16th February 1899 –
Runic handed over

runic at seaRunic, a specialist cattle-carrier, was handed over by Harland & Wolff to White Star on 16th February 1899. She made her maiden crossing from Liverpool to New York only five days later. On 28th May 1890 fire broke out aboard Runic while she was at Liverpool. The cargo hold had to be flooded to extinguish the fire, as she was carrying a highly-inflammable cargo of sulphur and caustic soda. Then on 17th July 1894 she rescued the crew of the barque Emma T. Crowell, shortly before she exploded.

On 2nd October 1895 Runic sailed from Liverpool to New York, after which she was sold to the West India & Pacific Steamship Co., and was renamed Tampican. In December 1899 that company’s entire fleet was transferred to Frederick Leyland & Co., without changing names. In February 1912 Tampican was sold on again, this time to Moss of Liverpool, who quickly sold her on to South Pacific Whaling, which converted her to carry whale oil and whale meat, and renamed her Imo.

imo wreck halifaxOn 6th December 1917 Imo, while chartered to the Belgian Relief Commission, collided with Mont Blanc, which was carrying explosives, in Halifax harbour. The subsequent devastation was the largest man-made explosion at that time, with over 1,600 killed and a large area of the town destroyed. Mont Blanc was obliterated and the entire superstructure of Imo ripped off. Imo was later repaired, and then renamed Guvernoren, still as a whale oil tanker. Finally, on 30th November 1921 she ran aground off the Falkland Islands and was abandoned as a total loss.