MONT LOUIS - Dunkerque, France       Call sign - FNIE     IMO number - 7417563
Owner - Compagnie Atlantique Maritime (C.A.M.), France

Location - Mont Louis was photographed while she was approaching a dock possibly in Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Photograph Date - 5 May 1974     Photographer - Rene Beauchamp     Added to archive - 25 January 2004     Last updated - 25 January 2004

SHIP'S HISTORY

  Ordered - May 1969
  Keel laid - August 1969
  Launched - May 1979
  Delivered - September 1972
  Newbuild price - unknown

  (a) Mont Louis - France (1979)
  (b) Bore Moon - France (1981)
  (c) Mont Louis - France

  Mont Louis was lost on 25 August 1984

PARTICULARS

  Ship type - Roro cargo & container carrier
  Gross tonnage - 4,210
  Net tonnage - 1,405
  Deadweight tonnage - 5,487
  L.O.A. - 135.01 meters ( 442' 11" )
  L.B.P. - 119.94 meters ( 393' 6" )
  Width overall - 19.41 meters ( 63' 8" )
  Width moulded - 19.36 meters ( 63' 6" )
  Draught - 6.649 meters ( 21' 10" )
  Depth - 13.01 meters ( 42' 8" )
  Number of cargo holds - 1
  Volume of cargo spaces - 13,176 m3
  Number of hatch covers - none
  Total lane storage - unknown
  Stern ramp dimensions - unknown
  Ramp capacity - unknown
  Number of vehicle decks - 2
  Vehicle capacity - unknown
  Maximum vehicle height - unknown
  Maximum vehicle width - unknown
  Container capacity - unknown
  Reefer container capacity - 10 TEU (20')
  Strengthened for ice navigation (Ice class 1)

CONSTRUCTION

  Yard name - Oy Wartsila Ab
  Country - Turku/Abo, Finland
  Hull number - 1198
  Engine builder - Oy Wartsila Ab
  Country - Turku/Abo, Finland
  Number of engines - 2
  Engine types - Pielstick (model ???) 8-cyl diesels
  Horsepower - 8,000 bhp or 5,884 kW
  Fuel - Diesel fuel & heavy fuel oil
  Diesel fuel oil capacity - unknown
  Heavy fuel oil capacity - 1,121.0 tonnes
  Rate of consumption - unknown
  Bunker tank heating coils - unknown
  Speed - 17.5 knots
  Propeller - 1 fixed pitch
  Bow thuster - 1 (? hp)
  Steering gear - standard rudder
  Generators - 3 x 424kW 450V 60Hz a.c.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION - Former owners, managers, accidents, conversions, cargoes, voyages, sightings or corrections etc - Viewer contributions

** On 25 August 1984 Mont Louis was in a collision with the ferry Olau Britannia about 12 miles off Ostend, Belgium while she was on a voyage from Havre, France to Riga, U.S.S.R. laden with cargo. Among her cargo containers were 30 industrial packages consisting of cylinders each containing 12 tonnes of Uranium Hexafluoride enriched to less than 1%. Mont Louis was struck on the starboard side just ahead of her accommodation structure and severely holed both above and below the waterline by Olau Britannia's bow. Mont Louis quickly rolled to starboard and sank in a position 5120, 257 E, a few miles from the pilot station at the Wandelaar (waiting area for Zeebrugge port).

** A salvage effort was immediately co-ordinated by Smit Tak of Holland however the adverse weather conditions made the recovery of the ship and its cargo very difficult. On 11 September the wreck of Mont Louis began breaking up in very bad weather. The cylinders which contained the Uranium Hexaflouride withstood the external aggressive wave action of the sea, and as result there was no leakage and no subsequent health or pollution damage. Some barrels with the uranium hexaflouride cargo were later found on beaches near De Haan, Belgium.

** At the time of the accident Mont Louis was owned by Cie. Generale d'Armements Maritimes, France (CGM)

** The stern of the wreck was removed first on 29 September 1984 by the two large lifting pontoons Ram and Bizon which had lifting capacities of 1200 tonnes each together with the smaller self-propelled floating sheerleg crane Norma which had a lifting capacity of 440 tonnes. The smaller pieces of the wreckage and the rest of the cargo were removed later using the Norma which had been fitted with two wreckage recovery grabs, one with a lifting capacity of 300 tonnes and the other with a capacity of 35 tonnes.

** The last of the cylinders were recovered on 4 October 1984

** The stern section and all other hull pieces that were raised from the wreck of Mont Louis were taken by barge to Zeebrugge, Holland and broken up for scrap by Brugse Scheepsloperij N.V.

Information sources - Fairplay Internet Ship Register, Lloyds Registers & Marine News - The World Ship Society
Additional information - Ostend Ferry Page (dramatic wreck pictures) and
Scaldis Salvage & Marine Contracting Services

ADDITIONAL PHOTOGRAPHS

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