Top 10 Worst Maritime Disasters In History

At this point in time, pretty much everybody knows about the Titanic disaster and about the 1,500 people who lost their lives when it happened, but believe it or not, there have been a few even more catastrophic shipwrecks throughout history which unfortunately do not get the same attention for whatever reason. It is for this reason that we thought it would perhaps be best if we reminded ourselves of what exactly were the most catastrophic shipwrecks in history and when they occurred. So without further ado, here are the ten most tragic maritime disasters in recorded history.


10HMS Birkenhead – 460 deaths

Also referred to as HM Troopship Birkenhead or ‘steam frigate Birkenhead’, was one of the first iron-hulled ships ever built by the Royal Navy. Initially designed as a frigate, this large ship was later converted to a troopship for strategic purposes. On February 26, 1852, HMS Birkenhead was wrecked at Gansbaai near Cape Town in South Africa after hitting an uncharted rock. Because the ship didn’t have enough serviceable lifeboats for everybody on board, it was only 460 women and children who managed to survive the disaster while the soldiers stood behind.