Oceanliner RMS Empress of Ireland

Empress Hull Letters

Body of Water: Gulf of St. Lawrence

Site Quality: Gold Stars

Ken Marschall rendering

Parks Canada Dive Guide.

Vessel Type: Oceanliner - Shelter Deck Type. 4 visible decks.

Launched: January 27, 1906 at at Govan, Scotland by Fairfield Shipbuilding and Engineering Co. (Hull 443) for Canadian Pacific Railway Company

Length x Beam x Depth ft [m]: 548.9' x 65.8'x 36.7'   [167.3] x [20.0] x [11.2]

Tonnage: 14,191 Gross, 8,028 Net

Official Number: 123972

Other Names: None

Loss Details:

Sank just past 2 AM, May 29, 1914. Fourteen minutes after being struck starboard, amidships by the steam collier, Storstad in heavy fog. 1,012 of her 1,477 passengers and crew perished in the freezing water.

Date of Loss: Friday, May 29, 1914

Location of Loss: Off Sainte-Luce-sur-Mer, Québec

Site Details:

Lies on her starboard side. Deck faces upward, listing about 45°. Hull is Intact. Interior Collapsing. Deck structure has collapsed and slid to the bottom. Site is extremely dark. Water temp was in the low 40 degree F range in early September 2006 & 2007. Current varies greatly with tide and wind conditions. Three moorings exist: Stern, Amidships, and Bow.

Highlights: Large open holds and cabins contain personal effects, dinnerware, kitchenware, grand staircase remains, human remains. Teak deck, deck winches, hand rails, ship's name remains at bow. An enormous site with lots to see. Please respect the dead...

Dive Depth ft [m]: 85'-140' [25.9-42.7]


Grout, Derek. Empress of Ireland: The Story of an Edwardian Liner . Tempus Publishing Ltd, Gloucestershire, 2001

The Forgotten Tragedy: The Sinking of the Empress of Ireland, Le Musee de la mer de Point-au-Père, Point-au-Père, 1999

McMurray, Kevin F. Dark Decent: Diving and the Deadly Allure of the Empress of Ireland. McGraw Hill. New York. 2004.

Zeni, David. Forgotten Emprise: The Empress of Ireland Story. Goose Lane Editions. 1998.

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