Nowadays, maritime disasters sound distant, unlikely and the stuff of movies. However, to this day, catastrophes involving ships occur with more regularity than most know of. So, on this particular occasion we decided to rank the deadliest shipwrecks in history, some of which have occurred within the past two decades.
We chose to take into account only those disasters which occurred during peacetime and discarded those which took place during wartime. That includes the biggest shipwreck of all time in terms of fatalities: the sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff by a Soviet submarine during World War II, in which 9,400 lives were lost. Nevertheless, some of the wreckages in our countdown did occur during wartime, but their fatalities were unrelated to military action. In our list you will also find shipwrecks that were triggered by bad weather, overcrowding, faulty design and human error. If you find this list on the most catastrophic maritime disasters interesting, you must also check out our countdown on The Ocean’s 10 Biggest Shipping Companies.
Now then, let’s take a look at the countdown and find out which were the deadliest shipwrecks in history.
10. Toya Maru
Death toll: 1,153
Events: This Japanese train ferry sank during a typhoon in the Tsugaru Strait.
Nine more tragic shipwrecks which claimed thousands of lives are recounted on the next pages, as our countdown of the deadliest shipwrecks in history continues.