Some of the Deadliest Shipwrecks in History

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Drowning has to be one of the scariest ways to die. There just isn’t much appeal to not being able to breathe while being dragged down into the depths of the deep blue sea. Here are a look at some of the deadliest ship wrecks in history, proving once again that the boats n’ hoes life does in fact have at least one downside.

MS Estonia
On September 24th, 1994, 852 souls drowned in the Baltic Sea when the Estonia sank. Choppy seas split open the metal cargo doors of the ship, instantly flooding the entire lower deck.

MV Bukoba
On May 21st, 1996, 894 people drowned during the sinking of the MV Bukoba in lake Victoria, Tanzania. The ferry had no life jackets, which was really unfortunate for the people on board. During some sway caused by choppy waves, large kitchen equipment slammed against a wall, causing the passengers to panic. After they all rushed to the front deck, the ship capsized.

HMT Royal Edward
935 people died when the HMT Royal Edward sank in the Aegean Sea on August 13th, 1915. It sank as a result of two German torpedoes slamming into its side at around 10 am- it sank in just 6 minutes.

SS Hong Moh
The South China Sea was the scene of 1,000 deaths on March 3rd, 1921. The ship had broken in half after hitting the white rocks on Lamock Island. The first rescue ship didn’t arrive until 3 days after the ship shank.

RMS Empress of Ireland
May 29th, 1914, Saint Lawrence River, Pointe-au-Père, Quebec. 1,102 official deaths were the result of the sinking of the Empress of Ireland. After colliding with a Norwegian collier during a foggy day, water flooded the ship quickly, sinking the ship in what is to this day Canada’s deadliest disaster in maritime history.

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MS al-Salam Boccaccio 98
February 3rd, 2006, The Red Sea, 1,018 lives were lost when the MS al-Salam Boccaccio 98 sank after a failed attempt to control a fire on board. When the captain decided to turn the boat around, it capsized due to the amount of water collected in the hull thanks to failed drainage pumps. Strong winds and bad weather made rescue efforts nearly impossible.

SS General Slocum
1,021 people drowned in the East River of New York City on June 15h, 1904. A massive fire that broke out during a trip to Long Island Sound for a large picnic caused people to jump ship. Unfortunately, their safety equipment was in such poor condition that they were of no use, and people were dragged under the water because of their heavy wool clothing.

RMS Lusitania
1,198 people died in the Old Head of Kinsale, Ireland, after the Lusitania sank on May 7th, 1915. The ship was carrying ammunition and contraband to help the British war efforts when it was struck by torpedoes. It sank in 18 minutes.

RMS Titanic
There she is, the most famous ship in modern history. April 14th, 1912, The North Atlantic Ocean, 1,517 souls drowned in freezing cold water. After hitting an iceberg in the middle of the night, the ship slowly sank into the icy depths of the Atlantic.

SS Sultana
April 27th, 1865, in the Mississippi River, 1,547 people drowned during the sinking of The SS Sultana. 3 of four boilers exploded on board and the ship sank to the bottom of the river.

MV Joola
On September 26th, 2002, 1,863 people drowned off the Coast of Gambia. The ferry was designed to carry no more than 580 passengers- it was carrying over 2,000 when it sank. The ship capsized when it ran into a heavy storm. It sank in less than 5 minutes.

SS Kiangya
The SS Kiangya sank at the mouth of the Huangpu River on December 4th, 1948. It killed anywhere from 2,750–3,920 people. It ran into what is assumed to be a leftover mine from the Japanese Imperial Navy while carrying refugees fleeing from the Chinese Civil War.

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MV Doña Paz
The official death toll of this wreck is slated at 1,565, however the number could really be as high as 4,000. The ship collided with The MT Vector, an oil tanker that had nearly 9,000 barrels of gasoline on it. An insane fire left people no choice but to jump into the waters, which were shark-infested.