Empress of Ireland
In the spring of 1914, a tragedy almost as great as the Titanic's occurred. Two ships met along the St. Lawrence River, the Empress of Ireland and the Storstad. The Empress of Ireland was arriving from Quebec as the Storstad was heading upriver. The reason for their collision was the thick fog.
It was 2:00 A.M. on May 29 when they spotted each other. Captain Henry Kendall, captain of the Empress, suspected the the opposite ship was around eight miles away. He then changed his course, having both ships pass by, starboard (right side) to starboard. After the ship started its new route, the fog rolled in. Worried by the fog, Captain Kendall signaled to the Storstad to slow down. He had the Empress hold its course until he learned that the Storstad had passed safely. But soon, he saw two masthead lights coming toward him. Before he could do anything, the ships crashed. The water poured in so quickly, the passengers had no idea what was happening. 1,012 out of the 1477 died. If Captain Kendall didn't change the ship's course in the beginning, the ships would have never collided.
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