9th April 2016
The Last White Star lifeboat
Visit SS Nomadic to see the last remaining White Star Lifeboat (Saturday 9th April, 12 to 4pm)
The two lifeboats belonging to SS Nomadic were built by Harland & Wolff and fitted on the flying bridge deck. They would remain on-board Nomadic during her working life, including both World Wars where Nomadic served as a mine sweeper and troopship, until 1974 when they were removed for space as Nomadic was being converted into a restaurant in Paris.
In 1987 a museum offered to conserve the lifeboats and they returned to Cherbourg. The museum was unable to restore them and lifeboat No.1 was destroyed leaving No.2 as the last confirmed White Star lifeboat. Over time the lifeboat degraded to a sorry state, with the hull collapsing into itself and keel detached, until 2007 when Nomadic Preservation Society was able to purchase the lifeboat returning it to Belfast and starting a fundraising campaign for it’s restoration.
A cradle was created so the boat could be supported as the timbers were eased back into their original position with new ribs to secure the planking and a new keel inserted as the original was no longer able to support the hull. Anything that could be conserved was, and what couldn’t has been sympathetically replaced. ‘
The lifeboat will be located in line with the Nomadic’s funnel making it also roughly in line where it spent about 60 years on Nomadic’s deck.
For further information visit www.nomadicbelfast.com