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NAME

SS. L,ATLANTIQUE

CLASS

LINER

LAUNCHED

APRIL 15th 1930

BUILT

PENHOET SHIPYARDS / SAINT NAZAIRE / FRANCE

WEIGHT

42,512 TONS

LENGTH

742 FEET

WIDTH

92 FEET

SPEED

21 KNOTS - TURBINES ENGINES - FOUR PROPELLERS


L,Atlantique was built for the French - Compagnie de Navigation Sud-Atlantique Line that provided a service between France and South America. L,Atlantique set out for the first time on her intended route between Bordeaux, Rio de Janeiro, Santos, Montevideo and Buenos Aires  September 29th 1930. After departing Bordeaux bound for Le Havre to undergo an overhaul January 4th 1933, a fire broke out in her first class stateroom while steaming through the English Channel. Although there were no passengers on board at the time, she was carrying a crew of over 200. The fire soon raged out of control forcing the crew to abandon ship. The Dutch steam ship Achilles answered the distress calls picking up survivors from lifeboats and pulling others from the cold waters of the English Channel. It is thought around 20 of her crew were lost to fire or the sea.

L,Atlantique

As L’Atlantique had been abandoned, tugs from France, Holland and Germany set about trying to salvage her. According to maritime law, if a ship is abandoned, whoever salvages it becomes the new owner. However, after L,Atlantique had been towed into Cherbourg, the ships owners claimed they had not abandoned her and won their case. With the liner still on fire at Cherbourg, it took the local fire brigade until the 8th to finally put it out. The owners blamed faulty wiring for causing the fire, as other liners were known to have been lost to electrical fires. There were some people at that time speculating the fire had been caused by sabotage. After a long series of investigations and evaluations, the owners were awarded $6.8 million from the marine underwriters. L,Atlantique was then towed to Smith & Houston of Port Glasgow/Scotland to be scrapped.

L,Atlantique on fire in the English Channel
L,Atlantique on fire

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