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• What happened to the Mont-Blanc and the Imo?
Recovered Pieces of the Mont-Blanc
Recovered pieces of the Mont-Blanc at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic

The Mont-Blanc

Captain Le Medec's decision for his crew to abandon the ship saved their lives. All from the Mont-Blanc survived, with the exception of one sailor who suffered serious injuries, he later died from his wounds. As for the ship, nothing of the ship remained; it was literally blown to bits. Fragments of the ship, large and small were thrown high into the air. Large pieces were catapulted for miles, one of the ship's gun barrels landed three and a half miles away at Albro Lake in Dartmouth. A 1140 pound piece of the anchor was found partially buried, two miles away in Armdale. Rivets and small fragments of red-hot steel fell into the harbour and onto the surrounding area crashing through buildings punching holes in ships, killing, and maiming people.

The Imo Grounded at Dartmouth
The Imo was hurled against the Dartmouth shore.
The Imo

The Mont-Blanc exploded before the Imo could make headway to open water. The shockwave swept over the deck tearing away the smoke stack and the super-structure. Shrapnel perforated the ship's hull. Captain Haakon From was killed, as were five of the crew of the Imo. The body of Pilot William Hayes was found crouched under a boat on the bridge. The tsunami lifted the Imo and threw it against the Dartmouth shore. Helmsman John Johansen was knocked unconscious and awoke to find himself neck deep in water, moments later he found himself back on board the Imo, the wave having receded. Others who survived the blast, but who feared being washed overboard made for the shore. A boat from the HMS Highflyer arrived to rescue the remaining sailors.

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