Unstoppable force, immovable object!

Another recent eBay acquisition.

Cunard RMS Ascania passes the BAR lightship on the Mersey.

This postcard well illustrates the dangers and size differential between ocean liners and their guardians. At 14,000+ tons and 538ft long, the Ascania and her sisters built up enormous momentum once underway and couldn’t stop on a sixpence, hence a number of collisions with helpless, tethered lightships occurred over the years. Most notable amongst these were the sinking of the Kish lightship off Dublin by the RMS Leinster on the 8th September, 1902, (fortunately with no loss of life) and the more serious sinking of the US Nantucket lightship LV117 by the RMS Olympic on the 15th May 1934, in which 7 crewmen lost their lives.

LV117 was no mean ship itself, weighing in at 630 tons and 135ft in length but when compared with the Olympic at 50,000 tons, 882ft in length and travelling at 14mph, it stood no chance. It was reported that many aboard the Olympic didn’t even notice the collision.


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