Vestris disaster


Anthony Cunningham

I read a very interesting article in a British Titanic Society back issue about the sinking of the Vestris. Can anyone furnish me with information on this and tell me about survivors? This is for my book which I am writing for the RNLI charity.

Can anyone tell me of any other significant ocean liner disasters during the inter war period (apart from the Morro Castle)?

Any help much appreciated!
Valbanera- 1919. Foundered in US coastal waters with huge loss of life and no survivors. Off Key West.

San Juan. 1929. Sank in less than three minutes after being rammed. 80+ lost, 40+ saved. One survivor definitely still alive.

Mohawk- 1935. Ward Line replacement for the Morro Castle. Steering gear locked in sub zero temperatures (or so it was claimed) sending her across the bow of the Talisman. Estimated 42 lost. Two survivors (at least) alive in the 1990s.

Principessa Mafalda. (1920s) Italian Line South American passenger ship which foundered after moderate to slight damage- panic amongst the passengers and segments of the crew drove the death toll, which should have been non existent, to catastrophic levels. Any survivors would likely be in either Argentina or Italy.

Georges Phillipar (ca 1932) French passenger liner, in Eastern Colonial service which burned mysteriously on the return leg of her maiden voyage (I think) with a death toll estimated at between 32 and 70. Survivors gave interviews as late as the 1970s, and there may be one or two still alive in France.
An interesting Vestris tie-in you might want to research- one with plenty of living survivors- is the Soviet liner Admiral Nakhimov (sp?) which was rammed and sank in the 1980s with the loss of about 300 passengers. Several generations earlier, as the Berlin, she was one of the primary rescue ships in the Vestris affair. She was raised by the Soviet Union after being sunk in WW2, restored, and as late as her 'death' was still in the cruise trade.