Nomadic is one of two tenders (Traffic
was the other) built by Harland and Wolff for White Star in 1911. They were designed for use
at any port served by White Star, but were primarily intended for use at Cherbourg. (Large
liners could not enter the harbor at Cherbourg; instead, they anchored in Cherbourg's
roadstead, and passengers were ferried to and fro by tenders.)
Nomadic (yard number 422) was launched 25 April 1911 and was delivered to White Star on 27 May,
just in time to accompany Olympic on her sea trials two days later. She then went with Olympic
to Southampton. From there she took up her station in France. Except for naval service at Brest
during World War I, she serviced IMM ships at Cherbourg until 1927.
Soon after IMM sold White Star, White Star sold Nomadic and Traffic to Societe Cherbourgeoise
de Transbordement. The pair was sold again in 1934 to Societe Cherbourgeoise de Remorquage et
Sauvetage and Nomadic was renamed Ingenieur Minard. Ingenieur Minard fled across the channel
when Cherbourg was occupied in 1940 and served as a British coastal patrol vessel until she
returned to Cherbourg in 1945.
She remained in service until 1968 and then wound up in Paris, near the Eiffel Tower, but on
the opposite (right) bank of the Seine, intended as a restaurant, but apparently only served
in that function for about a year or so in the late 1990's. In April 2003, after the removal
of her superstructure, which was not the original, she was towed to LeHavre, where she remains
In January 2006, Nomadic was purchased by the government of Northern Ireland which, if sufficient
financing can be arranged, plans to return Nomadic to Belfast. There she is to be refurbished to
her 1911 appearance and made part of a planned tourist attraction in the Titanic Quarter development,
located on the site of Harland & Wolff's former shipyard.
Sources: Haws' Merchant Fleets; Moss and Hume's Shipbuilders to the World; Mills' RMS Olympic: The
Old Reliable; Encyclopedia Titanica Message Board topics "Nomadic in Danger" and "Nomadic's Future;"
Titanic Quarter web site.