SS Storstad

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Storstad Montreal 1914.jpg
Storstad at Montreal in 1914, soon after colliding with the Empress of Ireland.
Flag of Norway.svgNorway
Name: SS Storstad
Operator: A. F. Klaveness & Co (1914-17)
Builder: Armstrong, Whitworth & Co Ltd, Newcastle upon Tyne
Launched: 1910
Homeport: Norway Christiania, Norway
Fate: Torpedoed and sunk by U-62 on 8 March 1917
General characteristics
Class and type: Collier
Tonnage: 6,028 GRT
Length: 134m (439' 6")

SS Storstad was a 6,028 GRT Norwegian collier (coal freighter), built in 1910 in Newcastle upon Tyne by Armstrong, Whitworth & Co Ltd. She is best known for her collision with the ocean liner RMS Empress of Ireland in 1914, which sank the latter ship and killed over 1,000 people. Storstad was herself later sunk during the First World War on 8 March 1917, after being torpedoed by the German submarine SM U-62.

Empress of Ireland disaster[edit]

Storstad sailed from Sydney, Nova Scotia to Quebec, loaded with coal from the Dominion Coal Company.

In the early morning of 29 May 1914, Storstad collided with the RMS Empress of Ireland in the Saint Lawrence River near Pointe-au-Père, while both ships were steaming through fog, tearing a 14-foot (4.3 m) hole in the Empress's starboard side. The Empress capsized and sank in just 14 minutes, killing 1,012 of her passengers and crew. There were 465 survivors. On duty at the time was Chief Officer Alfred Toftenes. Storstad did not sink and stood by to assist with rescue before limping into the port of Quebec with minor damage to her bow.[1]

The Canadian Pacific Railway, which owned Empress of Ireland, filed a $2,000,000 lawsuit for damages against A. F. Klaveness & Co, the owners of Storstad.[2][3] A. F. Klaveness & Co. could not pay the $2,000,000, resulting in the Storstad itself being awarded to the CPR as recompense. The CPR sold the Storstad to Prudential Trust, an insurance company acting on behalf of A. F. Klaveness & Co., for $175,000.[4]


On 8 March 1917 during World War I, Storstad was sunk in the Atlantic Ocean 45 nautical miles (83 km) south west of the Fastnet Rock (51°20′N 11°50′W / 51.333°N 11.833°W / 51.333; -11.833) by SM U-62 of the German Imperial Navy. Three crew members of Storstad were lost.[5]


  1. ^ "Official Statement Defending the Storstad Says She Had Right of Way and Tried to Avoid Collision," The New York Times, June 1, 1914.
  2. ^ Defense of the Collier's Captain." The Independent [New York] 8 June 1914, 78th ed.: 443. Print.
  3. ^ "Canadian Pacific Ry. Co. v. S.S. Storstad - SCC Cases (Lexum)". Retrieved 2016-05-06. 
  4. ^ "Storstad Bought at Montreal Sale." Toronto Sunday World 8 July 1914, 34th ed.: 6. Print.
  5. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Ships hit during WWI: Storstad". German and Austrian U-boats of World War I - Kaiserliche Marine - Retrieved 15 October 2012. 


External links[edit]