Defunct Cruise Lines
HMHS Britannic was Originally built as an Olympic class ocean liner for white star line, she was sister ship to both the RMS Titanic and RMS Olympic, she was laid down on the 30th November 1911 at the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast, Northern Ireland, the ship was launched on 26 February 1914,however due to outbreak of the first world war she remained laid up at Harland and Wolff until December of 1915 when she was requisitioned by the British government to be used as a hospital ship, she was Repainted white with large red crosses, her fixtures and fittings were put into storage for use after the war, her dining rooms and public areas were turned into wards and operating theaters.
Departing Liverpool on December 23 1915 Britannic sailed on her maiden voyage to her new base at Mudros, Lemnos where approximately 3,300 war casualties were brought on board, After conducting two more voyages to the Mediterranean, Britannic returned to Belfast where the ship was released from war duties on June 6 1916, Harland & Wolff began work to return the ship to a passenger liner but This was halted in August when the Britannic was recalled back to Mudros for further war duties the ship Returned to Southampton on October 11, but soon departed for another run to Mudros and returned back to Britain with approximately 3000 war casualties, the ship set sail again on November 12 she was Briefly detained in Naples due to bad weather, but continued her journey on the 19th October after entering the Kea Channel at 8:12 AM on, 21st November Britannic was rocked by a large explosion on her starboard side, It is believed that this was caused by a mine laid by U-73, at 8:35 AM the order was given by Captain Bartlett to abandon ship, Britannic vanished under the waves at 9:07 AM, just 55 minutes after the explosion.
From the 1,125 staff and crew that was on board there were only 30 deaths, the unfortunate souls were in two life boats that were destroyed by the Britannic’s still rotating propellers.
The wreck of HMHS Britannic is located at 37°42′05″N 24°17′02″E near of the Island of Kea in the Aegean Sea at a depth of about 400 feet It was first discovered and explored by Jacques Cousteau in 1975 and recently visited by Dr. Robert Ballard, who is best known for discovering the wrecks of the RMS Titanic and the German battleship Bismarck.
In August 1996, the wreck of HMHS Britannic became available for sale and was bought by maritime historian Simon Mills, the wreck is currently in excellent condition with minimal deterioration
Captain E.J. Smith - captain of the RMS Titanic died when the ship hit an iceburg and sank in 1912.
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