RMS Empress of Ireland


Delve into the tragic history of the ship whose sinking was as disastrous as the Titanic’s.

When we think of a major marine disaster, the Titanic usually springs to mind. Yet a mere two years after the Titanic, a tragedy of similar proportions took place in the confines of the St. Lawrence River. On a dark night in May 1914 the Norwegian collier Storstad rammed the Canadian Pacific liner Empress of Ireland. In less than fifteen minutes, more than 1,000 people died, trapped in the ship’s hull or drowned as they were trying to escape. They died within sight of land.

Despite the scale of the disaster and the fact that the ship had an excellent safety record with eight years in service, the Empress tragedy has been sadly overlooked. Now this lavishly illustrated luxury edition seeks to remedy this oversight, on the centenary of the tragic event.


Derek Grout's RMS EMPRESS OF IRELAND is a fine tribute to Canada's Titanic, and a most welcome addition to any bookshelf.

David Zeni, author of Forgotten Empress

The scale of the disaster is compellingly narrated in a beautifully illustrated book.

Maritime magazine

Grout’s book is a highly readable account of the ship and her fate. It will help to ensure that the Empress of Ireland is not forgotten.

Victoria Times-Colonist

About the Author

Derek Grout

Posted by Dundurn Guest on October 30, 2014
Derek Grout photo

Derek Grout

Derek Grout is a historian who has written extensively on shipwrecks and scuba diving in Canada and the United States. His book, RMS Empress of Ireland, was praised on both sides of the Atlantic. He lives in Pointe Claire, Quebec.