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NAME

RMS. LAURENTIC

CLASS

LINER

LAUNCHED

SEPTEMBER 9th 1908

BUILT

HARLAND & WOLFF / BELFAST / IRELAND

WEIGHT

14,892 TONS

LENGTH

565 FEET

WIDTH

67 FEET

SPEED

17 KNOTS - PISTON & TURBINE ENGINES - THREE PROPELLERS


The Dominion Line ordered this ship with the intended name being Alberta. They had her fitted with two piston type engines to drive the two outside propellers and one of the new low-pressured turbines to power the central propeller. With the White Star Line unsure whether to use the turbine engines in their new large Olympic class ships, they bought this liner before it entered service so they could monitor the performance and reliability of the turbine. The Dominion Line had another ship the same size nearing completion at that time fitted with two piston type engines. In order to compare the two ships performance, the White Star Line bought that ship as well to be operated on the same route. After Alberta had been renamed Laurentic, she set out on her maiden voyage from Liverpool - Quebec and Montreal April 29th 1909. Even though the turbine proved to be the better system and Laurentic took the record for the fastest crossing on that route, the White Star Line decided to use a combination of piston and turbine engines to power their Olympic class ships, as they had concerns about the reliability of the turbines.

Laurentic

The British Admiralty commissioned Laurentic to serve as a troopship during World War One. After initially being used for transporting Canadian troops to Europe, the Admiralty had her converted to an armed cruiser for a special mission. Laurentic set out from Liverpool January 25th 1917 on route to America carrying a cargo of gold bullion. This vast amount of gold had been intended to pay America for munitions supplied throughout the war. Soon after leaving the British coast, she hit a mine laid by the German submarine U-80 and sank in 125 feet of water. Those who survived the explosion and escaped the sinking ship in lifeboats were picked up the following morning. In all, 354 people lost their lives in the incident. As for the 3,211 bars of gold, it took seven years to salvage 3,186 bars, 25 were unaccounted for.

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