panamanian Arosa Sky MV (1957~1958) Bianca C. MV [+1961]
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general
nationality panamanian
purpose transport
type passenger ship
propulsion motor vessel (diesel)
date built 1949
is nickname no
status
live live
details
weight (tons) 18427  grt
dimensions 181.1 x 23.2 x -- m
material iron
engine 3 x Oil engines
power  
speed 20  knots
yard no. 161
about the loss
cause lost explosion
other reasons [1] fire
[2] capsized
date lost 24/10/1961  [dd/mm/yyyy]
casualties  max.3rank: 664
about people
builder
Chantiers Navales De La Ciotat, La Ciotat
next owners
[1]G. Costa Fu Andrea, Genoa
MV Bianca C. [+1961]
period 1958 ~ 1961
last owner
[2]Arosa Line Inc., Panama
MV Arosa Sky
period 1957 ~ 1958
prev. owners
[3]Messageries Maritimes (MM, Compagnie des), Paris
MV La Marseillaise
period 1946 ~ 1957
[4]Messageries Maritimes (MM, Compagnie des), Paris
MV Marechal Petain
period 1940 ~ 1946
captain
no. of crew 223
no. of passengers 732
about the wreck
depth (m.) 52 max. / 30 min. (m)
orientation
position on seabed upright
visibility excellent
current normal
sea bed sand and gravel
marine life good
protected no
war grave no
updates
entered by Lettens Jan
entered 28/08/2008
last update M.K.
last update 16/09/2013
 
  Position  
 
Lettens Jan02/01/2009
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  The Wreck today  
 

M.K.16/09/2013

History Built during World War II at Construction Navales La Ciotat, a shipyard on the southern coast of France, the ship was first launched in June 1944 under the name Marechal Petain. Construction had not yet been completed, so the ship was towed to Port de Bouc, near Marseille, where she was torpedoed by the Germans in August. When the hull was raised, it was renamed La Marseillaise and towed t o Toulon before being returned to La Ciotat to be refitted as a cruise ship.[citation needed] When the remodeling was completed in July 1949, she sailed to Yokohama.

In 1957, the ship was given the name Arosa Sky after being sold to Panama's Arosa Line. She was refitted again and became the company's flagship. She was chartered by the exchange organization American Field Service to bring students between the U.S. and Europe. Within two years Arosa Line was forced to sell the ship to Costa Line, an Italian company also known as Linea C. After that 1959 sale, the ship was renamed the Bianca C (the second Costa C ship so named) for one of the owner's daughters, and was refurbished once again. The Bianca C's main route ran from Italy to Venezuela, including stops in the Caribbean. Sinking On S unday October 22, 1961, the Bianca C was ten days out of Naples and docked off Grenada when an explosion occurred in the engine room in the early hours of the morning.

One crewman died immediately, and eight others were injured. As fires broke out, approximately 700 passengers and crew scrambled to abandon the ship while Grenadian fishermen and boat owners, awakened by the noise of the explosion, near the harbor of St. George's rushed to help. Survivors were taken to the capital, where makeshift hospitals were hastily established to provide shelter and food. Because Grenada did not have the equipment to quench such a large fire, a call for help was sent and was received by the British frigate HMS Londonderry at Puerto Rico. It took two days for the Londonderry to arrive, and by that time t he Bianca C had begun to sink.

The burning ship was in the main anchorage and would block the harbor if it sank there, so a Londonderry boarding party boarded the flaming ship to attach a towline. The anchor lines of the Bianca C were burned, and today the anchors are still at the mouth of the St. George's harbor. Meanwhile, the Londonderry moved to tow the Bianca C, but the latter ship was listin g to port. Thousands of Grenadians watched from the mountains as the tow progressed for six hours, but the Bianca C. had only moved three miles (5 km) when a squall started and the towline broke. The Bianca C sank quickly into 165 feet (50 m) of water, about a mile from the popular tourist beach at Grand Anse. Wreck In the 1970s, a Trinidadian firm salvaged the Bianca C's propellers and sold them for scrap.

As the top of the ship is in only about 100 feet (30 m) of water, scuba divers can reach it and in the late 1980s and early 1990s some removed parts of the boat for souvenirs. In late 1992, the rear third of the ship was torn off and the ship began to deteriorate quickly, though at 600 feet (180 m) in length it is still the region's largest shipwreck. A bronze statue of Christ of the Ab yss was given by the Costa Cruises Line to Grenada in appreciation of the country's hospitality, and the statue stands in the Carenage surrounding the harbor at St. George's.
ref. used 
  en.wikipedia.org

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copyright: Ramona P.
 
 copyright: Ramona P. copyright: Unknown - onbekend - inconnu   
 
 copyright: Unknown - onbekend - inconnu copyright: UK Hydrographic Office copyright: Unknown - onbekend - inconnu copyright: Unknown - onbekend - inconnu 
 
 
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  History  
 
Allen Tony10/02/2008Launched on June 8, 1944 in La Ciotat under the name PETAIN MARECHAL. Vous pouvez trouver sur cette page un récit paru dans l´Illustration décrivant l´ambiance du chantier en 1942 . You can find on this page a story published in L´Illustration describing the atmosphere of the site in 1942. Il évite d´être sabordé par les allemands. He avoids being scuttled by the Germans. Echoué dans le canal de C aronte le 21 août 1944, il évite ainsi le sabordage.

Echoué in the canal Caronte Aug. 21, 1944, it avoids the scuttling. Terminé à la Ciotat et mis en service seulement le 30 juin 1949(écouter ici une interview de Pierre Sartre, directeur technique des Messageries Maritimes -document transmis par Pierre Friez ). Completed at Ciotat and put into service only on June 30, 1949 (listen to an interview with Pierre Sartre, technical director of Messageries Maritimes-document transmitted by Pierre Friez). Renommé "La Marseillaise", le navire assure ensuite la ligne d´Extrême Orient. Renamed "La Marseillaise", the ship then ensures the line from the Far East. C´est le plus grand et le plus luxueux de tous les paquebots de l´histoire de la Compagnie. This is the largest and most luxurious of all li ners in the history of the Company....

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Allen Tony11/04/2009The Bianca C was a passenger ship that sank on two occasions, the first time in France before being completed, and the second time after an explosion and fire off the island of Grenada. Built during World War II at Construction Navales La Ciotat, a shipyard on the southern coast of France, the boat was first launched in June 1944 under the name Marechal Petain. Construction had not yet been completed, so the ship was towed to Port de Bouc, near Marseille, where she was torpedoed by the Germans in August. When the hull was raised, it was renamed La Marseillaise and towed to Toulon before being returned to La Ciotat to be refitted as a cruise ship. When the remodeling was completed in July 1949, she sailed to Yokohama. In 1957, the ship was given the name Arosa Sky after being sold to Panama´s Arosa Line. She was refitted again and became the company´s flagship, but within two years Arosa Line was forced to sell the boat to Costa Line, an Italian company also known as Linea C. After that 1959 sale, the boat was renamed the Bianca C (the second Costa C ship so named) for one of the owner´s daughters, and was refurbished once again. The Bianca C´s main route ran from Italy to Venezuela, including stops in the Caribbean.

 

On Sunday, October 22nd, 1961, the Bianca C. MV arrived at St. George, Grenada, British West Indies, from La Guaira, Venezuela, where she embarked 15 West Indian passengers for Britain. At 9.30 a.m. when at anchor in the outer harbour loud explosions were heard coming from her engine room. These were followed by an outbreak of fire, and by further explosions. Her lifeboats were lowered, while about 30 large and small craft from shore went to her assistance. Between them they brought the liner´s 362 passengers and 311 crew safely to land. One man was killed and one was missing. Twelve were taken to hospital badly burned, one of whom died soon afterwards. The vessel was taken in tow, still burning, with the intention of beaching her outside the harbour but she sank on the 24th, before this could be accomplished.

ref. used 
 Hocking C., Dictionary of Disasters at Sea during the Age of Steam


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Allen Tony10/02/2008Launched on June 8, 1944 in La Ciotat under the name PETAIN MARECHAL. Vous pouvez trouver sur cette page un récit paru dans l´Illustration décrivant l´ambiance du chantier en 1942 . You can find on this page a story published in L´Illustration describing the atmosphere of the site in 1942. Il évite d´être sabordé par les allemands. He avoids being scuttled by the Germans. Echoué dans le canal de C aronte le 21 août 1944, il évite ainsi le sabordage.

Echoué in the canal Caronte Aug. 21, 1944, it avoids the scuttling. Terminé à la Ciotat et mis en service seulement le 30 juin 1949(écouter ici une interview de Pierre Sartre, directeur technique des Messageries Maritimes -document transmis par Pierre Friez ). Completed at Ciotat and put into service only on June 30, 1949 (listen to an interview with Pierre Sartre, technical director of Messageries Maritimes-document transmitted by Pierre Friez). Renommé "La Marseillaise", le navire assure ensuite la ligne d´Extrême Orient. Renamed "La Marseillaise", the ship then ensures the line from the Far East. C´est le plus grand et le plus luxueux de tous les paquebots de l´histoire de la Compagnie. This is the largest and most luxurious of all li ners in the history of the Company.

Sur la ligne d´Extrême Orient jusqu´en 1956, puis termine sa carrière aux Messageries sur la Méditerranée, avec un petit intermède fin 1956 où il sert de navire-hôpital pendant la crise de Suez. On the line from the Far East until 1956, and then finish his career in the E-mails on the Mediterranean, with a small interlude late 1956 where he serves as a hospital ship during the Suez crisis. De 1957 à 1959, sous le nom d´AROSA SKY puis à partir de 1959 sous celui de BIANCA C, il effectue des croisières. From 1957 to 1959, under the name AROSA SKY then from 1959 as opposed BIANCA C, it conducts cruises. Il brûle le 23 octobre 1961 en baie de Grenade, où son épave, sur des fonds d´une quarantaine de mètres peut encore être visitée aujourd´hui par les plongeu rs.

Cliquer ici pour accéder à une page (en anglais) sur l´histoire de l´AROSA SKY, puis BIANCA C après la cession par les MM vous pouvez également voir ici des photos de l´épavee aujourd´hui . (1) et (16) He burns on Oct. 23, 1961 in the Bay of Grenada, where his wreck, with funds of about forty meters can still be visited today by divers.
 
 
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