10 Worst Shipping Disasters in the World

The most famous shipping disaster in the world is the sinking of RMS Titanic in 1912, but what was the worst in terms of loss of life? In this article we explore the ten worst shipping disasters in the world, during peacetime, and rank them in terms of the loss of life. There were many worse disasters during wartime, with the worst being the sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff during World War II, resulting in the deaths of around 9,400 people.

Here are the top ten shipping disasters during peacetime, ranked from lowest to highest loss of life.


10. Kiche Maru, Japan (1912)


[No photo of this ship available]


Around 1,000 people died when the Kiche Maru sank during a typhoon in the Pacific on 22 September 1912, just 5 months after the sinking of the Titanic earlier that year in April.


9. General Slocum, USA (1904)

PS General Slocum
On 15 June 1904, more than 1,000 people died when the paddle steamer General Slocum caught fire and sank in New York City’s East River.


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