Quiz about Lost At Sea II More Maritime Disasters
Quiz about Lost At Sea II More Maritime Disasters

Lost At Sea II: More Maritime Disasters Quiz


Originally when I planned to create this quiz, it was going to focus on the USS Indianapolis, but since there was one already done about that vessel, I decided to do a sequel to my first quiz. Enjoy.

A multiple-choice quiz by FearlessFreep. Estimated time: 6 mins.
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Time
6 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
341,666
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Difficult
Avg Score
5 / 10
Plays
325
This quiz has 2 formats: you can play it as a or as shown below.
Scroll down to the bottom for the answer key.
1. Sunk in 1854, this iron-hulled ship was chartered by the White Star Line and had an unfortunate similarity with that company's most famous vessel, the ill-fated Titanic. What was her name? Hint

Royal Standard
Atlantic
Tayleur
Baltic

2. The loss of this steamer in 1852 had such a profound impact on British Empire that it spawned the notion of "Women and Children First" and was immortalized by Rudyard Kipling. She was the... Hint

HMS Hecate
HMS Warrior
HMS Birkenhead
HMS Alecto

3. The fate of this steamer shocked and angered much of New York City, and, until the destruction of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, was one of its worst. What was the ship's name? Hint

Grand Republic
General Slocum
General Grant
Henry Clay

4. This liner would go down in history as the worst shipwreck to hit the Pacific Northwest. Can you name her? Hint

Princess Sophia
Princess Alice
Islander
Princess Kathleen

5. Intended to be flagship of their fleet, this ship built for the Holland-America line would instead became a troopship, and then a casualty of war. What was she called when sunk? Hint

Zeeland
Statendam
Justicia
Willem van Oranje

6. This 1923 disaster off the coast of California was one of the most spectacular in US Naval History up to that date. Where did it happen? Hint

Big Sur
Catalina Island
Fort Point
Honda Point

7. There have been a few vessels that have been given the dubious honor of being lost two or more times throughout their career (the most famous example being the Confederate submarine Hunley in 1864). Seventy-five years later, another submarine suffered the same fate. She was known as the... Hint

HMS Tally-Ho
HMS Triton
HMS Thetis
HMS Oxley

8. The sinking of this freighter in 1952 became major media event worldwide and made her captain a legend. This ship was known as the... Hint

Flying Enterprise
Coastal Liberator
Empire Spearhead
Empire Broadsword

9. The burning of this cruise ship was the catalyst in bringing about the introduction of the SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea) regulations. Name her. Hint

Lakonia
Yarmouth Castle
Scandinavian Star
Prinsendam

10. Sunk in 1942, this ship would, decades later, be among one of the most successful deep sea treasure hunts of the 20th century. Name the vessel. Hint

HMS Spartan
HMS Edinburgh
HMS Southampton
HMS Charybdis


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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Sunk in 1854, this iron-hulled ship was chartered by the White Star Line and had an unfortunate similarity with that company's most famous vessel, the ill-fated Titanic. What was her name?

Answer: Tayleur

Owned by Charles Moore & Company of Liverpool, the 1,750 ton RMS Tayleur was launched on October 4, 1853, and set out from Liverpool on January 19, 1854 with 652 passengers and crew on what was to be her maiden voyage. Her destination was Australia, currently in the grip of a gold rush (this is how White Star made its debut). Just two days later (January 21), the Tayleur, fighting through poor visibility and a storm, collided with a reef near the island of Lambay in the Irish sea.

She went to the bottom in about half an hour, taking the lives of 380 people. Though brand new at the time of her loss, the Tayleur had many flaws that soon became apparent.

There was for instance, the loose rigging, undersized rudder, a compass rendered inaccurate by the ship's iron construction, and the substandard training of her crew, many of whom could not speak English.
2. The loss of this steamer in 1852 had such a profound impact on British Empire that it spawned the notion of "Women and Children First" and was immortalized by Rudyard Kipling. She was the...

Answer: HMS Birkenhead

Laid down originally as a six gun side-wheel frigate (quickly re-classified as a troopship) Birkenhead steamed out of Portsmouth harbor in January 1852 to take part in the Eighth war against the Xhosa people in South Africa (it was also known as the Frontier War). After taking on 643 soldiers and civilians (as well as a shipment of horses and 300,000 pounds in gold coin), the Birkenhead steamed out of Simon's Bay (near Cape Town) on to her next destination: Algoa Bay, some 425 miles east of the Cape of Good Hope.

Just before 2 'o clock, on the morning of February 26, 1852, the Birkenhead blundered into rocks close to the aptly named Danger Point, near the town of Gansbaai. The ship was badly holed and was soon breaking up. The 480 or so soldiers and marines aboard were placed under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Alexander Seton from the 74th Highlanders and maintained their discipline throughout the disaster, helping the crew to man the ship's pumps as well as obeying Colonel Seton's orders to stand fast and allow the civilian passengers to leave in the ship's boats. Eventually, with the masts and the funnel crashing around them, and the ship's hull completely separated into two halves and sank only 25 minutes after striking the rocks, about 50 men clung to the masts (which still remained above water) while many of the ship's crew and the soldiers were cast into the waters of the South Atlantic where they drowned or were killed by sharks. In the end Colonel Seton and many of the troops under him were lost with the Birkenhead, as was the troopship's captain, Robert Salmond. 193 others survived the disaster and were rescued, including all of the women and children aboard.

The sacrifice of the Birkenhead's troops was honored with a plaque erected on the Danger Point lighthouse in 1936, and a more modern plaque in 1995. The most famous memorial to the Birkenhead however was its mention in a verse of Rudyard Kipling's poem "Soldier an' Sailor too" (you can find the poem here at: http://www.kipling.org.uk/poems_soldiersailor.htm).
3. The fate of this steamer shocked and angered much of New York City, and, until the destruction of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, was one of its worst. What was the ship's name?

Answer: General Slocum

On June 15, 1904, the General Slocum left the East Third Street Pier and steamed up the East River loaded with over 1,300 excursionists heading for the recreation grounds of Locust Grove, on Long Island Sound, part of an annual summer excursion held by St. Marks Evangelical Lutheran Church. However just as the Slocum entered the narrow channel called Hell Gate, a fire that had started below decks and up in the bow erupted, turning half of the steamboat into a raging inferno. The captain neglected to steer for land in the Bronx, and instead put the Slocum aground on North Brother Island, where she was soon engulfed. The charred hulk then drifted over to the opposite side of the river and sank. It was later estimated that 1,021 people aboard the Slocum--many of them passengers--perished either by flames, smoke, and drowning (research by historians suggests the death toll may have been lower--possibly 950).

It was later revealed through dives on the Slocum's wreck, testimony by the few that survived the blaze and those who took part in rescue attempts, that the Slocum's owners--the Knickerbocker Steamboat Company--had skimped on safety and maintenance of their boat. Many of the crew were inexperienced and panicked, leaving the passengers to fend for themselves. The company also neglected to replace fire hoses and standpipes. Even worse were the life preservers: they had been on the ship since her first voyage back in 1891 and by 1904 were so old that they fell to pieces or the cork they relied on for flotation had turned to dust, resulting in many passengers who used the preservers on June 15 to be dragged down to the bottom of the East River.

Despite an extensive investigation focusing on the Knickerbocker company and the United States Steamboat Inspection Service (two of their representatives had cleared the Slocum to sail only a month before the fire), only the captain of the General Slocum, William Van Schaick was convicted on the charge of criminal negligence. He was sentenced to ten years imprisonment, but only served three years and six months before he was released. He was not pardoned until December 1912. The Knickerbocker Steamboat Company merely had to pay a fine for its involvement in the disaster.
4. This liner would go down in history as the worst shipwreck to hit the Pacific Northwest. Can you name her?

Answer: Princess Sophia

The 245 foot, 2,320 ton CPR coastal liner Princess Sophia left Skagway Alaska at 10 minutes after 10 p.m. on Wednesday October 23, 1918 with 356 passengers and crew bound for Juneau, Wrangell, Ketchikan, Prince Rupert, Vancouver and Victoria British Columbia. She sailed out into a heavy snowstorm that night and drifted off course, resulting in the Sophia grounding violently on Vanderbilt Reef, located in the middle of Alaska's Lynn Canal. Rescue was close at hand by ships from all over the southeastern Alaskan coast, but the storm and reluctance of the Sophia's captain to evacuate his passengers foiled all attempts at a transfer. In the evening of October 25, a frantic report transmitted by the Sophia's wireless operator was picked up by one of the rescue ships, the Lighthouse buoy tender Cedar. "Ship foundering on reef," it said, "come at once." this was soon followed by: "For God's sake hurry, the water is coming into my room." The Cedar battled its way through the heavy seas, but was unable to reach the stricken liner.

The next morning, the Cedar's crew, and the crew of the fishing boat King and Winge arrived at Vanderbilt Reef. It was empty, the only thing marking where the Princess Sophia's location was twenty feet of her mast poking above the waters of the Canal. All 356 men, women, and children aboard--"approximately eight percent of the entire non-Native population of the Yukon," according to one historian--were dead. The only living thing found from the Princess Sophia was an oil covered Irish Setter found in a bay about a dozen miles from the scene of the sinking. A court of inquiry, in a controversial move, absolved the Sophia's skipper, Leonard Locke, of any negligence in the decision not to offload his passengers, citing that the tragedy was caused by "Peril of the sea." Nevertheless following the Princess Sophia's sinking, the CPR imposed a new regulation demanding that passengers traveling on the line's ships should be evacuated no matter what in the event of a future grounding.
5. Intended to be flagship of their fleet, this ship built for the Holland-America line would instead became a troopship, and then a casualty of war. What was she called when sunk?

Answer: Justicia

Originally called Statendam when launched on July 9, 1914 at Belfast's famed Harland and Wolff yards, the 776 foot, 32,000 ton liner was requisitioned by the British admiralty while still being fitted out. Equipped with all the accommodations typical of a troopship of the period, the Statendam was renamed Justicia (Justice in Latin) and put under the control of the Cunard Line. Unfortunately, with many of Cunard's sailors and officers siphoned off for the war effort, the line could not man her properly. The admiralty instead handed her over to the White Star Line, who had the Justicia crewed by men who had before been aboard the Britannic (Titanic's third sister ship, sunk in November, 1916 in the Kea Channel).

On July 19, 1918, the Justicia was en-route to New York from Belfast when she was struck by a torpedoes fired by German submarine UB-64. Two more soon followed, but the Justicia though listing badly, survived the attack thanks to her watertight subdivision and the attending destroyers who were escorting her. But UB-64 was not through, and launched a fourth torpedo. Again the liner shrugged off the damage and the frustrated captain of UB-64 withdrew, but not before radioing his stubborn target's position.

Though the crew of Justicia and her escorts believed that she was out of danger, the fact is that another U-Boat, UB-124 was soon closing in on them. On the morning of July 20, off the coast of Ireland's Malin Head the UB-124 fired a fifth torpedo at the Justicia, it struck home--and fatally wounded the liner. At around noon, she rolled over and sank, taking 16 of her engine room personnel down with her. The escorts attacked UB-124 with a vengeance, sinking the submarine, and capturing the crew.
6. This 1923 disaster off the coast of California was one of the most spectacular in US Naval History up to that date. Where did it happen?

Answer: Honda Point

On September 8, 1923, the fourteen destroyers of the US Navy's destroyer divisions (DESRON) 31, 32 and 33 were sailing from San Francisco to San Diego when a planned turn was made into the Santa Barbara channel. unfortunately, because of faulty navigation, fog, and unusual tides (brought on by an earthquake in Tokyo, Japan), seven of the ships in the formation blundered into the rocks off Honda Point (known officially on charts as Pedernales Point).

In the ensuing pile up, the formation's flagship USS Delphy (DD-261) grounded first, followed by the USS S.P Lee (DD-310), Nicholas (DD-311), Young (DD-312), Woodbury (DD-309), Fuller (DD-297) and Chauncey (DD-296).

The remaining destroyers escaped a similar fate, but all told, 23 officers and men were lost in the disaster (three on the Delphy and 20 on the Young which capsized due to the Delphy's propeller wash).

The wrecks remain at the foot of Honda Point to this day. They were not salvaged and were soon stricken from the Navy list. The commodore of the formation, Captain E.H. Watson, underwent a court martial for the disaster and retired from the Navy in 1929. Also charged were the captains of the other wrecked destroyers.
7. There have been a few vessels that have been given the dubious honor of being lost two or more times throughout their career (the most famous example being the Confederate submarine Hunley in 1864). Seventy-five years later, another submarine suffered the same fate. She was known as the...

Answer: HMS Thetis

The T-class submarine Thetis departed Birkenhead on June 1, 1939 for a test dive in Liverpool Bay. Normally she carried a compliment of 59 officers and ratings, but for this important test she had 44 additional men aboard including officers from other submarines invited to observe the dive, caterers, a pilot, and civilian workers employed by the Thetis's builder, Cammell Laird & Company. The dive began at 2 pm and started well, but soon a torrent of water gushed out of one of the submarine's bow torpedo tubes, sending the sub and the 103 people aboard her nose diving into the bottom of Liverpool bay, 150 feet below. Her stern remained above the surface. The bow compartments were totally flooded, and with her compliment doubled, the air disappeared quicker, replaced by carbon dioxide.

Rescue efforts by the Royal Navy were hampered by nightfall and not knowing where exactly the Thetis had sunk. The crew of the attending tug Grebcock had allowed their ship to drift away from the spot the submarine dived. It was not until 18 hours after the sinking that the submarine's stern was located. By then many of the men inside the Thetis were suffering from severe carbon dioxide poisoning. An attempt to escape from the submarine was made by ascending up one of two escape chambers carried on board, but it resulted in the deaths of two of the crew. As second attempt was more successful resulting in Lieutenant Frederick Woods (Torpedo officer), Walter Arnold (Leading Stoker), Captain Oram (one of the invited guests) and a Cammell Laird worker named Frank Shaw to get out of the Thetis. They would be the only survivors. Several crew tried their hand at using hatch later, but their CO2 clouded minds resulted in not only the outer hatch of the escape trunk to be opened, but also the inner hatch as well, allowing water the flood in, the Thetis's stern to sink and the remaining 99 aboard to suffocate on a massive carbon dioxide buildup.

A court of inquiry would later determine that the flooding of the torpedo tube was the result of a test cock (which permitted a trickle of water to enter and tell a crewman that that tube was open to the sea) was blocked with paint during the submarine's fitting out phase. The day of the accident, the tube had been opened and flooded to allow the Thetis to dive quicker. Unknowingly when Lieutenant Woods ordered the tube to be opened for an inspection, he helped bring about his boat's demise.

The Thetis was raised in the fall of 1939, her crew buried and the sub rebuilt and re-commissioned as HMS Thunderbolt. She would be lost again on March 14, 1943 in the depths of the Mediterranean, the victim of an Italian sloop. There were no survivors.
8. The sinking of this freighter in 1952 became major media event worldwide and made her captain a legend. This ship was known as the...

Answer: Flying Enterprise

Commanded by Danish skipper Henrik Kurt Carlsen, the 6,711 ton Flying Enterprise was a Type C1-B cargo ship built in 1944 as part of wartime emergency shipbuilding programs, and owned post war by the Isbrandtsen Shipping Company of New York. On December 21, 1951, the Flying Enterprise left Hamburg, Germany bound for New York with a crew of 48 and ten passengers. On Christmas Eve, she was struggling through a fierce hurricane wreaking havoc throughout Britain's Western Approaches. During the storm the Flying Enterprise's hull suffered a stress fracture. The cargo (including 900 tons of Coffee, 1,300 tons of pig iron, and a possible shipment of Zirconium--used to shield nuclear fuel rods and intended to be used in the US Navy's first nuclear submarine, Nautilus) shifted, causing the entire ship to list steeply over to her port side by about 60 degrees, making evacuation by the ship's lifeboats impossible.

Alerted by the SOS calls sent out from the stricken freighter, the US Army transport General Greely and the steamer Southland responded and succeeded in taking all but two of the Flying Enterprise's crew and passengers off. The lone exceptions were a male passenger who died during the transfer and Captain Carlsen himself who refused to abandon his ship and radioed for a tug to assist him. The deep water salvage tug Turmoil arrived at the Enterprise's side on January 4, 1952. One of the tug's crew, Ken Dancy managed to climb aboard the freighter and joined Carlsen in his lonely vigil. Around him ships of all sizes--including US destroyers--and aircraft and helicopters braved the terrible storm and watched over the ship, which was quickly becoming the first great media sensation of the New Year.

Carlsen and Dancy remained aboard the Flying Enterprise for the next five days, trying desperately to get a tow line hitched to the Turmoil. Their efforts failed. On January 10, with the Flying Enterprise now hanging virtually over on her beam ends, both Dancy and Carlsen abandoned the ship by walking down her funnel and jumping overboard. Both were picked up by the Turmoil and taken back to shore. Behind them the Flying Enterprise soon upended and slid under the waves stern first, the horns and klaxons of nearby ship rendering a final farewell. Although he was grateful for all the publicity and rewards he got following his exploit, Captain Kurt Carlsen lived out the rest of his life in relative peace and obscurity.
9. The burning of this cruise ship was the catalyst in bringing about the introduction of the SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea) regulations. Name her.

Answer: Yarmouth Castle

The Yarmouth Castle (365 feet, 5,004 tons GRT) left Miami bound for Nassau, in the Bahamas on November 12, 1965 with 376 passengers and 176 crew aboard for what was to have been a relaxing voyage. The next morning, while many of the passengers were asleep, a fire broke out in an unoccupied room in the liner's bow. The Yarmouth Castle utilized wood construction as well as steel, and a constant lack of maintenance over the years had left the ship's woodwork vulnerable to flames. The ship was soon an inferno from stem to stern, and the speed at which it spread prevented the Captain from issuing emergency signals over the whistle. In addition the crew failed in seeing that the passengers were safely evacuated. Orders to abandon ship were broadcast over the PA system in languages the majority of those aboard could not understand; many of the lifeboats had been "glued" to their davits by years of paint coating the falls and pulleys; it was the same situation with the portholes--many passengers became trapped in their cabins where they died by the flames or the smoke that filled the halls and companionways.

No SOS had been sent because the radio operator had been away from his set and was prevented from doing so by fire; fire doors remained open, allowing the flames to spread. Of the twenty lifeboats launched, only six got away from the Yarmouth Castle. One of them contained the Captain, Byron Voutsinas, and many of his officers. Most of the passengers who survived the Yarmouth Castle fire did so on their own.

Two ships, the freighter Finnpulp and the liner Bahama Star, sighted the burning Yarmouth Castle and rushed to her aid that night, the infuriated captain of the former demanding that Captain Voutsinas take his crew back to their ship to help their passengers. The Bahama Star made full steam for the Yarmouth Castle and during the rescue got so close to the ship that the paintwork on the Star's single funnel began to fry. Rescue operations were completed by around 4 a.m. By then the Bahama Star's crew took on 240 passengers and 133 crew. The Finnpulp rescued another 92. In all, 87 people perished in the burning of the Yarmouth Castle. Another three would later die in hospitals in Nassau, bringing to death toll up to 90. Only two of the fatalities were crew. With no other survivors to speak of, the Bahama Star and the Finnpulp left the charred, smoking hulk of the Yarmouth Castle behind. At dawn on November 13, she rolled over and sank, the water around her boiling as she plunged 1,300 feet to the bottom.

An investigation by the US Coast Guard condemned Captain Voutsinas for abandoning his passengers early on in the disaster, as well as the owners of the Yarmouth Castle for running a ship not brought up to proper safety specifications (since the ship was flagged in Panama, her owners circumvented US law). The fire resulted in demands that cruise ships carrying over 50 people use steel fittings instead of wood. The cause of the fire, the Coast Guard report suspected was a mattress falling on a jury rigged ceiling light which sparked and set off combustibles.
10. Sunk in 1942, this ship would, decades later, be among one of the most successful deep sea treasure hunts of the 20th century. Name the vessel.

Answer: HMS Edinburgh

One of two modified Town class heavy cruisers (the other being the now preserved HMS Belfast), Edinburgh sailed out of Murmansk, USSR on April 29, 1942 with a returning convoy code-named QP-11. Before departure, the cruiser had taken aboard scores of wooden boxes purported to be ammunition, but in reality was about 465 bars of Russian gold, estimated then to have a value of about 1.5 million pounds sterling. The gold was to have sent to the United States as part of the Soviet Union's payment of American arms and supplies then being shipped to Russian ports under the Lend-Lease bill.

The next day--April 30--the Edinburgh was close to the 73 parallel when a salvo of four torpedoes fired by German submarine U-436 streaked close by the cruiser but missed. Another U-Boat operating in the vicinity, U-456, was more successful, hitting the Edinburgh on her starboard hull with her last torpedoes. Two of them hit, the first striking the forward boiler room, rapidly filling the space, the second detonating beneath the stern, blowing it apart and taking both the rudder and two of her propeller shafts with it. The Edinburgh still had engine power and tried to reach Murmansk but at eight knots, it was slow going. Soon she had an escort courtesy of the British destroyers Forester and Foresight and two Soviet destroyers.Meanwhile, the German navy, alerted to Edinburgh's predicament by reports from U-456, sent in some of their own destroyers to finish off the crippled cruiser.

Though attempts by Forester to two Edinburgh back to Murmansk failed, help in the form of a tug and the minesweepers Harrier, Hussar and Gossamer arrived to assist. On May 2, the small formation, despite constant attacks by the Luftwaffe, was well on its way to Russian shores when the three German destroyers made an appearance, closing the distance to fire off torpedoes. In the ensuing firefight, Edinburgh scored a vital hit on the boilers and engines of the German "tin can" Herman Schoemann (which was later scuttled). The other enemy ships were soon withdrawing, but not before Forester was put out of action by shells and Edinburgh was hit with another torpedo. Realizing that all was hopeless, the remaining officers and crew evacuated the cruiser and were taken to Murmansk aboard the minesweepers. On May 3, Forsight's crew, after failing to sink Edinburgh with gunfire, fired another torpedo into her. She plunged 800 feet to the bottom of the Barents sea, taking with her the bodies of 58 of her crew...as well as the gold bullion.

Thirty nine years later, a salvage team led by Keith Jessop discovered the wreck of the Edinburgh in 1981. Using the technique of saturation diving, Jessop's divers wormed their way through the rusting hull of Edinburgh, eventually coming across the compartment in the forward magazine where the treasure was allegedly stored in 1942. On September 16, 1982, the helium tinged shouts of "I've found the gold, I've found the gold!" rang throughout the salvage ship's radios. By the time the search ended, Keith Jessop and his team had raised 431 of the 465 bars trapped within the Edinburgh. The value of the gold at the time of its recovery was estimated at around 45 million pounds sterling.
Source: Author FearlessFreep

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