Empress of Ireland
page is intended to provide information for divers and non-divers interested in
the R.M.S. Empress of Ireland.
is the last known photo of the
Empress of Ireland on May 28, 1914 as she left Quebec City only a few hours
before she would sink following a collision with the collier Storstad in
fourteen minutes in one of the greatest tragedies in maritime history with
1012 lives lost.
The cause of the collision was debated passionately then
and will not doubt be in dispute for many more years to come. While the Storstad was held accountable in the court of inquiry, the nature of the
collision suggested that miscommunication between both ships while
in fog or immediately prior to entering fog, resulted in the disaster.
here to see one interpretation of what may have happened based on each
Today, she lies
on her starboard side, at an angle of approximately 60 degrees in nearly 150 feet
of water in the St. Lawrence river off Point-au-Pere (Father Point).
Empress of Ireland: An
Essay, written by Heather Knowles and David Caldwell, a fusion of past
dive reports and the history of the ship.
are many websites and resources for those interested in learning more
about the Empress. Here are some of the better ones we have found that
provide useful and interesting information.
The Empress of Ireland
- Ian Kindler's website on the
Empress of Ireland, which includes photos, video, stories, deck plans and
Dan Lindsay's website about the Empress of Ireland which has numerous links to
related websites. This site has information on diving, history,
passengers and crew, as well as the project to save Empress artifacts
from being removed from Canada and sold to individual buyers.
de la Mer
- The museum at Point au Pere which houses many artifacts from the Empress.
A truly an impressive collection of artifacts, the museum pays tribute to many
of the Empress divers and their contributions. As of 2002, a complete set of deck plans
could be purchased from
the museum for about $30 US. Several books and videos can also be
Atlantic Dive Expeditions - Empress of Ireland Expeditions 2002-2006
Dive reports, photos and information
for past and planned expeditions to the wreck conducted by Northern
Atlantic Dive Expeditions. This section contains photos of the
local area and underwater photos of the wreck. NADE is the host of
this Empress of Ireland information webpage.
Scan Sonar Images
Side scan sonar images taken by the Canadian Navy Route Survey Office in Halifax
using the Klein System 5000.
Tide predictions for Point-au-Pere station can be found here.
There are numerous hotels, motels
and B&Bs in the Rimouski and Saint Luce areas. We recommend the following:
- A local hotel in Rimouski
decorated to the theme of the Empress of Ireland. There is a nice
restaurant within the hotel. Rooms are neat, clean and new. Friendly
staff (some English spoken). Summer rates as of 2006 were $89-120/night CAD
plus tax depending on room. Call 1-888-724-6944 to make a reservation. Be specific
that the Hotel Empress is where you would like to stay, as there are a number of
hotels owned by the same group.
of Ireland reading:
These books are available at the above linked sites or on
Amazon.com. There are many books on the Empress but these are
three of the best books on the topic available. Additional
books will be added to the list as they are read and reviewed.
of Ireland, Story of an Edwardian Liner by Derek Grout
This book covers high level details about the Empress and CPR, including many
statistics and data about the ship, the operations, staff, etc. There is
also a large section on the Inquiry and night of the sinking, including numerous
first hand accounts from survivors. Not a lot of photos but excellent
information with exquisite detail. This book is widely available,
for about $20 US.
Empress by David Zeni
Probably one of the most comprehensive and well written books on the Empress
available. The book covers the early days of the Canadian Pacific Railways
and the construction of the Empress through the disaster and subsequent salvage
efforts in the months following the sinking. Actual excerpts of the
inquest are included as well as a small fold out set of deck plans. Many pictures and
color photos of the wreck and diver recovered artifacts. This book retails
for ~$30 US.
Minutes by James Croall
- This book
covers the harrowing night of May 29, 1914 with great detail. The
story is primarily based on first hand accounts from survivors and provides an
excellent analysis of the collision. A little bit of an easier read than
Zeni's book as it is not as technical. This book is out of print and
hard to find but well worth it. Used copies can be found on Amazon but
expect to pay $50-100 US for a decent hardcover version.
of Ireland Video:
videos have been released.
to Oblivion: The Empress of Ireland Story
A video documentary on the sinking with a good segment of underwater
footage. Recently released in English, this video can be purchased from the Musee de la Mer. This documentary is well done and is worth purchasing.
St Cyr released a video that is a compilation of underwater
footage from the exterior of the wreck to the inner most reaches where few have
been. An excellent video for anyone planning to dive the Empress as it
will give a good idea of the dive conditions and particularly interesting things
to see. See the link to his website above for contact information and
availability. The video can also be purchased through the Musee de
information about diving the Empress or if you have corrections, additions or
suggestions about this page, email us at
We are interested in hearing from you!
updated: November 18, 2012
Northern Atlantic Dive Expeditions, Inc. All Rights Reserved.