Friday, 28 July 2017

NOTHING PARTICULARLY FLAMMABLE ON BOARD.

It has been said that an overwhelming fire on board Waratah was highly unlikely. A coal bunker lasting for 4 days in December of 1908, seems to be 'besides the point'. The owners quoted that there was nothing particularly flammable on board. There did not need to be! The following is a list of famous liners which succumbed to flames. This list does not include the literally thousands of lesser known vessels which were doomed to the same fate:

- City of Honolulu - burned completely in Pacific, return maiden voyage, 1922
- Fontainebleu - burned completely off Djibouti, 1926
- Paul Lecat - burned for two days, 1928 - total loss
- City of Honolulu (previously Kiautschhou) - burned out 1930 (at berth)
- Europa - devastating fire, 1929
- Munchen - fire, 1930
- Bermuda - two fires, 1931
- Georges Philippar - fire, 1932
- Pieter Corneliszoon Hooft - burned out, 1932
- L'Antique - fire broke out in passenger accommodation, 1933
- Morro Castle - destroyed by fire, 1934
- Ausonia - boiler explosion started fire, 1935
- Berengaria - plagued by fires, 1938 (wiring, cause)
- Lafayette - fire broke out in provision section, 1938 - total wreck, which was towed to Rotterdam
- Reliance - fire, 1938
- Paris - serious fires twice in career, finally heeling over in port after fire
- Caledonia - burned at moorings, 1939
- Bremen - completely burned out, 1941
- Normandie - fire, 1942 - overloaded with water and capsized - inherently tender ship!
- USS Wakefield - fire, 1942
- John Ericsson - totally destroyed by fire, 1947
- George Washington - pier fire, 1947
- Monarch of Bermuda - burned to a hulk, 1947
- Empress of Canada - heeled over when loaded with water fighting fire, 1953
- Empire Windrush - fire after explosion in engine room, 1954
- Skaubryn - fire at sea, 1958
- Bianca C - burned out completely, 1961
- Brittany - burned from end to end, 1963 
- Lakonia - caught fire off Madeira, 1963
- Rio De La Plata - swept by fire, 1964
- Yarmouth Castle - fire spread quickly, 1965. Many passengers never got a chance to escape cabins
- Viking Princess - caught fire off Cuba, 1966
- Hanseatic - fire, 1966
- Paraguay Star - fire in port, 1969
- Gothic - caught fire, 1968 - seven crew died
- Fairsea - engine room fire, 1969
- Fulvia - engine room fire spread out of control, 1970
- Antilles - caught fire, 1971, and ultimately broke into three sections
- Seawise University (formerly Queen Elizabeth) - destroyed by fire, 1972
- Oriental Warrior - fire, engine room, spread quickly, 1972
- Meteor - caught fire near Vancouver, 1971
- Caribia - two fires, 1968 (and engine room explosion)
- Homeric - fire off New Jersey coast, 1973
- Malaysia Raya - burned out, 1976
- Cunard Ambassador - caught fire, 1974
- Rasa Sayang - serious fire, 1977, again 1980, destroyed
- Angelina Lauro - gutted, 1979 (galley fire)
- Leonardo da Vinci - fire broke out in chapel, 1980, burned out and heeled over
- Prisendam, caught fire in gulf of Alaska, 1980
- Reina del Mar - destroyed by fire, 1981
- Atlantis - lost to fire, 1983 
- Lavia - burned at Hong Kong, 1989
- Danae - badly damaged by fire, 1985
- Pallas Athena - fire, 1992
- Achille Lauro - fire off Somalia, 1994
- Romantica - burned out 1997
- Sun Vista - caught fire, 1999, and sank
- Mediterranean Sky - fire and sank at moorings, 2001

How very naive to claim that Waratah could not have been experiencing an out-of-control fire on board, forcing Captain Ilbery to turn back for Durban!!

In fact, statistically, it was far more likely for liners to meet their end as a direct result of fire than storms.




Morro Castle






Doomed Ships - Great Ocean Liner Disasters. William H. Miller, Jnr. 

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