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- 1904 Project SS Norge 2004 -

SS Norge - Titanics predecessor

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The official project and expedition team logo

SS Norge
Photo: Mariners Museum, Newport News, Virginia, US
June 28, 2004 marks the 100th year for sinking of the Danish DFDS steamer SS Norge. More than 600 passengers and crew lost their lives during the sinking, which primarily was caused by the need for adequate life boats. And to make things worse, the excact same story was repeated only 8 years later when the luxury liner RMS Titanic was lost. Again, there were not enough life boats and more than 1.000 people went down with the ship. Had the Titanic constructors taken into consideration the lessons learned from the SS Norge sinking and accepted that a sufficient amount of life boats were essential for rescuing passengers, it is more than likely that a lot more of the passengers from the Titanic would have been saved. The sinking of the SS Norge is still the worst Danish civil maritime disaster and the story of the SS Norge is the story of the Danish Titanic.

In remembrance of the sinking of SS Norge, an official 100 Year Memorial diving expedition with participants from Great Britain, Denmark and the United States has been arranged to commence in spring 2004. The diving expedition has been endorsed by relatives of the survivors from the disaster.

The diving expedition is lead by British historical researcher and diver Kevin Heath. Kevin has spent more than four years researching and looking for the wreck. The latter was successfully achieved in June 2003 when Kevin located the wreck in the waters off Rockall. The Danish team will be lead by Thomas Nielsen and Christian Sloth who have been responsible for and have been leading several diving expeditions to the wrecks of the Battle of Jutland. Recently, they conducted the Flying Enterprise Expedition 2002 in the English Channel. The American team will be lead by the world renowned wreck diver Gary Gentile, noted author, underwater photographer and diver of numerous wrecks around the world. One of the most famous wrecks Gary has dived is the Andrea Doria. In total the diving team consists of 12 divers.

The diving expedition will survey and explore the historical wreck site and produce high quality photo and video footage for documentation and tv-purposes.

The diving team will be using the dive and survey vessel MV Cicala owned by the Manchester based company Wreck "N" Tech Ltd, Manchester (UK). The MV Cicala has the size and features for making this expedition a success and the team is looking forward to use the Cicala on this expedition.

Following the expedition two memorial events are planned. The first will be held in Stornoway, Scotland, on June 28, 2004 followed by a second held in New York, at the Ellis Island Museum on July 24-25, 2004.

Press release, January 15, 2004

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