September 21


The Storstad and the Empress

Clearly not the actual boats of that day, but you get the picture

The Storstad and the Empress were 2 ships that collided in 1914.

To explain what caused it lets have a look at the circumstances. Firstly it was early the morning, and they had come across heavy fog. Now normal procedure for difficult visibility situations was simply to stop. A complete stop. Yet the Storstad did not it slowed down. This resulted in the collision. It was one of the worst maritime disasters the Storstad did not just slice into the Empress it continued forward resulting in more deaths. 1,073 people lost their lives in that one. The Empress also had not sealed its water tight doors which added to the disaster. It sunk in 14 mins

I can remember another situation in one of the world wars (I cannot remember the specifics like dates and which war so don’t shoot me). It was the American ships and they were all losing their way at sea in terms of finding the destination.
Nobody could figure out why, until they discovered that when the ships hit fog, the Captains would try to change course.
They realised later that instead of trying to avoid it, they should simply keep the original coordinates and slow down, eventually they would make it through and get to where they needed to go.

I think both stories describe a period we all go through in life at various times and stages. We hit a “fog” patch and we cannot see our way forward. Do we still plod along like the Storstad even though we cannot see? Or do we simply stop like the empress and simply leave ourselves unprotected and at the mercy of what we cannot see around us?

I think there is a lesson in this for us all. When we cannot see, don’t make life altering decisions. Sit down and stop if you have to, but like the American ships did, don’t try and avoid it. Go through what you have to go through, but don’t make major decisions in the fog. Stick to what you decided when you could see.

The Storstad and Empress was a series of unfortunate events (who never experiences those ones hey) but we can learn from things, even though there were procedures in place. Sometimes people just ignore them and other people suffer. But that does not mean we should just sit there and hope for the best. We should be vigilant and do what we can while going through these things.
It will only take you off course.

Wait until the fog clears…..



decisions, Empress, fog, life, ships, Storstad

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