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.
Report prepared by the vessel's master Johan Herfjord
The s.s. "Einar Jarl", Signal letters:- L.C.I.O., 1091.13 tons net, 1857.73 tons gross register, about 3000 tons d.w., belonging to Det Nordenfjeldske Dampskibsselskap, Tronhdeim, left Hull Roads in convoy on the 13/3 at 10 o'clock. The crew consisted of 22 men and 2 English army soldiers who were to accompany us round the coast. The stock of bunkers on departure was about 675 tons of which 50 tons in the No. 2 hold and 150 tons in the No. 3. In addition there is 100 tons of sand ballast equally distributed between Nos. 1 and 4 holds.
The vessel was bound for Halifax N.S. via Methil and Loch Ewe. Arrived at Methil on the 14/3 at 18 o'clock and left on the 17/3 at 16'o'clock in convoy. At 20.50 o'clock passed May Island. At 20.50 o'clock, the vessel then being on about 56.17 1/2 North Latitude, 2.18 West Longitude, an explosion occured in the forward part of the ship, and we soon noticed that the vessel commenced to sink. At the same time orders were given for "All men to the boats". The vessel had then developed so much list to starboard that all the men went into the starboard lifeboat, and when they had got the boat on the water the rail was about level with the surface of the water, so that we had to push off at once. The vessel sank with the bow first., From the time the explosion occurred until the vessel had disappeared about 5 minutes elapsed.
On calling the roll call in the lifeboat it was found that Greek fireman Necoladakis Anastasios was missing. The lifeboat remained on the spot for about 1/2 hour, but we could neither see nor hear anything of the missing fireman. Trimmer Harry Øien, who saw him last, says that he was going down into his cabin, presumably to fetch something, when Øien was coming up after the explosion. It is to be feared that he has not come up from his cabin before the vessel sank. All the ship's papers were lost.
At 21.45 o'clock the crew were picked up by the s.s. "Medway Coast" of Liverpool where they received best possible treatment.
That vessel was bound for Aberdeen where they arrived on Tuesday morning th 18/3. The crew were quartered at hotel and the Seamen's Home and were to go to Glasgow the day after.
J. Herfjord, Master