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RMS Celtic

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Title: RMS Celtic  
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RMS Celtic

For other ships of the same name, see Celtic (ship).

RMS Celtic in an old postcard.
Name: RMS Celtic
Owner: White Star Line
Route: Liverpool - New York
Builder: Harland and Wolff, Belfast
Yard number: 335
Launched: 4 April 1901
Completed: 11 July 1901
Maiden voyage: 26 July 1901
Fate: Ran aground on 10 December 1928, scrapped on site
General characteristics
Tonnage: 20,904 GT (gross tonnage)
Length: 701 ft (214 m)
Beam: 75 ft (23 m)
Installed power: 14,000 ihp (10,000 kW)
Propulsion: 2 × quadruple-expansion steam engines
2 × screws
Speed: 16 kn (18 mph; 30 km/h)
Capacity: As built 2,857 passengers (300 1st class, 160 2nd class, 2,350 steerage);
1927 1,600 passenger (350 1st class, 250 2nd class, 1,000 3rd class)[1]

RMS Celtic was an ocean liner owned by the White Star Line. The first ship larger than the SS Great Eastern in gross tonnage (it was also 9 feet (2.7 m) longer), Celtic was the first of a quartet of ships over 20,000 tons, dubbed The Big Four.[2]

Celtic was launched on 4 April 1901 from the Harland and Wolff shipyards in Belfast, and set off on her maiden voyage from Liverpool to New York on 26 July.

At the beginning of the First World War, Celtic was converted into an armed merchant cruiser however, since the vessel had a high fuel consumption it was decided to convert her into a troop ship in January 1916, and used to carry soldiers to Egypt. She was put back on the transatlantic route in March.

In 1917, Celtic struck a mine off the Isle of Man. Seventeen people on board were killed, but the Celtic survived. A number of passengers were rescued by the London and North Western Railway ship Slieve Bawn. Celtic was towed to Peel Bay and repaired in Belfast. In March 1918, U-Boat UB-77 torpedoed Celtic in the Irish Sea. Six people on board were killed, but again Celtic remained afloat, eventually the damaged vessel was towed to Liverpool and repaired again.

After the war, Celtic was involved in two collisions. The first incident occurred in 1925 while in the Mersey, when she accidentally rammed the Coast Line’s ship Hampshire Coast. Both vessels suffered only minor damage. The second collision took place in 1927, when Celtic was rammed in thick fog by the American Diamond Lines' Anaconda off Fire Island.[3]

Early on 10 December 1928,[4] Celtic became stranded on the Cow and Calf rocks, adjacent to Roches Point as she approached Cobh with more than 200 passengers aboard. The Ballycotton Lifeboat T.P.Hearne 2, along with tugs, a destroyer and local life-saving teams, arrived. Tenders from Cobh disembarked the passengers.[5] Seven thousand tons of cargo were scattered. This time the ship could not be moved or salvaged, and was abandoned to the insurance company who declared the ship to be a total loss. Celtic was completely dismantled for scrap by 1933.[6]



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