CORNER OF HOLLAND - Just outside the port of Hook of Holland passenger ship SS Berlin largely destroyed. The ferry broke in half and the front portion is sunk. There are certainly a few dozen deaths, but exactly how much is still unclear.

The West Coast was last night hit by a severe northwesterly gale combined with snow. The ship would arrive in the morning around five o'clock, but was half an hour late due to bad weather.

The British captain Precious known as experienced, but according to witnesses it was clear to see that he was struggling to keep the ship on course, near the entrance of the New Waterway. The local flow made the ship a turn and was pushed against the Noorderpier.

That way the ship and a half hours at the pier located. Thereafter, the broke in two. The front portion sank in the sea. Eyewitnesses stood like most people.

rescue Attempts

Around half past six one rocket was fired from the ship. Steam Lifeboat President of Heel immediately yanked off. But the bad weather made it impossible to reach the doomed.

Attempts to approach the ship failed on the pier. It was smooth and it was snowing and blowing too hard.

The rescuers came close, but they failed to reach the doomed. A lifeline was fired, but was repeatedly caught out. When I finally succeeded, broke the line through the waves.

Rescuers on the President of All were powerless. According to Jansen captain of the President of Heel "insane screams goes to the bone ', but without any attempt lifeline was suicide, he explained after returning from.

Many of the people who have been in the water did not stand a chance. The water was four degrees at the time of the disaster and the waves were very high.

It is expected that in the course of the day will again be made rescue efforts.


The roads to Hoek van Holland are flooded with tourists disaster. According to reporter Jean Louis Pisuisse of the Algemeen Handelsblad, the group is so large, the need for an additional car for a train in Schiedam.

It is the reporter that there is a special atmosphere depends among men, which does not fit with a disaster of this magnitude.

"There is among trotting along the train, Instead passengers seeking a fun mood, zouën soon as they drive to a fair. You hear them stomping in full luggage carts and singing. "

(The shipwreck of the “Berlin” 21 Februari 1907. Full story of the shipwreck to the Hook of Holland, JL Pisuisse)

But among the travelers are also much concerned family, which try to get news about their relatives, says Pisuisse.

Hoek van Holland gather the most visitors on the beach, where is the disaster site. It is buzzing, with more than a hundred visitors.

"On the beach, along the pier, was a special buzz: groups of men stood together for one, who was seen with a viewer on the sea, ask, with printed excited voices and faces. "

(Rotterdam Nieuwschblad 22-02-1907)


During the morning it became clear that a single crew member pulled alive from the water. It was a captain, Parkingson, which was en route from London to Amsterdam to board there. According to the Rotterdam Nieuwschblad he had never before experienced such weather. Therefore, he was not going to sleep, and he had stayed on deck. He was thus not alone. Many passengers were not going to sleep.

When people lighthouse Hook of Holland saw in the distance, passengers took a sigh of relief. But when the ship arrived with a bang to a standstill. Captain Parkinson wild when his services on the bridge, but when he saw that they were beaten both the master and the pilot on board. What happened next is unclear, For Parkinson also hit the water. He kept driving on some pieces of wood, until he was picked up by the lifeboat.

On the front of the ship, later would sink into the sea, were about a hundred people.

This article continues below advertisement


On the beach several soldiers are now working to bring the bodies of the victims to the Hook of Holland station, designated to temporary morgue. At the time of writing there are certainly 25 bodies recovered, but the fear is that this number will increase rapidly.

according Pisuisse, the reporter of the Algemeen Handelsblad makes a deep impression on the Hoekenzen.

"Thus, the large local was set to a great doodenhal, where the spectators with uncovering head coped silent and solemn silence was interrupted only by the gloomy wail of a steamer in the Waterway, a wanhoopsgil outside of a locomotive, and dull throb from the adjacent shed ... where one is more bunks hammered and coffins. "

(The shipwreck of the “Berlin” 21 Februari 1907. Full story of the shipwreck to the Hook of Holland, JL Pisuisse)

Especially the discovery of the body of a five-year-old boy has reacted with dismay. The boy had come to power in his sailor suit. According Pisuisse was the boy so peaceful at, as if he had fallen asleep and was ready to be put on bed.

the boy, Gustav Hirsch, was only en route from London to Hamburg. That morning a telegram arrived at the Hook of Holland station which requested to the station to look for the young passenger and put him on a train to Germany. His father and mother were waiting for him in Hanover. The boy would never arrive there alive.

Hoe ging het verder:

The sinking of the steamer can be seen as the Dutch version of the Titanic. eventually 128 of the 144 mensen om het leven.

It was world and was then one of the greatest maritime disasters ever. Five years after the Titanic went down.

In the days after the disaster, there are still several people were rescued, often heroic way by the rescuers, often volunteers, who risk their lives, people board tried to persuade. A lifeboat with some pilot students managed to throw a tow aboard. Eleven people were rescued, before the line broke. The three remaining women were rescued after the night.

Many passengers from the doomed fled to the front piece. That put the furthest up. But after the wreckage the prow just went under. Fifteen people were taken from the stern.


Prins Hendrik

There is play a special role for Prince Henry, de echtgenoot van Koningin Wilhelmina. He visited the crash site with his aide, Baron van Heemstra, and boarded a pilot boat. Because the pilot boat which managed to save people, Prince Henry came to help in heating up the drowning.

When the prince set foot he would have received a thunderous applause. It created a lot of goodwill among the Dutch population.

The disaster triggered a major investigation and the establishment of the Commission Ships. It leads to the Ships. The Koniniklijke National Organization for Orphans Rescue and First Aid Accidents are established by the Orange Cross, Prince Henry as president.

The shipwreck is in 2007 commemorated.


Wikipedia – SS Berlin

W.D. Sparling – The sinking of the SS Berlin

Other times – Disaster Berlin

Rotterdamsch newspaper“. Rotterdam, 22-02-1907, p. 1.

The shipwreck of the “Berlin” 21 Februari 1907. Full story of the shipwreck to the Hook of Holland, Jean Louis Pisuisse

Absolute Facts: Hendrik as Zeehelden

Text: Dave Datema

coop: Piet Heijstek – Reddingsmuseum January feelings

published: 01 februari 1907

story number: 05

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.