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shipwreck

shipwreck, complete or partial destruction of a vessel as a result of collision, fire, grounding, storm, explosion, or other mishap. In the ancient world sea travel was hazardous, but in modern times the number of shipwrecks due to nonhostile causes has steadily declined. Factors contributing to the decrease are improvements in ship construction, modern methods of navigation, efficient ship-to-ship and ship-to-shore communication, more accurate meteorological reports and storm warnings, and the use of radar equipment. The greater size and larger accommodations of present-day vessels, however, involve greater potential loss of life and cargo in each ship disaster. One of the most famous modern sea disasters was the sinking of the Titanic in 1912.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

More on shipwreck from Infoplease:

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  • Shipwrecks - Shipwrecks Shipwrecks Since 1833 Mysterious Disappearances See also: The Sultana The Titanic The ...
  • Marine - Marine 1865 April 27, Mississippi River, nr. Memphis, Tenn.: explosion on steamboat Sultana killed ...
  • Submarine - Submarine 1963 April 10, North Atlantic: atomic-powered submarine Thresher sank; 129 dead. See also ...
  • Titanic: The Anniversary of the Sinking of the World's Most Famous Ship - The world's most famous ship sunk on April 15, 1912

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Naval and Nautical Affairs


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