- 1904 Project SS Norge 2004 -
On the morning of June 28, 1904 the danish DFDS steamer Norge hit the ground at the isolated and tiny Rockall situated 500 km in the Atlantic Ocean. The water soon began to enter the ship through the stern and within 5 minutes it was obvious to all that the ship could not be saved. Now began a race against time in order to get as many people as possible of the sinking ship. But time was not the only concern. Norge was only equipped with 8 life boats and even if the boats were filled in accordance to specifications it would only be possible for about 1/3 of the passengers and crew on board to be saved. Time soon made all concerns academic. In less than 20 minutes it was all over. At 8.05 AM the Norge went under and more than 600 passengers and crew perished.
If the 160 survivors, who had made it into the life boats in time expected life to be easy from here, they could not have been more wrong. Rain, wind and bitter cold nights made life in the open life boats a living nightmare. The lack of food and water did not make things and chances for survival better.
From a total of 8 life boats only 6 made it away from the sinking ship. The following days life boat no. 2 was lost with all hands, and thus only life boat no. 1, 3, 4, 5, and 8 were later observed from passing vessels. The first boat to be rescued was the life boat no. 3. During the morning of June 29, the steamer Salvia rescued the 27 survivors of which many was almost dying. The Salvia conducted a thorough search of the disaster area but only debris and floating dead bodies were encountered. The Salvia then continued to Grimsby where the survivors were put ashore on July 3 and the world for the first time learned about the disaster. News about the Norge hit Denmark on July 4, and immediately made headlines in the newspapers all over the country. As the survivors made it across the Atlantic on other ships, the word about the sinking also became hot stuff in America and New York Times among others, covered the sinking.
The final resting place of wreck of the SS Norge has not yet been established. But the wreck is out there in the vicinity of the remote Rockall where it met its fate for 100 years ago.
- The Expedition
nolimitsdiving (c) 2004