Flashback in maritime history: Suez Canal opened to shipping 17 November 1869

(http://www.MaritimeCyprus.com) The Suez Canal opened to shipping on 17 November 1869. Excavation of the Canal had taken ten years, using forced labor and rudimentary mechanical equipment. Construction had been opposed by British interests, who feared competition in trade with India. Once the Canal opened and proved successful, British interests acquired a majority ownership. The Canal…

Flashback in maritime history: Hijacking of Achille Lauro 7 October 1985

(www.MaritimeCyprus.com) On 7 October 1985, four members of the Palestine Liberation Front (PLF) hijacked the Italian cruise ship Achille Lauro when it was in the Mediterranean Sea en route from Alexandria, Egypt to Port Said. The Achille Lauro left Genoa, Italy, on October 3 for a 12-day cruise of the Mediterranean Sea. Aboard were 748 passengers and several…

Flashback in history: Sinking of SS Princess Alice on the river Thames, resulting in 650 deaths, 03 Sept. 1878

The passenger paddle steamer Princess Alice was built in 1865. It operated primarily as an excursion steamer on the River Thames, carrying sightseers from London to Gravesend and back. On 3 September 1878, it departed in the morning for a “Moonlight Trip”, transiting to Gravesend so that passengers could spend several pleasant hours touring Rosherville Gardens and…

Flashback in history: Toya Maru Japanese ferry sinking, resulting in 1500 deaths, 26 Sept. 1954

The Tōya Maru was a Japanese train ferry constructed by the Japanese National Railways which sank during a typhoon in the Tsugaru Strait between the Japanese islands of Hokkaidō and Honshūon September 26, 1954. The Japanese National Railways announced in September 1955 that 1,153 people aboard were killed in the accident. However, the exact number of fatalities remains…