Maritime inquiry 1939 - 1945

The information below regarding ships in the Nortraship fleet is a direct transcript of the original source "Sjøforklaringer fra andre verdenskrig (1940 - 1945)". The informasjon is collected from maritime inquiries held during and right after the war. The information may differ from the other quality assured information in Krigsseilerregisteret.

Date
April 17, 1941
Location
Volo, Hellas
Cause
Bombet [av tyske fly]
Cargo
Panserbiler, soldater offiserer
Route
Alexandria - Pireus
Crew list
Komplett
Survived
27
Captured
0
Deceased
0 [1]
Missing
1
  • Abstract

    Date
    May 16, 1941
    Location
    Alexandria
    Administrator
    Fungerende konsul Asgar Grymer

    ...

    Appeared Captain Kristian Hartvik ... master of the M/S "Brattdal" ...

    The captaiin produced a written statement in connection with the bombing, to which he referred and he had nothing further to declare.

    On being questioned, he stated that in accordance with orders from the British Admiralty the M/S "Brattdal" left Volos on the 12th April at the same time as the British M/S "City of Karachi" in order to meet escort. As, in spite of diligent search on the part of both vessels, the escort could not be found, and no instructions had been received as regards port of destination, the two vessels agreed on returning to Volos in order to obtain orders. Shortly after the arrival at Volos the vessels were suddenly attacked by enemy aeroplanes and a heavy bomb struck the vessel on the after deck. The vessel heeled heavily over to port and orders were given to man the boats. The British Naval Authorities, later the same day, advised that the vessel be beached in order to prevent the bulkhead between Nos. 4 and 5 holds from breaking. At 23.45 o´clock the vessel had been beached at the assigned place after having been subjected to another attack.

    On the 15th April the vessel was taken off the ground again, according to orders from the British Admiralty, and shifted to Oreus Bay, where the vessel was anchored in 15 fathoms of water. The captain thought this order to shift most strange as the ship had been beached in consultation with the same British Authorities.

    After repeated bombings and torpedoings the vessel commenced to sink on the 17th April, probably either on account of the continuous strain in consequence of the explosions or as a result of a torpedo which scraped along the ship´s side. At 21.30 o´clock the M/S "Brattdal" had sunk in about 14 fathoms of water.

    With regard to the galley boy: Johannes Gerrit van Oploo, who had disappeared, the captain stated that this man accompanied the rest of the crew until the night of the 26th April 1941 in order to be taken on board a warship which was lying at anchor some distance out. The captain last saw him on the quay where he had to wait for another boat. He did not come on board the H.M.S. "ORION" in which vessel the rest of the crew had been taken, and nothing has since been seen or heard of him.

    ...

    Appeared ... the first witness:- Chief Engineer Arvid Isaksen who stated that he was acquainted with the produced written statement of which he approved as his evidence in the matter.

    On being questioned, the witness stated that he was in the engine room together with fourth engineer Helgesen and greaser Rolf Johannessen when, on the 13th April 1941, the vessel was struck by a heavy bomb. When the bomb struck the vessel the cut out of two auxiliary motors fell out. The three men were then in the tunnel which they considered was the safest place in which to shelter. To the witness it sounded as if water was pouring into the engine room and he then suggested that they should leave by the emergency exit aft. When they came up on deck they saw that the vessel had heeled over to port and then heard that it was into the No. 4 hold that the water was pouring in. The witness, together with the fourth engineer, then went down and stopped both auxiliary motors and closed the door of the tunnel and also shut off the oil supply for the main and auxiliary motors. Thereafter, the witness went into the lifeboats together with the rest of the crew. On starting the main motor the same evening the witness could not get the engine to go ahead, then reversed for astern when the engine acted. After having made 3-4 revolutions astern, the engine was reversed for ahead and operatede satisfactorily. During the subsequent shiftings of the vessel the engine worked satisfactorily. The tunnel door remained closed.

    ...

    Appeared the second witness:- 2nd Officer Erwin D. Kristophersen who stated that he was acquainted with the written statement of which he approved as his evidence in the matter.

    On being questioned, the witness stated that he was present during the conference regarding the beaching of the vessel and heard that the British Authorities and the captain consideret it most advisable, for safety´s sake, to beach the vessel. The witness had nothing to add.

    ...

    Appeared the third witness:- Ordinary Seaman Per Ulvestad who stated that he was acquainted with the written statement to which he had nothing to add.

    On being questioned, the witness stated that he was together with the disappeared galley boy, van Oploo, on the quay the 26th April when the crew was taken into small boats in order to be taken out to the waiting ship. When the witness went into the same boat as the captain and the greater part of the crew, he saw that the galley boy did not get into the same boat. Since then the witness has neither seen nor heard of him.

    ...