The 'Princess Alice' tragedy
|Disaster on the Thames|
By the late 19th century, the Thames was increasingly busy. Hundreds of vessels, from large liners to tugs, barges and lighters, used the river each day. Despite ever larger and faster ships, there were no precise 'rules of the road'.
Such confusion inevitably led to tragedy. In 1878, the paddle steamer Princess Alice sank after a needless collision in Galleons Reach.
Official enquiries followed the tragedy, and the rules on using the river were finally tightened up.
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