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Maritime Disasters: HMS Birkenhead

May 20th, 2016 by Piper Smith

HMS Birkenhead, also referred to as HM Troopship Birkenhead or steam frigate Birkenhead, was one of the first iron-hulled ships built for the Royal Navy. She was initially designed as a frigate, but was converted to a troopship before being commissioned. There were not enough serviceable lifeboats on board for all the passengers. Only 193 of the 643 people onboard survived, this gave rise to the “women and children first” protocol during the procedure of abandoning ship.