Arabic Storm Photos

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Jim Kalafus

Member
Here is the first of a series of 'morning after' photos showing damage done to White Star's Arabic after she encounted a severe storm off Cape Hatteras.
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Michael H. Standart

Michael H. Standart

Member
<whistles> Sobering photos there and the Arabic is one of the lucky ones. Cape Hattaras is not referred to as a Graveyard of Ships by sailors for nothing. This stretch of ocean has been killing ships for centuries.
 
Inger Sheil

Inger Sheil

Member
Wow...any date on those, Jim? You often read accounts of severe storms in which a ship's lifeboats are staved in - even on large liners when they were stored rather a long way above the waterline - but it's remarkable to actually see photographs of this sort of damage.
 
J

Jim Kalafus

Member
I have no idea when these were taken, 'though to judge from the clothing worn by a woman in one of the other shots, my guess is post 1925.

One of the better souveniers carried away from QM2 was some video of waves considerably higher than the upper level dining room windows from which we were taping, and of a much smaller ship literally disappearing under waves off to port. I suspect that such was the experience of the Arabic on this trip, and have trouble imagining what it would have been like in a similar storm on one of the 300 foot liners of the mid-Victorian era.
 
M

Mark Baber

Staff member
Moderator
Member
This escaped me when I first read it, but could this have been from the following incident:

26 August 1924: Twenty miles off Nantucket, Arabic III is struck by a hurricane which produces huge waves, including one estimated at 100 feet. Seventy-five people are hurt, sixteen of whom will be hospitalized when the ship arrives in New York tomorrow, still listing badly from the effects of the weather. To the east and in deeper water, Homeric encounters the same storm; she is not as badly damaged as Arabic, but six of her passengers will also be hospitalized. Arabic's Capt. V. W. Hickson says the storm is the worst he has ever encountered, while Homeric's captain, George Metcalfe, says that he has seen worse storms in the Indian Ocean, but had never seen an "angrier sea". Arabic's damage is so significant that she will spend a week in drydock in New York before leaving for Hamburg on 3 September, without passengers. In subsequent litigation, Arabic will be found at fault because her wireless operators did not provide the bridge with weather warnings which would have caused Hickson to seek deeper water. (Sources: The New York Times, 28 and 31 August and 4 September 1924; The Arabic, 50 F.2d 96 (2d Cir. 1931), aff'g 34 F.2d 559 (S.D.N.Y. 1929).)

I know you said Hatteras, Jim, but although Arabic was used by White Star on a variety of routes (Mediterranean-U.S., Germany-Canada/U.S., Liverpool-NY), none of them should have taken her that far south, and she wasn't used for cruising. Is this incident perhaps the one that generated these photos?
 
J

Jim Kalafus

Member
Most likely. 'Hatteras' was written on back, but unless the Arabic A) encountered two such storms and incurred heavy damage, and B) was extremely off course and ended up off Cape Hatteras in time for the second storm, I am willing to bet you have found the right date.
 
Jason D. Tiller

Jason D. Tiller

Staff member
Moderator
Member
Quite the photos. They give a good insight, as to how fierce that storm was.

Thanks for posting them, Jim.
 
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