Daily Event for January 24, 2009

March 4, 1882 the headline read "Three Overdue Steam-Ships." The list contained all three names, Titania, City of Berlin and America, only one would ever be seen again. The lucky ship was the Inman Line's City of Berlin, although concerns about her safety continued to be reported until Mar. 5th, later that day the SS Ville d' Alger arrived in Boston and related the good news. The City of Berlin was safe, but she had broken her shaft on Feb. 22nd. With unfavorable winds she drifted until found by the Ville d' Alger on Feb. 27th.

They had attempted to tow her, but the line parted. The next morning the SS Samaria arrived on the scene and took over landing them at Boston in the late evening of Mar. 5th. With over 600 people on board, her safe arrival was a disaster avoided. In May a salvage court ordered the Inman Line to pay for their ship's rescue. The total was £8,500 divided thus; £500 to the Ville d' Alger, £5,300 to the owners of Samaria, £600 to her captain and £2,100 to be divided amongst the crew.

The story of the other two ships has no happy ending, on Jan. 24, 1882 the Red Cross Line's Titania sailed from New York bound for Newcastle with a 31 man crew and a cargo valued at $100,00, fortunately there were no passengers on board. She was to take a northern course passing around the northern coast of Scotland, however ice had been reported further south than normal in 1882 and it is feared that she sailed right into one of the fields and was either crushed or sunk by an iceberg. Of course nobody really knows what happened to her.

The final ship in the headlines, SS America sailed from New York for Hamburg on Feb. 1, 1882, she was possibly sighted in mid ocean under sail, but that report was not confirmed. She also vanished with all 36 crewmen.
© 2009 Michael W. Pocock

2005 Daily Event