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
October 16, 1941
Location
Atlanterhavet
Cause
Torpedert [av tysk ubåt]
Cargo
Fosfat
Route
Sydney N.S. - Liverpool
Crew list
Komplett
Survived
?
Captured
?
Deceased
? [24]
Missing
?
  • Abstract

    Location
    Glasgow
    Administrator
    L. Offerdahl

    ...

    The witness (Chief Engineer A. Nielsen) referred to the report as his evidence and added that the "ERVIKEN" had a cargo of phosphate. The vessel had a crew of probably 38 men although he cannot say so with certainty. When the torpedoeing occurred the witness was on deck outside the engine room door on the port side. He then at once ran over to the starboard side and into the lifeboat on the boat deck. The vessel sank at once so that the seas washed him over board. Together with the witness in the lifeboat was 3rd engineer Kristian Berggren. The latter jumped out of the boat again and later he saw him in the sea. The witness shouted to him, but did not get any reply. The witness also saw 4th engineer Sigvald Stornes who later told the witness that he had managed to get on to a raft and was saved by a corvette. The witness did not see anything of any of the others of the ship's crew. Many men were swimming round about, but the witness could not distinguish who they were. Besides the witness, there were only 2nd engineer Heitmann and fireman Hallgren on the corvette, which had picked up the witness.

    ...

    Appeared the 2nd witness who stated that he was acquainted with the contents of the report prepared by the 1st witness and to which he had nothing to remark. He added that he was on the starboard side outside the amidship cabins when the torpedoing occurred. The torpedo struck the vessel forward of the bridge in the No. 2 hold. He at once ran into his cabin in order to fetch his papers which were in a jacket hanging inside the door. Thereafter, he ran up on the boat deck on the port side. As soon as he had got there, a sea came over him and he was pulled down by the suction. He was lying in the sea for about 3 hours and was holding on to a plank. He was then picked up by a corvette. An Englishman, who no doubt belonged to another torpedoed vessel, was also hanging on to the same plank. He, however, let go his hold and disappeared.

    The witness added that everything happened so quickly that he can give no information about the fate of the others of the crew.

    ...

    Appeared the 3rd witness who stated that he was on deck on the port side at the after part of the amidships when the torpedoing occurred. He then went over on the starboard side and tried to lower the lifeboat. During this the vessel began to sink so that the witness considered it would be safer to jump into the sea in order not to be drawn down by the suction. He at once managed to get on to a raft where he ramained for about 3 hours, when he was picked up by a corvette. On the raft were also jr. ordinary seaman Holmkvist and 4th engineer Stornes. The witness did not see anything of the others of the crew. It was pitch dark and fairly rough sea.

    The report prepared by the 1st witness was read out to the witness who had nothing to remark about it.

    ...

    Several of the survivors from the "ERVIKEN", now here, had been notified to attend the Maritime Inquiry, but did not appear.

    ...