On May 28, 1914, the grand ocean liner the Empress of Ireland left Quebec on the St. Lawrence River, bound for an Atlantic crossing to Liverpool, England. At a few minutes before two o'clock on the morning of Friday, May 29, the Empress sighted the Norwegian collier Storstad at the same time a heavy fog bank was descending. Despite warnings and evasive maneuvers, the Empress was struck on the starboard side by the Storstad, which penetrated its hull by twelve feet. The captain and crew had less than fifteen minutes to save their passengers before the ship slipped under the waves. Of the 1,477 aboard, 1,012 perished in a matter of minutes. It remains the worst peacetime catastrophe in Canadian history.