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Posts Tagged ‘Maritime history’

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SS Golden City: Launched January 24, 1863 for the Pacific Mail Steamship Company she entered the San Francisco to Panama City service on August 13, 1863 and continued this until 1869. She was lost on the coast of Baja California on February 10, 1870.

The Pacific Mail Steamship Company was founded April 18, 1848 as a joint stock company under the laws of the State of New York by a group of New York City merchants, William H. Aspinwall, Edwin Bartlett, Henry Chauncey, Mr. Alsop, G.G. Howland and S.S. Howland. These merchants had acquired the right to transport mail under contract from the United States Government from the Isthmus of Panama to California awarded in 1847 to one Arnold Harris.

The company initially believed it would be transporting agricultural goods from the West Coast, but just as operations began, gold was discovered in California, and business boomed almost from the start. During the California Gold Rush in 1849, the company was a key mover of goods and people and played a key role in the growth of San Francisco, California.

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SS Andrea Doria was an ocean liner for the Italian Line (Società di navigazione Italia) home ported in Genoa, Italy, most famous for its sinking in 1956, when 46 people died. Named after the 16th-century Genoese admiral Andrea Doria, the ship had a gross register tonnage of 29,100 and a capacity of about 1,200 passengers and 500 crew. For a country attempting to rebuild its economy and reputation after World War II, Andrea Doria was an icon of Italian national pride. Of all Italy’s ships at the time, Andrea Doria was the largest, fastest and supposedly safest. Launched on 16 June 1951, the ship undertook its maiden voyage on 14 January 1953.

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On 25 July 1956, approaching the coast of Nantucket, Massachusetts, bound for New York City, Andrea Doria collided with the east-bound MS Stockholm of the Swedish American Line in what became one of history’s most infamous maritime disasters. Struck in the side, the top-heavy Andrea Doria immediately started to list severely to starboard, which left half of her lifeboats unusable. The consequent shortage of lifeboats might have resulted in significant loss of life, but the efficiency of technical design of the ship, which allowed it to stay afloat for over 11 hours after the ramming, the good behavior of the crew, the improvements in communications and the rapid responses by other ships averted a disaster similar in scale to that of the Titanic in 1912. 1,660 passengers and crew were rescued and survived, while 46 people died as a consequence of the collision. The evacuated luxury liner capsized and sank the following morning.

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The incident and its aftermath were heavily covered by the news media. While the rescue efforts were both successful and commendable, the cause of the collision with the Stockholm and the loss of Andrea Doria generated much interest in the media and many lawsuits. Largely because of an out-of-court settlement agreement between the two shipping companies during hearings immediately after the disaster, no determination of the cause(s) was ever formally published. Although greater blame appeared initially to fall on the Italian liner, more recent discoveries have indicated that a misreading of radar on the Swedish ship may have initiated the collision course, leading to some errors on both ships and resulting in disaster.

Andrea Doria was the last major transatlantic passenger vessel to sink before aircraft became the preferred method of travel.

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11366_pamir8Pamir was one of the famous Flying P-Liner sailing ships of the German shipping company F. Laeisz. She was the last commercial sailing ship to round Cape Horn, in 1949. Outmoded by modern bulk-carriers, and having severe technical difficulties after her shipping consortium was unable to finance much-needed repairs and recruit sufficient capable officers, on 21 September 1957 she was caught in Hurricane Carrie and sank off the Azores, with only six survivors recovered after an extensive rescue effort.
Read the whole story of “Pamir here

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HMS Blossom was an 18-gun Cormorant-class sloop-of-war. She was built in 1806 and is best known for the 1825–1828 expedition under Captain Beechey to the Pacific Ocean. She explored as far north as Point Barrow, Alaska, the furthest point into the Arctic any non-Inuit had been at the time. She was finally broken up in 1848.

Career
On 26 February 1808 Blossom was in company with Eclipse when they captured the Sally and Hetty, William Fleming, Master.

Jean BartIn the mid-morning of 23 February 1812, a strange schooner sailed towards Blossom, which was five leagues off Cabrera, mistaking her for a merchantman. When the schooner realized her mistake a five-hour chase followed before Blossom was able to capture the Jean Bart. Jean Bart was of 147.5 tons burthen and had been launched in Marseilles only five weeks earlier. She was armed with five 12 and two 6-pounder guns, and had a crew of 106 men under the command of Jean Francis Coulome. She had made no captures but within the previous five days her excellent sailing had enabled her to evade two British frigates and a brig.

Blossom was re-rated as a 24-gun sixth rate in February 1817. She was converted to serve as an exploration ship in 1825, and on her return used as a survey ship from 1829.

Fate
Blossom was hulked as a lazarette at Sheerness in January 1833, and was broken up at Chatham in August 1848.

Images and text from from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Illustration showing when the giant North German Lloyd liner S.S. Europa steamed past Ambrose Light in New York Harbour setting a new record for speedy trans-Atlantic crossings. The Europa cut 18 minutes from the mark of 4 days, 17 hours and 24 minutes set by her sister ship, the Bremen. Read all about SS Europa here

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The White Star Line was not the only ones who went all out when "Titanic" was ready for her maiden voyage. A lot of firms delivering goods for the crew and passengers (particularly those on first class) saw the ship as a great opportunity to promote their products. The Vinola company was one of them.

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Princess May (steamship) aground on Sentinel I...

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The SS Princess Sophia was a steel-built coastal passenger liner that operated on the coastal waters of British Columbia, Canada and southeast Alaska, United States, through the Inside Passage. On 25 October 1918, the Sophia sank with the loss of all aboard after grounding on Vanderbilt Reef in Lynn Canal near Juneau, Alaska. With 343 or more people lost, the wreck of the Princess Sophia was the worst maritime accident in the history of British Columbia and Alaska. The circumstances of the wreck were controversial, as some felt that all aboard could have been saved.  Read the whole article here

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