british Royal Mail Steam Packet Co. Ltd. (Royal Mail Lines) SS Arcadian [+1917]
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nationality british
purpose transport
type passenger ship
propulsion steam
date built 1885
weight (tons) 8939  grt
dimensions 152.4 x 16.8 x 10.4 m
engine triple expansion engines
power 506  n.h.p.
speed 15  knots
about the loss
cause lost torpedo
date lost 15/04/1917  [dd/mm/yyyy]
casualties  max.277rank: 364
about people
Vickers, Sons & Maxim Ltd., Barrow-In-Furness
last owner
[1]Royal Mail Steam Packet Co. Ltd. (Royal Mail Lines), London
SS Arcadian [+1917]
period 1910 ~ 1918
prev. owners
[2]Pacific Steam Navigation Co., Liverpool
SS Ortona
period 1885 ~ 1910
complement 1335
about the wreck
depth (m.) 146 max. / -- min. (m)
war grave
entered by Lettens Jan
entered 28/08/2008
last update Chipchase Nick
last update 11/04/2011
Lettens Jan02/01/2009
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  Hydrographic Service UK  
Allen Tony23/03/2009R.M.S.P. Co. Arcadian was converted into a transport during the First World War. On April 15th, 1917, Arcadian with a company of 1,335 troops and crew was proceeding from Salonika to Alexandria, and was in the southern Aegean, 26 miles N.E. of Milo.

The troops had just completed boat-drill when a German submarine UC-74 approached unseen and discharged a torpedo which inflicted such extensive damage that the vessel sank in six minutes. Fortunately the men´s recent exercise at the boats imparted steadiness and confidence and 1,058 were rescued, either through their own efforts or by the escorting destroyer.

The number drowned was 277 and, had it not been for the sudden capsizing of the vessel, many more would have been saved. Those lost included 19 army officers and 214 other ranks, as well as ten naval ratings and 34 members of the crew.

A considerable amount of wreckage and spars was sucked down and this, coming to the surface with great force, killed many who were swimming in the water.
ref. used: 
 Hocking C., Dictionary of Disasters at Sea during the Age of Steam
Lettens Jan28/08/2008UK hydro member
ref. used: 
 UK Hydrographic Office

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About Owners
Royal Mail Steam Packet Co. Ltd. (Royal Mail Lines), London

Founded as the Royal Mail Steam Packet Company in 1839. Services between the UK and the Caribbean and Central America and North America.

Purchased the White Star Line in 1927.

In 1932, changed name to Royal Mail Line and re-organisation after scandal and losses.

In 1965 RML was purchased by Furness, Withy & Co.

Lloyd's reference: 1188.

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