On 21 February 1907 the steamship was driven onto the granite breakwater at the New Waterway ship canal in the Netherlands by large waves and then broke apart. Of 144 people aboard, 128 were lost.
At 0500 on Thursday, 21 February 1907, the Hook lighthouse keeper recorded that Berlin was navigating the channel when she suddenly veered off course northward after a huge wave struck her on her port quarter. Captain Precious and pilot Bronders managed to return the ship to her original course, but another wave struck Berlin and she swung northward again, causing her to become impaled on the tip of the granite breakwater at the entrance to the New Waterway.
Waves swept over the vessel, and both Precious and Bronders soon were swept overboard. The Dutch steam lifeboatPresident van Heel attempted to offer aid, but the rough seas prevented her from approaching the stricken vessel. Berlin broke in two amidships at 0600. The majority of those on board had fled to the bow, which sank when the ship broke in half.
President van Heel could not close with the survivors on the stern of the vessel due to the weather. Only one man, a Captain Parkinson who was travelling as a passenger, was able to swim to the safety of the lifeboat.
Prince Henry made a visit the following day and went out on the pilot boat Helvoetsluis as Helvoetsluis and President van Heel attempted to recover the deceased from the sea and rescue the fifteen people remaining on the stern. The rescue of the people required a great deal of effort. An important role in this rescue was played by lifeboat Captain Martijn Sperling who used a small boat to reach the North Pier and ascend its iron beacon, from where he was able to throw ropes to the deck of the wreck to rescue 11 of the survivors. Captain Sperling then took a yawl from the salvage vessel Van der Tak alongside the wreck to rescue the remaining three survivors, all female.