AUSTRALIA complements it focusing more on the wreck.

For those that don't know TAYLEUR was wrecked on Lambay Island, north of Dublin, on a Voyage from Liverpool to Australia.

John
 

Laura Sprague

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Mar 13, 2007
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The Flandre? She had to be towed into New York City due to that power failure! The stevedores nicknamed her the Flounder after that incident. At least you can laugh about that one!
 

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