white star RMS 0lympic

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RMS Olympic was the flagship of the white star line, she came into service in 1911 and was built at the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast northern Ireland, the Olympic enjoyed a long career on the ocean unlike her sister ships titanic and Britannic, after 24 years of service for white star she was retired and scrapped in 1935.

Olympics maiden voyage commenced on 14 June 1911 from Southampton captained by Edward John Smith who lost his life the following year on the titanic.

in September of 2011 whilst on her 5th voyage the Olympic collided with the British warship HMS Hawke near the isle of wight, the resulting damage caused two of the Olympics watertight compartments to flood, the HMS Hawke who's bow had been specially designed to ram and sink ships actually came off worse in the collision with severe damage to her bow she almost capsized, Olympic however was able to return to Southampton under her own steam, the ship was temporally patched up so she could return to Harland and Wolff for permanent repairs these repairs took six weeks delaying the completion of her sister ship the RMS titanic, one conspiracy theory is that titanic and Olympic switched identities at this point so that white star could pull off an insurance scam as Lloyds of London would not pay out on Olympics earlier collision with the HMS Hawke, but this has never been proven.

Olympic eventually returned to service after repairs with a new captain Herbert haddock the ship was returning from New York when she received the distress call from the titanic, Olympic was around 500 miles away but changed course to assist her sister ship however this was abandoned later when RMS Carpathia informed Olympic who was still about 100 miles away that it was too late.



Final Years


In 1919 Olympic returned to Harland and Wolff for modifications to her interior, and her boilers were converted to burn oil instead of coal, these upgrades increased her tonnage to 46,439.

Following the merger of white star line and Cunard in 1934 Olympic was withdrawn from service in 1935 and had been completely demolished by 1937, before scrapping some of her fittings were sold at auction her first-class lounge and part of the grand staircase can still be found at the Olympic Suite located in the White Swan Hotel, Alnwick, Northumberland, England.




Ship Specifications

  • Size: Large
  • Length: 882 feet
  • Beam: 92 feet
  • Speed:  21 Knots
  • Tonnage: 46,439 (after 1920)
  • Decks: 9
  • Crew: 900 
  • Passengers: 2,435
  • Maiden Voyage: 14 june 1911  
  • Current Status: Retired in 1935, scrapped 1937

Featured Links



Down the hatch - Here's a drinking expression that seems to have its origins in sea freight, where cargoes are lowered into the hatch. First used by seamen, it has only been traced back to the turn of the century.

Clean Bill of Health - This widely used term has its origins in the document issued to a ship showing that the port it sailed from suffered from no epidemic or infection at the time of departure

As the Crow Flies - When lost or unsure of their position in coastal waters, ships would release a caged crow. The crow would fly straight towards the nearest land thus giving the vessel some sort of a navigational fix. The tallest lookout platform on a ship came to be know as the crow's nest.

Violet Jessop: worked as  a stewardess and nurse
she achieved fame by surviving the  sinkings of both the RMS Titanic and the HMHS Britannic, she was also on board the RMS Olympic in 1911 when it collided with the HMS Hawke.

Hardtack: A sailor’s diet in 17th century included ships biscuit or hardtack made from ground floor water and salt these were baked till hard, the biscuit also included additional unintentional ingredients such as maggots and weevils.