TITANIC-TITANIC.com | Nomadic
- Builder: Harland and Wolff
- Yard No.: 422
- Launched: 1911
- Maiden Voyage: N/A
- Gross Tonnage: 1,273 tons
- Length: 220.7 ft.
- Beam: 37.1 ft.
- Decks: 2
- Funnels: 1
- Masts: 1
- Propellers: 2
- Engines: 2 x twin cylinder compound inverted engines
- Speed: 12 knots
- Port of Registry: Liverpool
- Carrying Capacity: 1,200 passengers from first and second class
- Sister Ships: N/A
Nomadic was built as a tender by Harland and Wolff, Belfast, and bore the yard number 422. She measured just over 220 feet long, and weighed-in at 1,273 tons. She was launched on 25th April, 1911, and after a short period of testing, she was handed over to the White Star Line a month and two days later on 27th May. She was designed to carry mainly First Class passengers, but she also carried some Second Class passengers too. She was assisted at Cherbourg by Traffic, which carried Third Class passengers, together with the mail.
Nomadic's first duty was to attend Olympic at Belfast on the day of Titanic's launch, 31st May, 1911, but her first official service was to attend to Olympic on her maiden voyage call at Cherbourg on the 14th June, 1911. She would serve Olympic twelve more times before it was Titanic's turn to call at Cherbourg, France, on Wednesday, 10th April, 1912, on 10th, April, 1912, the day of her maiden voyage.
Amongst the more notable passengers to board Nomadic that day were Sir Cosmo and Lady Duff Gordon, Benjamin Guggenheim, Margaret (Molly) Brown, and Mr. and Mrs. Ryerson and their three children. Altogether, Nomadic carried 172 people out to Titanic , barely a fifth of her passenger-carrying capacity, together with their copius amounts of luggage.
At the outbreak of World War 1 in 1914, the demand for crossing the Atlantic dropped off due to the threat of the highly-effective U-boats, and Nomadic was requisitioned by the French Navy, and stationed at Brest, along with Traffic. Her duties were essentially the same, as she was used to unload American troops from larger ships, and bring them into shore.
By 1919, normal service was resumed, and Nomadic continued to serve the larger liners that called at Cherbourg. By this time, crossing the Atlantic had become highly fashionable again after the dour years of the war, and Nomadic would carry many notable celebrities throughout the nineteen-twenties. During this period, she was in a collision with Hamburd-Amerika's Orinocho, luckily Nomadic wasn't seriously damaged.
In 1927, Nomadic was sold to the Compagnie Cherbourgeoise de Transbordement, part of the deal was to ensure that Nomadic gave priority to serving White Star Line ships.
A mere six years later, Nomadic was again under new ownership, this time she was purchased by the Societie Cherbourgeoise de Remorque et de Sauvetage. It was at this point that she underwent a change of name, to Ingenieur Minard.
By the time 1939 arrived, along with a new World War, Ingenieur Minard was used to evacuate some British troops from occupied France, and in June 1940, the Royal Navy requisitioned her, utilising her as a patrol vessel.
At the end of the Second World War, Ingenieur Minard was returned to Cherbourg, in a very poor state of repair, and, despite new work to enlarge the harbour to allow larger vessels proper access, she was refitted and continued to service ships on certain occasions, such as when two liners were present.
But the golden age of the super-liners was coming to an end, and jet travel became the death sentence of most of the Trans-Atlantic liners still visiting Cherbourg. In November 1968, Ingenieur Minard served her last liner, Cunard's Queen Elizabeth. She was purchased soon after, in complete working order, by a private buyer, who took her away to another port. She was left there for several months, and during that time many parts were stolen from her, most of them non-ferrous fittings.
In 1974, there was a light at the end of the tunnel. Another private buyer, Yvon Vincent, bought Ingenieur Minard, restoring the name Nomadic to the vessel. It was brought down the Seine very carefully, and to help her pass under some of the very low bridges, hundreds of tons of water was taken on board to make her sit lower in the water. She was moored close to the Eiffel Tower, giving fantastic views of it across the river.
She was finally opened to the public on 25th June, 1977, but after a rather chequered career as a restaurant, during which time she has had three different identities, she now lies empty and unused, her paintwork covered in rusty streaks, and some of her windows and portholes have been smashed.
Nomadic's immediate future is very bleak, although there is hope for the little steamer yet. After plans to turn her into a floating museum on the Seine collapse, the French authorities, keen to remove the eyesore that Nomadic has now become, start to reduce Nomadic in height by cutting away her upper works and superstructure, as seen in these photographs here on the left. The reason for this is to enable her to pass under the bridges on the river that she had to pass under when she first came to Paris.
1st April 2003
Nomadic is moved down the River Seine to new temporary berth at Quai du Brésil in Le Havre whilst efforts continue to have her officially registered as a national monument, which means she will be able to receive special recognition and funding too.
Attempts to auction off Nomadic fail, and she still remains at Le Havre, her future uncertain.
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