SS Norge was a Danish passenger liner sailing from Copenhagen, Kristiania and Kristiansand to New York, mainly with emigrants, which sank off Rockall in 1904. It was the biggest civilian maritime disaster in the Atlantic Ocean until the sinking of the RMS Titanic eight years later, and is still the largest loss of life from a Danish merchant ship.
She was built in 1881 by Alexander Stephen and Sons of Linthouse, Glasgow, for the Belgian company Theodore C. Engels & Co of Antwerp; her original name was Pieter de Coninck. The ship was 3,359 GRT and 3,700 tonnes deadweight (DWT), and the 1,400-horsepower (1.0 MW) engine gave a speed of 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph). She could carry a maximum of 800 passengers.
In 1889 she was sold to a Danish company, A/S Dampskibs-selskabet Thingvalla, for its Stettin-Copenhagen-Kristiania-Kristiansand-New York service and renamed Norge. Following financial difficulties, that company was purchased in 1898 byDet Forenede Dampskibs-Selskab (DFDS), Copenhagen, which served the route as "Scandinavia-America Line". By then, the capacity of Norge was 50 1st class, 150 2nd class and 900 3rd class passengers.
On 28 June 1904, heading for New York, Norge ran aground on Hasselwood Rock, St Helen's Reef, close to Rockall, in foggy weather. She was reversed off the rock, but sank quickly due to the serous hull damage. According to author Per Kristian Sebak's comprehensive account, over 635 people died during the sinking, among them 225 Norwegians. The 160 survivors spent up to eight days in open lifeboats before rescue. Several more people lost their lives in the days that followed rescue as a result of their exposure to the elements and swallowing salt water.
The disaster remains the worst in Danish maritime history. The wreck of Norge was located off Rockall in July 2003.
|Tonnage:||3,359 Gross Register Tons|
|Installed power:||1,400 hp (1,000 kW)|
|Speed:||10 kn (19 km/h; 12 mph)|
|dimensions:||103 x 12 x 6.9 m|