10 Harrowing 19th-Century Maritime Disasters

Posted on

10. Fiery Star

The name Fiery Star is irony at its best, considering that the ship met its end in a fury of fire. Having left Brisbane for London, the Fiery Star sailed for nearly two weeks without incident until April 20, 1865, when it inexplicably caught fire roughly 640 kilometers (400 mi) from land. Seeing that flames were quickly gaining ground, 80 passengers—including the captain—took to the four lifeboats onboard. Regrettably, 17 passengers remained on the burning ship, as there was no room for them on the boats.

As the captain and 79 others sailed away, those left behind controlled the flames for 22 days until it was apparent that their efforts were futile. In what would have been the crew’s final hours on Earth, the Dauntless appeared in the distance and ultimately rescued all 17 onboard. Hours later, the Fiery Star sank to the bottom of the ocean. As for the 80 passengers who were thought to have escaped death in the lifeboats weeks earlier, they were never heard from again.

Prev1 of 10Next

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *