Most horrible shipwreck


Dec 29, 2006
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Witney
Are any of these lost ships worth separate threads? And what is the position regarding articles on "other ships and shipwrecks". I could, for example, have submitted newspaper reports on the loss of the PS Arctic and the SS Royal Charter. These are both relevant to the Titanic disaster insofar as they throw light on matters such as lifeboats and "women and children first".
 
May 27, 2007
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Jeremy-
First thanks for the links. Sorry I didn't get back to you sooner. This on sounds like the worst but its new to me so I'll have to let it sink in after I read the book Jeremy recommended.

Jim-
I forgot the Valencia. Now that's the American version of the Royal Charter.

Stanley-
Actually Stanley most of the ships do have separate threads.

The Portland-
Now why didn't I state that Jim. That's another reason this is a grisly disaster-tragedy. I can think of nothing worse then being stuck on a ship in a hurricane know that you are going to die.
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Except being shot at by someone after struggling to make it to a beach.
quote:

Then to have Nazi officers gunning down the survivors on the beach!
Jeremy got a point on that one.​
 
May 27, 2007
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The 1945 Sinking's of the Cap Arcona and the Thielbek
Allied Attacks Killed Thousands of Concentration Camp Inmates.

http://www.ihr.org/jhr/v19/v19n4p-2_Weber.html

quote:

Some 5,000 prisoners hastily evacuated from the Neuengamme concentration camp (a few miles southeast of Hamburg) were brought on board the Cap Arcona between April 18 and 26, along with some 400 SS guards, a naval gunnery detail of 500, and a crew of 76.
Quoted from the website listed about. Thanks Jeremy for providing the original link.

The deaths on May 3, 1945, of some 5,000 concentration camp prisoners in the Sinking Of The Cap Arcona takes the cake as the worst in my opinion in terms of life lost and the horrors of War. Not only were these concentration camp prisoners\Inmates in hope of rescue in Sweden but to end up getting killed in the confusion of war by allied planes bombing their ship The Cap Arcona is beyond belief. Those who survived the sinking were killed by Nazi machine gun fire upon reaching the beach. This is in a class all by it's self. In fact most of Britain's role in the sinking is classified. There elements Of the Lusitania, Titanic and even Navy sinking is this.

The bones of the Victims continued to wash up for about 25 years after the sinking. The last being found by a boy in 1971 according to Wikipedia article on the Wreck.​
 

Jim Kalafus

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Dec 3, 2000
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Another grim wreck was that of the Vizcaya, a passenger liner sailing between NYC and Havana. She was rammed by a schooner, _ _ Hargreaves (I forget tne initials contained under the _ _) and sank rapidly. Those survivors who boarded the Hargreaves were in for a second unpleasant 'surprise' when the Hargreaves herself began to sink, and her captain advised his crew to ignore the Vizcaya survivors and save themselves. Which, they did. A handful from the Vizcaya survived by clinging to the Hargreaves' rigging, which remained above water, but most either drowned or froze to death awaiting rescue.

Perhaps the most atrocious ship 'event' as opposed to wreck, is what befell the 'passengers' of the Dzurma 1933. Loaded with Stalin's political prisoners en route to Magadan on the last outward voyage of 1933 before the freeze set in, she became trapped in ice and, as per orders, the crew sealed the prisoners below decks before fleeing to safety. They were still there in 1934, and you can fill in the details of why, ultimately, none survived.

Roraima... another wreck that in terms of ghastliness far surpasses Gustloff. In harbor at the moment when Mont Pelee erupted, Roraima was hit by a 2000F cloud of gas and ignited, struck by a seimic wave and subsequent whirlpool, and inundated with boiling hot volcanic mud. The few survivors, all burned, had to huddle far aft and fight the advancing fire for the better part of a day before rescue arrived. The ship sank in St Pierre Harbor a few days later.

The Clallam, of 1904, was quite terrible as well. An almost-new coastal vessel, she sprang a leak during a massive Puget Sound storm, and slowly began to founder. Passengers and crew worked to save the ship, as she was blown about before the wind (at one point she was blown almost as far as Victoria Harbor, where witnesses on shore noted that something was very wrong, before she was blown out to sea again) but when it became evident that the end was near, all of the women and children were loaded into the lifeboats~ only one of which survived even 5 minutes before overturning. The crew, and male passengers, spent the night on the slowly sinking ship, hoping that the storm would abate before she foundered. Rescue ships were on hand towards the end, but the captain, who had made MANY questionable decisions during the disaster's progress, underplayed the seriousness of the situation with subsequent additional loss of life when the ship finally went down.

Thinking about the original post in this thread, I can't really think of a shipwreck I WOULD want to experience.
 
Jan 15, 2008
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Or what about the 'Medusa' 'Meduse' in French cause it was a french ship. The ship ran ashore near Senegal (Africa) and started to sink. There weren't enough lifeboats and the captain forced 150 of the passengers to take place on a raft. The raft drifted off as the captain rowed to safety in a lifeboat with the most important passengers.
The survivors of the raft drifted to the open sea where the nightmare only began.
People of the crew that where forced on the raft as well committed muteny and stole the little food that was available. For fifteen days they drifted on the open water. And the worst was yet to come...the survivors had to commit cannibalism to stay alive!! When they where finally found only 15 out of the 150 persons on the raft had survived the tragedy.
Yikes!
 

Jim Kalafus

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Dec 3, 2000
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Ah, yes, the Medusa.

Another horrible and protracted ship tragedy was the ill fated Franklin Expedition~ a tale laden with disturbing details, ranging from lead poisoning to cannibalism. A number of excellent works, and shelves full of garbage, have been written on this epic fiasco. I'd suggest the recent "Ice Blink" and the out of print but easily found "Frozen in Time" as worthwhile reads.

How about the Dara? That was the middle eastern liner destroyed by fire in the 1960s, whose demise was supposedly announced on state radio before it happened. THAT is a tragedy that needs a full scale book!

Here is another horror at sea:
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Canadian Pacific's Islander, which sank in Alaskan Coastal waters after striking an iceberg in 1900 It was like a Titanic 'dress rehearsal.' But, the Islander made a stunning comeback in the 1930s. There had been rumors of huge gold cargoes on board, and at the height of the depression a group of investors raised the sunken liner from 400 feet of water. Cables were passed under the hull. They were attached to drum devices on hulks. The hulks were flooded ALMOST to the point of losing buoyancy, then the cable drums were rotated until the cables were at maximum tension. At that point, the hulks were pumped out, and their buoyancy wrenched the Islander off of the bottom. She was hop-skip-and-jumped several miles along the bottom in that manner, and then pulled up on to the beach at Admiralty Island, Alaska. The punchline, of course, is that the gold treasure was a myth. The wreck was largely scrapped in 1952, but I saw recent home video of the substantial portions of Islander wreckage still in situ.
 

Jim Kalafus

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Dec 3, 2000
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Yes, that was fairly awful, too.

How about the Ancona? A neutral ship, laden with Americans who were squeamish post-Lusitania about crossing on a belligerent vessel, which was chased down by a submarine flying the Austrian flag and destroyed with 194 lives lost. November 1915. Turned out to be another Imperial German 'oops' moment...
 

Russell Smith

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S.S. Indianapolis. We all know the story. Bobbing up and down for days in the water, wondering if you're the next meal for the circling sharks.
 
May 27, 2007
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The 1945 Sinking's of the Cap Arcona and the Thielbek is still one of my favorites as far as most horrible. First, the Nazis were planning to sink these two ships full of concentration camp prisoners in the Baltic. Instead, the ships are bombed by the very people that were rescuing them. Then to have Nazi officers gunning down the survivors on the beach! Still the most horrible in my opinion.

http://www.ihr.org/jhr/v19/v19n4p-2_Weber.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cap_Arcona

If your asking for the most horrible in America I'd have to say the Valencia.
 
J

Jeff Brebner

Guest
"I still think that the Valencia was as bad as a wreck could possibly be. I've never found one more depressing in all aspects."

That's a bad one. Those people suffered for a while waiting for help that never came through. The time after she struck must have been awful.

My sister's father in law lost a cousin on the wreck. He'd never heard of the book on the wreck and was thrilled when he saw my copy.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Easley South Carolina
Do we have a sleeper with the Hospital Ship Armenia?

From Stars and Stripes:

Americans, Ukrainians pool resources to find sunken WWII-era hospital ship
quote:


The waters are deep and murky, but with high-tech equipment – and a little good luck – U.S. and Ukrainian oceanographers and scientists hope to find a World War II Soviet-flagged hospital ship that was sunk with 7,000 people on board.

The oceanographic survey ship USNS Pathfinder, under Military Sealift Command, started searching Sunday in Ukrainian territorial waters for the SS Armenia, sunk in 1941 by the German Luftwaffe, one of the world’s most powerful air forces at the time, officials said.
Seven thousand may not be the record, but it sure ain't chump change!​
 

Grant Carman

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Jun 19, 2006
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Michael

Did it sink in the Black Sea? If so, from what I have read, the Black sea in it's lower depths, have virtually no oxygen due to it having what I seem to remember as a toxic chemistry. Very bad on rubber comoponents, but preserves ships beautifully. They showed a pic of a middle ages wreck that was almost all still there.

Apparently the toxic nature of the water means that even wood worms can't survive.

If it's not the Black Sea, it is in that region.
 

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