Baltic (II)

BalticIn the early 1900ís Harland and Wolff, Belfast constructed a quartet of Big Four class ships, Celtic, Cedric, Baltic and Adriatic. The third of these ships, RMS Baltic (II), was launched on 21st November 1903.

With 906 passengers onboard, Baltic departed Liverpool for her maiden voyage on 29th June 1904, and arrived in New York 7 days, 13 hours and 37 minutes later. Just like Titanic on her maiden voyage, Baltic was under the command of Captain EJ Smith.

On 13th March 1907 a coal barge sunk off New Jersey City, after Baltic had, in fog, collided with it. Baltic was undamaged and was able to continue.

While avoiding a collision in fog, nearly caused by a tramp steamer, at the start of a voyage from New York on 8th May 1907 Ė Baltic went aground in the Swash Channel and remained stuck there until the next day when with the help of a high tide and being hauled by tugs she was able to finally continue her voyage.

On 23rd January 1909, off Nantucket in heavy fog, the White Star Liner Republic was rammed into by a ship called Florida, an Italian ship with 830 survives of an earthquake aboard; the damage caused by the impact was causing the Republic to sink, lose all power, and it was decided that her passengers be transferred to the also badly damaged Florida.

The Republic's wireless operator, Jack Binns, sent out a distress call which was received by Balticís operator, Henry J Tattersall, via the operator in Siasconsett, Nantucket Island, Jack Irwin.

The Baltic then spent twelve hours searching for the drifting Republic and Florida, and then rescued the passengers and crew from aboard Florida. For Republicís survivors it was their second lifeboat trip. While being towed, Republic sunk the next day, and on that same day Baltic arrived back at New York with the survivors.

RMS Republic
Republic.

At 1.42pm on Sunday 14th April 1912, Titanic received an ice warning and wishes of success from Baltic. After Captain Smith had read the message it was shown to and remained in Bruce Ismayís (the managing director of the White Star Line) possession until the Captain asked for it back at 7.15pm. It was then posted in the chart room.

In August 1914, due to a shortage of places due to people fleeing from the war in Europe, Baltic made a voyage with 2,072 passengers onboard Ė with many of her third class passengers being people who would normally only travel in first or second class.

During World War One Baltic was used as a troop ship and survived a submarine attack undamaged.

In 1918 she returned to her White Star Line Liverpool to New York service.

On 6th December 1929, under the command of Captain Evan Davies, Baltic rescued crew from Northern Lights, a schooner that was sinking in a storm with hurricane force winds, off Newfoundland. Balticís Captain and the crew that had manned the rescue boat were awarded with medals from The Life Saving Benevolent Association. Balticís third officer, JH Walker, and nine other crew members who were aboard the rescue boat were awarded $100 in gold for risking their lives to rescue the crew.

Baltic began her last transatlantic voyage on17th September 1932, before being sold for scrap. She arrived in Osaka, Japan on 17th February 1933 to be broken up.

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