Posted by: hunterwaters | August 10, 2010

Joke on a boat leads to 4 deaths; a look at the worst disasters at sea

Four men died in Idaho on Monday after they were “horsing around” on a boat.

One man was standing up in the front of the boat and another man pushed him into the water as a joke, not realizing he could not swim.

With this tragic event coinciding with the anniversary of the sinking of the Swedish warship, Vasa, here are the most tragic disasters at sea:

5. Vasa (1628) – Only 30-50 people perished, but what’s notable about one of Sweden’s top tourist attractions is that it traveled only one mile after being launched before it sank. The Swedes are definitely better at building things now.

4. RMS Titanic (1912) – One of the worst peacetime maritime disasters, with 1,517 dead. Definitely the most famous, though.  Thank/blame Leo for that one.

3. RMS Lancastria (1940) – The converted cruise ship was ferrying British troops and civilians when it was bombed by German planes.  The ship sank within minutes, taking around 2,500 lives.

2. MV Dona Paz (1987) – The worst disaster during peacetime with nearly 4,400 dead. This passenger ferry collided with an oil tanker in the Philippines, with both ships sinking within 4 hours of the collision.

1. MS Wilhelm Gustloff (1945) – The “greatest ship disaster and sinking in history.” Named after the assassinated German leader of the Swiss Nazi party, this cruise ship transitioned  into a hospital ship during WWII before turning in to a barracks ship. Over 9,000 people died when hit by a torpedo from a Russian submarine, sinking in less than 45 minutes.

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