Traffic is one of two tenders (Nomadic
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.)
Traffic (yard number 423) was launched 27 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 Traffic and Nomadic to Societe Cherbourgeoise
de Transbordement. The pair was sold again in 1934 to Societe Cherbourgeoise de Remorquage et
Sauvetage and Traffic was renamed Ingenieur Riebell. Ingenieur Riebell was deliberately
scuttled by the French when Cherbourg was occupied in 1940, but was raised and put back into
service by the German Navy as an armed coastal convoy escort.
Ingenieur Riebell was sunk by a British torpedo during naval action in the English Channel on
17 January 1941.
Sources: Haws' Merchant Fleets; Moss and Hume's Shipbuilders to the World; Mills;
RMS Olympic: The Old Reliable.