HC Deb 13 February 1911 vol 21 c687

asked the President of the Board of Trade, whether he has any official information regarding the abandonment at sea about 200 miles W.S.W. of Ushant of the old French warship "Richelieu," sold for breaking up; if so, whether any special warning has been issued to mariners in these waters; and whether he will invite the co-operation of the Admiralty and the French Government with a view to tracing and removing the danger to shipping?


I have been informed that this vessel was sold to a Dutch firm, and was being towed from Toulon to Rotterdam. On 1st February the towing hawsers having carried away, owing to heavy weather, the tug, which was out of coal, left the "Richelieu" to get assistance from Corcubion. Shortly after a gale came on, and the "Richelieu," which had no steam and was unmanageable by its crew of ten, began to make water rapidly, and showed distress signals. The crew were rescued in an exhausted state on 4th February in latitude 46.42 N. and longitude 10.26 W. by the British steamship "Artist," which brought them to Liverpool. The master of the "Artist" reports that the "Richelieu" was settling fast when he left, and that he opened the seacocks to expedite her sinking, which must have taken place the same day. A notice to mariners was issued on 9th February by the Admiralty.