Ivernia (1900)

Ivernia was built in 1900, by C.S. Swan & Hunter Ltd. in Newcastle. She was the sister ship to Saxonia. Her tonnage was 14,058 tons gross, 11,057 under deck and 9,052 net. She was 582 feet long with a 64.9 foot beam and holds 37.8 feet deep; She had twin screws, 4 masts, 3 steel decks. The upper and main decks were partly sheathed in wood. Steel orlop deck forward, orlop beams aft, steel shelter deck were also sheathed in wood. She was fitted with electric lights and refrigerating machinery.

There was a cellular double bottom, aft 163 feet long, under engine and boilers 113 feet amidship and forward 205 feet. Propulsion came from a quadruple expansion steam engine with 8 cylinders operating at 210 p.s.i.; 1,668 nominal horsepower; 9 single ended boilers; 27 corrugated furnaces. The engine was built by Wallsend Slipway Co. Ltd. in Newcastle.

At the time of her construction, Ivernia had the largest funnel of any vessel afloat. At 60 feet in height, it was as large as the later 52,000 ton German Imperator’s funnels. Ivernia had accommodations for 164 First class, 200 Second class, and 1600 Third class passengers. She started on her maiden voyage from Liverpool to New York on April 14th 1900. Her normal service was Liverpool – Queenstown (Cobh) – Boston.

Following the outbreak of World War I in August 1914 the Ivernia was hired by the British government as a troop transport and was placed under the command of Captain Turner (made famous for being the captain of RMS Lusitania at the time of her sinking).

At 10:12am on 1 January 1917 the Ivernia was torpedoed by the German submarine UB-47 58 miles south-east of Cape Matapan in Greece. Within one hour the ship sank. HMS Rifleman rescued a number, and armed trawlers towed the bulk, who had taken to lifeboats, to Suda Bay in Crete. Over 120 lives were lost from the sinking.

*special thanks to Phil Massaad and George Pronesti for input on this vessel.

Quick Glance

Name: RMS Ivernia
Owner: Cunard Line
Route: Liverpool – Queenstown – Boston
Builder: Swan, Hunter & Wigjam Richardson
Newcastle, England
Launched: 1900
Maiden voyage: 1901
Fate: Sunk by German submarine 1917
General characteristics
Type: Ocean liner
Tonnage: 14, 058
Length: 582
Propulsion: Quadruple Expansion – Twin Screws
Speed: 17 knots
Capacity: 1,964
– 164 First Class
– 200 Second Class
– 1,600 First Class

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