In the summer of 1914, the Empress of Ireland steamed away from her berth in Quebec harbor, heading towards England. However, she would never make it to her destination--in a heavy fog, she was fatally wounded by the Storstad, a Norwegian collier. She sank in barely 14 minutes. More people were lost onboard the Empress, with only 465 of about 1500 people onboard surviving.
The Empress of Ireland steaming away from her berth in Quebec harbor.
The bow of the Empress of Ireland, seen here with divers exploring the area. Fast currents, freezing waters, and many entrapments make this wreck a very dangerous one to explore.
At left is a photograph of one of the Empress' lifeboats. The low temperature of the water has preserved the wood in the boats to some extent.
At right is the Norwegian collier Storstad. Her heavily armored bow was designed to protect against icebergs, but it was the death knell for the Empress. The bow punctured the starboard side of the Empress, and she sank in 14 minutes.
Copyright © 1998 by the Creators of Lost Liners.