Some Shipwrecks and Disasters at Sea

Acts of war are marked with an asterisk.

The death tolls of many sea disasters are widely contested.

See also: Wikipedia.

Ship(s), Nationality or OwnershipDateCause, LocationDeaths
* Wilheim Gustloff (German refugee ship)30 Jan 1945sunk by torpedos from Soviet sub S-13, Baltic NNE of Leba6000 to 8000
* Goya (/German Navy troop/refugee ship)16-17 Apr 1945sunk by torpedos from Soviet sub L-3, Baltic near Hela7000 -
*? [Chinese army evacuation ship]Nov 1948explosion, off southern Manchuria6000
* Junyo Maru (Imperial Japanese Navy prisoner ship)18 Sep 1944sunk by torpedos from sub HMS Tradewind, off Sumatra5620
* Toyama Maru (Imperial Japanese Navy transport)29 Jun 1944sunk by torpedos from sub USS Sturgeon, bound for Okinawa5400
* Cap Arcona (HSA/German Navy refugee ship)03 May 1945British fighter bombers, Lubeck Bay5000 +/-
Dona Paz [Philippine]20 Dec 1987collision with oil tanker Victor, Tablas Strait4341
* Lancastria (Cunard/Military troopship)17 Jun 1940sunk by German bomber, off St. Nazaire3500 to 6500
* General von Steuben (German military transport)10 Feb 1945sunk by torpedos from Soviet sub S-13, off Stolpe Bank, Baltic3500
* Provence (French Navy auxil' cruiser)26 Feb 1916sunk by torpedos from German sub U-35, off Kithira Island, Greece3100
* Thielbek (German refugee ship)03 May 1945British fighter bombers, Lubeck Bay2800 +/-
* Neptunia (Italian military transport)18 Sep 1941sunk by torpedos from sub HMS Upholder, off Tripoli2500
* Oceania (Italian military transport)18 Sep 1941sunk by torpedos from sub HMS Upholder, off Tripoli2500
* Yamato (Imperial Japanese Navy battleship)07 Apr 1945American attack, SW of Kagoshima2498
* Bismark (German Navy)27 May 1941British air and warship attack2200
* Sinfra (German prisoner transport)19 Oct 1943sunk by aircraft attack, north of Crete2098
* Ural Maru (Japanese transport)27 Sep 1944sunk by torpedos from sub USS Flasher, 240 km west of Masinlik, Philippines2000
* Scharnhorst (German Navy)26 Dec 1943sunk by British naval attack, off North Cape of Norway1964
* Rigel (German prisoner transport)27 Nov 1944sunk by aircraft from HMS Implacable, north of Namsos1833
* Arisan Maru (Japanese prisoner ship)24 Oct 1944sunk by torpedos from sub USS Snook, South China Sea1792
* Taiho (Imperial Japanese Navy aircraft carrier)19 Jun 1944burned and foundered after torpedoed by USS Albacore, west of Guam1650
Mont Blanc [French], Imo [Belgian]06 Dec 1917collision and explosion, Halifax harbour1600 (two ships and land deaths)
Titanic (WSL)15-16 Apr 1912sank after collision with iceberg, North Atlantic1523
Sultana [American]27 Apr 1865boiler explosion on the Mississippi1450 (up to 1900)
* HMS Hood (RN)21 May 1941German warships, North Atlantic1338
* Lusitania (Cunard)07 May 1915German sub torpedo1198
* USS Arizona [USN]07 Dec 1941bombed and sunk by Japanese aircraft, Pearl Harbor1177
Toya Maru [Japanese]26 Sep 1954sank in Tsugaru Strait, Japan1172
* Kiangya [Chinese]03 Dec 1948explosion (probably mine), south of Shanghai1100 +
Estonia [Estonian]28 Sep 1994swamped through bow door and sank, Baltic Sea1049
General Slocum [American]15 Jun 1904burned, East River, New York City1030
* HMS Invincible (RN)June 1916Battle of Jutland against German Navy1026
Empress of Ireland (CP)29 May 1914collision in fog with collier Storstad, St. Lawrence River1014
* Bretagne (French Navy)July 1940British attack, Oran, Algeria1012
Kichemaru [Japanese]28 Sep 1912sank off Japan1000
Hsin Yu [Chinese]29 Aug 1916sank off China1000
Hong Kong18 Mar 1921wrecked in South China Sea1000
* Tirpitz [German Navy]12 Nov 1944bombed and sunk by British forces, 69 36' north, 18 59' east971
Eastland [American]24 Jul 1915rolled over, Chicago River844
* HMS Royal Oak (RN)13 Oct 1939German U-boat torpedos, Scapa Flow833
* Leopold (Belgian troopship)24 Dec 1944German sub torpedo802
Princess Alice [British]03 Sep 1878collision on Thames River (Engl)700
* Dorchester (allied troopship)03 Feb 1943German sub torpedo673
Norge [Danish]28 Jun 1904wrecked on Rockall Island620
Atlantic (WSL)30 Mar 1873struck a rock off Nova Scotia585
Tamponas II [Indonesian]27 Jan 1981fire, Java Sea580
Utopia [British]17 Mar 1891collision with HMS Anson off Gibralter562
Principe de Asturias [Spanish]03 Mar 1916wrecked near Santos, Brazil558
La Bourgogne [French]04 Jul 1898collision with British sailing ship Cromartyshire off Nova Scotia549
Ertogrul [Turkish]19 Sep 1890foundered off Japan540
* HMS Courageous (RN)17 Sep 1939German U-boat torpedos, southwest of Ireland515
Grandcamp [French]16 Apr 1947explosion and fire, Texas City TX510
Neptune [Haitian]17 Feb 1993capsized off Port-au-Prince, Haiti500 +
Bukoba21 May 1996sank, Lake Victoria, Africa500
Kawachi (Imperial Japanese Navy)12 Jul 1918explosion, Tokayama Bay500
Kiang-Kwan [Chinese]25 Apr 1918collision off Hankow500
Principe de Asturias [Spanish]05 Mar 1912wrecked off Spain500
Valbanera [Spanish]09 Sep 1919lost off Florida500
City of Glasgow [British]Mar 1854Missing in North Atlantic480
Austria [German]23 Sep 1858fire, North Atlantic471
Mary Rose (RN)19 Jul 1545rolled over and sank during battle, the Solent470 +/-
Salem Express14 Dec 1991rammed coral reef near Safaga, Egypt462
Chaonia [French]17 Jan 1919lost in straits of Messina460
HMS Birkenhead (RN)26 Feb 1862foundered on a rock445
[Indian ferry]06 Aug 1988capsized on Ganges River400 +
Duburg [British]17 Feb 1890wrecked, China Sea400
Reina Regenta [Spanish]11 Mar 1895foundered near Gibralter400
Wah Yeung [British]15 Nov 1887burned at sea400
Princess Sophia [Canadian]25 Oct 1918sank off Alaska398
Admiral Nakhimov [Soviet], Pyotr Vasev [Soviet]31 Aug 1986collision, Black Sea398
Himera [Greek]19 Jan 1947struck mine off Athens392
Cimbria [German]19 Jan 1883collision with British steamer Sultan, North Sea389
* General Belgrano (Argentine Navy)26 Apr 1982British sub torpedo, South Atlantic368
Tenth of Ramadan [Egyptian]25 May 1983fire, Lake Nasser357
Sirio [Italian]04 Aug 1906wrecked of Cape Palos, Spain350
HMS Curacao (RN)02 Oct 1942run over by Queen Mary, Irish Sea338
Elbe [German]30 Jan 1895collision with British steamer Craithie, North Sea332
* HMS Prince of Wales [Royal Navy]10 Dec 1941bombed and sunk by Japanese forces, east coast of Malaya327
Principessa Mafalda [Italian]25 Oct 1927explosion, off Porto Seguro, Brazil314
Schiller [German]07 May 1875wrecked off Scilly Isles312
Namyong-Ho [South Korean]15 Dec 1970sank, Korean Strait308
Matsu Maru [Japanese]23 Mar 1908collision near Hakodate300
Niitaka (Imperial Japanese Navy)26 Aug 1922sank in storm off Kamchatka300
Northfleet [British]22 Jan 1873foundered off Dungeness, Engl300
Waratah [British]01 Aug 1909missing enroute from Durban, South Africa, to Sydney, Australia300
Arctic (Collins Line)27 Sep 1854collision with French steamer Vesta near Cape Race285 to 351
Liberte (French Navy)25 Sep 1911explosion at Toulon285
West Sea Ferry10 Oct 1993capsized in storm, Yellow Sea near Western South Korea285
[Nigerian passenger boat]04 Apr 1998capsized off Ibaka Beach, Nigeria280
Eshghabad [Soviet]14 Jul 1957ran aground, Caspian Sea270
[Bangladeshi ferry]20 Apr 1986sank near Barisal, Bangladesh262
USS Maine (USN)15 Feb 1898explosion, Havana harbour260
Save [Portugese]08 Jul 1961ran aground off Mozambique259
[Bangladeshi motor launch]01 May 1974capsized off Bangladesh250
Anglo-Saxon [British]27 Apr 1863wrecked at Cape Race238
Pacific [American]04 Nov 1875collision off Cape Flattery236
Dara [British]08 Apr 1962explosion, Persian Gulf236
Ville du Harve [French]23 Nov 1873collision with British sailing ship Loch Earn226
Byzantin [French]18 Dec 1878collision, Dardanelles210
USS Truxtun (USN), USS Pollux (USN)18 Feb 1942ran aground, off Nfld204 (two ships)
[destroyer] (Soviet Navy)26 Sep 1974sank, Black Sea200 +
Pride of la Gonave [Haitian]08 Sep 1997sank off Montrouis, Haiti200 +
[Congolese passenger boat], [Congolese passenger boat]02 Sep 1998capsized on Lake Kivu, near Bukavu200 + (two boats)
Stonewall [American]27 Oct 1869fire, on Mississippi south of Cairo IL200
Victoria [Canadian]24 May 1881capsized on Thames (Ontario)200
General Chanzy [French]09 Feb 1910wrecked off Minorca200
Cambria [British]19 Oct 1870wrecked off Northern Ireland196
Herald of Free Enterprise [British ferry]06 Mar 1987capsized off Zeebrugge, Belgium189
Pacific (Collins Line)23 Jan 1856Missing in North Atlantic186 to 286
City of Boston (Inman)25 Jan 1870Missing North Atlantic177
USS Hobson (USN), USS Wasp (USN)26 Apr 1952collision, Atlantic176
[Tamil refugee boat]20 Feb 1997sank off Sri Lanka165
[Romanian pleasure boat], [Bulgarian barge]10 Sep 1989collision on Danube161
Portland [American]26 Nov 1898wrecked off Cape Cod157
[auto ferry], [oil tanker]10 Apr 1991collision outside Livorno harbour, Italy140
USS Forrestal (USN)29 Jul 1967fire, off North Vietnam134
Morro Castle [American]08 Sep 1934fire off Asbury Park, NJ134
* Simon Bolivar [Dutch liner]18 Nov 1939struck mine, near Harwich, England130
Noronic [Canadian]17 Sep 1949burned, Toronto harbour130
USS Thresher (USN submarine)10 Apr 1963sank after electrical failure, North Atlantic129
* HMCS Athabaskan (RCN)29 Apr 1944sunk by German U-Boat torpedo, north of Île de Bas129
Lakonia [Greek cruise ship]28 Dec 1962sunk after fire on board, of Madeira128
Kursk (Russian Navy submarine)12 Aug 2000sunk by internal explosion or collision, Barents Sea118
Vestris [British]12 Nov 1928sank off Virginia113
* Athenia (A-DL [British])03 Sep 1939German U-boat torpedos, south of Rockall112
Pennington [American]26 May 1954sank off Rhode Island103
Patria [Egyptian]25 Dec 1976fire, Red Sea100
USS Scorpion (USN submarine)22 May 1968sank possibly after explosion, off Azores99
HMS Thetis (RN)01 Jun 1939sank, Liverpool Bay99
[Philippine passenger ferry]18 Sep 1998sank south of Manila97
Yarmouth Castle [Panamanian]13 Nov 1965fire off Bahamas89
[Albanian refugee boat]28 Mar 1997rammed by Italian Navy warship Sibilla83
HMAS Voyager (RAN)10 Feb 1964collison with HMAS Melbourne, off NSW82
George Prince [American], Frosta [Norwegian]20 Oct 1976collision on Mississippi at Luling LA77
Express Samina [Greek ferry]26 Sep 2000struck rock and sank, off Paros, Aegean77
USS Evans (USN)02 Jun 1969run over by HMAS Melbourne74
Dakar (Israeli Navy)25 Jan 1968vanished, Mediterranean69
Eurydice (French Navy)04 Mar 1970sank, near Toulon57
Bowbelle [British], Marchioness [British]20 Aug 1989collision, Thames River56
K-8 (Soviet Navy submarine)10-11 Apr 1970sank after onboard fires, Bay of Biscay off Spain52
Andrea Doria (Italian Line)26 Jul 1956rammed by liner Stockholm and sank, Long Island Sound51
USS Constellation (USN)19 Dec 1960caught fire, Brooklyn Naval Yard49
* Laurentic (WSL/armed cruiser)03 Nov 1940sunk by torpedos from German sub U-9949
USS Mississippi (USN)12 Jun 1924gun turret explosions, off San Pedro48
* Transylvania (Anchor Line/troopship)10 Aug 1940sunk by torpedo from German sub48
USS Iowa (USN)19 Apr 1989gun turret explosion47
* California (Anchor Line/military troopship)11 Jul 1943sunk by German aircraft, off Portugal46
* Empress of Britain (CP/troopship)26 & 28 Oct 1940German bomber attack (26th), German U-boat torpedos (28th), northwest of Ireland45 (both incidents)
K-278 Komsomolets (Soviet Navy submarine)07 Apr 1989sank after onboard fire, 180 km south of Bear Island41
K-3 (Soviet Navy submarine)08 Sep 1967onboard fire and CO2 release, Norwegian Sea39
Marine Electric [American]12 Feb 1963sank in storm, off Chincoteague, VA33
* Britannic (WSL/Military hospital service)12 Nov 1916struck mine and sank, Aegean Sea30
Edmund Fitzgerald [American]10 Nov 1975sank during storm, Lake Superior29
K-19 (Soviet Navy submarine)24 Feb 1972onboard fire, North Atlantic28
USS Squalus (USN)23 May 1939sank off Portsmouth, NH26
* HMS Sheffield (RN destroyer)04 May 1982Argentine air-to-ground exocet missile, South Atlantic20
USS Nimitz (USN)26 May 1981combat jet crashed on deck14
* Franconia (Cunard/troopship)04 Oct 1916sunk by German sub torpedos, off Malta12
* Duchess of York (CP/British troopship)12 Jan 1943sunk by aerial bombardment, off Portugal11
Republic (WSL)1909rammed by Italian steamer Florida off New Jersey6
* Carpathia (Cunard/military troopship)18 Jul 1918sunk by torpedos from German sub, west of Fastnet5
* Duchess of Atholl (CP/British troopship)10 Oct 1942sunk by torpedos from German sub, South Atlantic4