Monday, November 25, 2013

TOP FIVE WORST PEACETIME MARITIME DISASTERS OF ALL TIME

Whenever we are talking about Maritime disaster, Titanic is probably one of the worst and most tragic event that ever happened in history that most of us will think of. Titanic was considered as one of the largest ships at that time but the ship sank on the 15th day of April 1912 after hitting an iceberg in North Atlantic which killed 1517 passengers and crews. Only 706 of the passengers and crew managed to survive the tragedy. This disaster was the catalyst for major reforms in safety for the shipping industry and is unarguably the most famous maritime disaster of all time which inspired different movies including the one created by James Cameron way back in 1997. However, if we are going to look back in history, Titanic is actually not the worst peacetime maritime disaster of all time. Titanic was ranked 6th and listed below are the top five worst peacetime maritime disaster in history.
TOP FIVE WORST PEACETIME MARITIME DISASTERS OF ALL TIME

TOP 5 WORST PEACETIME MARITIME DISASTER
"TEK SING"
In 1822, Tek Sing, A Chinese Junk ran aground on a reef while heading to Indonesia. The vessel was 50 meters in length, 10 meters wide and weighed about a thousand tons. The ship was manned by a crew of 200 and had approximately 1600 passengers. An ill-advised shortcut doomed the ship and most of the passengers killing 1600 people. They said that the ship is also loaded with porcelain and in fact the recovered cargoes was auctioned 13 years ago. The great loss of life associated with the sinking has led to the Tek Sing being referred to in modern times as the "Titanic of the East"  


TOP 4 WORST PEACETIME MARITIME DISASTER
"MV LE JOOLA"
Of all the entries we have for this list, the sinking of MV Le Joola is the most recent one. MV Le Joola is a government-owned ferry that capsized off the coast of the Gambia on September 26, 2002. The ship was 79 meters long and 12 meters wide, had two motors and was equipped with some of the latest safety equipment available at the time of the disaster. However, at the time of the disaster, the ship had been out of service for almost a year undergoing repairs which included replacement of the port side engine. Although the ship was designed to carry a maximum of 580 passengers and crew, an estimated 1,863 passengers are believed to have been on board, including 185 people who boarded the ship from Carabane, an island where there was no formal port of entry or exit for passengers.The exact number of all passengers remains unknown but there were 1,034 travelers with tickets. The rest of the passengers were either not required to hold tickets (children aged less than 5) or had been permitted to travel for free, as often happened. The disaster resulted in the deaths of at least 1,863 people. The sinking of Le Joola is thought to be the second-worst non-military maritime disaster in number of lives lost.  

TOP 3 WORST PEACETIME MARITIME DISASTER
"SS-MONT BLANC"
SS-Mont Blanc was a cargo ship in England but was purchased by a French Company. The ship was chartered to carry a complete cargo of miscellaneous types of military explosives from New York to France in November 1917. Mont-Blanc was not an especially old vessel but was a relatively slow, common, three island type tramp steamer, typical of many wartime freighters. The ship left New York December 1 to join a convoy in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Entering Halifax Harbour on the morning of December 6, it was struck by the outbound SS Imo in the Halifax Narrows. A fire caused by the collision detonated her cargo twenty minutes later. Mont-Blanc's crew abandoned ship before the explosion and all survived, except for one sailor who died from loss of blood after being hit by debris from the blast. However, the collision resulted to a cataclysmic explosion that devastated the Richmond District of Halifax. Approximately 2,000 people were killed by debris, fires, and collapsed buildings, and it is estimated that nearly 9,000 others were injured. The blast was the largest man-made explosion in history. 

TOP 2 WORST PEACETIME MARITIME DISASTER
"KIANGYA"
Kiangya was a Chinese passenger steamship that blew up, probably after hitting a mine (possibly left behind by the Imperial Japanese Navy) which destroyed her stern, in the mouth of the Huangpu River 50 miles (80 km) north of Shanghai on 4 December 1948. Kiangya had a displacement of 2,100 tons and was packed with refugees from the Chinese Civil War fleeing the advancing Communist army when she sank. The exact death toll is unknown. The manifest listed 2,150 passengers (her official capacity was 1,186), but she was almost certainly carrying many stowaways. Rescuers were unaware of the disaster for some hours. It is thought that between 2,750 and 3,920 died, with 700 to 1,000 survivors being picked up by other vessels.

THE WORST PEACETIME MARITIME DISASTER
"MV DOÑA PAZ"
The MV Doña Paz was a Philippine-registered passenger ferry that sank after colliding with the MT Vector on December 20, 1987. Doña Paz was traveling from Leyte island to the Philippine capital of Manila. On December 20, 1987, at 0630H, Philippine Standard Time, the Doña Paz left from Tacloban City, Leyte, for the City of Manila, with a stopover at Catbalogan City, Samar. While most of the passengers slept, the Doña Paz collided with MT Vector, an oil tanker en route from Bataan to Masbate. The Vector was carrying 8,800 US barrels of gasoline and other petroleum products owned by Caltex Philippines. Upon collision, the Vector's cargo ignited and caused a fire on the ship that spread onto the Doña Paz. Survivors recalled sensing the crash and an explosion, causing panic on the vessel. They said that the fire spread off rapidly and even the water surrounding the ship was on fire as well. The survivors were forced to jump off the ship and swim among charred bodies in flaming waters around the ship. he Doña Paz sank within two hours of the collision, while the Vector sank within four hours. So what makes this more devastating? The accident killed 4,375 people resulted in the deadliest peacetime maritime disaster in history. Apart from the flaming water, the location was known to be shark infested. Not to mention that the event occurred 5 days before Christmas day. So devastating indeed! 
************************
If you like this entry feel free to Like my Facebook Page to get more updates or Follow me via Twitter. Thanks
*************************
PHOTO AND INFO CREDITS : HERE

Search This Blog