Ferry that took passengers to Titanic sells

A ferry that transported passengers and luggage onto the ill-fated Titanic goes on auction Thursday with a bidding price starting at Ђ250,000 (US$307,000), the French Titanic Society said. The Nomadic was sold for scrap 56 years after the sinking of the Titanic, and was later used as a restaurant. It failed to sell at an auction in November, when the bidding price started at Ђ500,000 (US$615,000).

The 67-meter (221-foot) ferry has been in dry dock in Le Havre in northwest France since April 2002. At least three buyers are expected to make bids an Irish association from Belfast hoping to erect a Titanic memorial, a Monaco company and a French collector, the society said.

On April 10, 1912, the Nomadic ferried 142 of 274 passengers from Cherbourg onto the Titanic for the fabled luxury liner's inaugural voyage. Five days later, the Titanic hit an iceberg and plunged into the Atlantic. The Nomadic was commissioned by the White Star Line and built by Harland & Wolff of Belfast, Northern Ireland, to haul cargo and passengers onto massive trans-Atlantic liners.

The ferry was sold in 1968 to a scrap metal dealer for demolition, and was finally abandoned in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, on the Seine River near Paris, to be dismantled. Then in 1974, Yvon Vincent transformed it into a floating restaurant on the Seine near the Eiffel Tower. However, the Paris Port Authority seized it in 2000 for unpaid debts, reports the AP. N.U.