On 6 December 1917 the Belgian ship Imo collided in Halifax harbour with a French munitions vessel, the Mont Blanc. Able Seaman William Becker (Royal Navy), serving aboard HMS Highflyer, volunteered with six others to approach the two ships in a large rowboat to see if the Imo might be towed clear of the danger. The group was approaching that vessel when the Mont Blanc blew up only 100 metres away.
When the Mont Blanc exploded, fragments were hurled many kilometres distant from the harbour. Able Seaman Becker was the sole survivor. He received the Albert Medal in Bronze.