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.

September 17, 1940
Utenfor Petite Vallee, Province of Quebec
Grunnstøtt i forsøk på å komme inn i havnen
Sydney N.S. - Petiete Vallee P.Q.
Crew list
  • Extract from the deck logbook

    Sunday the 15th September, 1940, calm and fine weather. At 15.50 left for Petite Vallee via Gaspe. Proceeding under the pilot's directions. At 16.20 the pilot was dropped and the voyage continued. At 1730 the patrolship came alongside and gave us orders to proceed direct to Petite Vallee, the courses are steered.

    Monday the 16th of September, variable winds with fog, steering the courses of the fairway. Speed was reduced on account of the fog and to await daylight before making for Petite Vallee.

    Tuesday the 17th of September, fresh norterly wind with drizzle. From 4.00 o'clock we were lying outside waiting for daylight and for the weather to clear, as soon as we were at the approaches of the port the Pilot jack was hoisted and simultaneously gave repeated signals by the steam whistle, as the wind and the sea were increasing in force it was decided to proceeded into Petite Vallee without a Pilot since it was assumed the he could (not?) come out before we came near the quay. The vessel was navigated carefully towards the port with half and slow speed. The 2nd Officer and an A.B. standing by on the forecastle head with the anchors and the lead. We were steering according to the leading lights, but there were difficult to distinguish owing to the drizzle and when the vessel came into the vicinity of the pier it was set over by the wind and the current towards the other side of the entrance channel with the consequence that the vessel took the ground amidships on the starboard side. The engines were at once put at full astern but as the wind at that time increased in force it appeared to be hopeless to refloat the vessel by the use of the eninges alone, and as the seas were breaking it was impossible to get the moorings ashore to the pier to assist by heaving the ship off. After manoeuvreing with the engines from the moment of the grounding at 0.54 until 1.12 the attempt to refloat the vessel by our own efforts had to be abandoned as the vessel was now lying som high that the risk of breaking the propeller was imminent. The bilges and holds were sounded and it was found that there was no leakage. Owing to the increasing force of the wind and sea the hateches were battened down to prevent the holds from filling with water from the top. The vessel was pounding violently and the seas were continually washing over her, preparations were made to abandon the ship as the position was precarious and there was a great risk of the vessel breaking up. The port lifeboat was then destroyed by the seas and the motorboat was also partly broken into pieces, the remaining lifeboat was then lowered into the water and the crew were ordered to take their most necessary effects and to abandon ship. At 12.00 o'clock all hands had safely left the ship and in the meantime telegrams had been sent to London and Montreal. The crew were found the best possible accomocation and dry clothing found for them. The master arranged for watch to be kept during the night and as soon as it was possible to board the ship this was done. It was found now that the vessel had suffered considerable damaged. There was a fracture several feet in length from the waterline, the side of the ship was buckled inwards considerably and the rudder and rudder post broken.

    Wednesday the 18th of September, 1940 Wind and sea decreasing force, as soon as it was advisable the master returned to the vessel as well as all the officers and a part of the crew. We went over the ship, opened the hatches and found about 4 feet of water in the forehold. The afterhold also showed signs of water, but this had run forward on account of the position of the vessel, andas we hadabout 200 tons of buncer coal in No. 3 hatch it was not possible to obtain a complete view here. The bottom damage must be considered to be heavy, the damage to the engines is also of such nature that it is impossible to raise steam or to do anything. In the meantime everything is being done to shift under deck everything which is loose and on the whole to save everything whcih can be saved.

    Extract from the engine room logbook

    Tuesday the 17th of September 1940. Fresh northerly wind and sea. During the night proceeded at reduced speed in order to await daylight. At 6.15 o'clock half speed with the engines. At 6.20. o'clock slow speed ahead. At 6.55 o'clock full speed astern. The ship had then grounded. Stop at 7.05 o'clock - full speed astern again at 7.08 o'clock. Stop at 7.12 o'clock. Full speed astern at 7.15 o'clock. Stop at 7.20 o'clock. Full speed astern again at 8.05 o'clock and stop at 8.12 o'clock. Shut off the steam to engines at 8.35 o'clock as the propeller was clear of the water. Upon a survey the engines and the boilers appeared to be tight.

    Shut off the steam to the auxiliary machine at 9.25 o'clock. Skylights and openings to the stokehold and engine room closed, but the engine room and the stokehold were continually being filled with water.

    At 10.30 o'clock it was assumed that there must be a leakage as the water level in the stokehold, and the engine room was equal to the water outside.

    Wednesday the 18th of September. Both boilers seem to have been forced astern about 4" to 3" and part of the boiler jacket is broken. Greased all bright parts of the engines and auxiliaries and the winches with oil. Working in the engines room atlow water on salvaging to tools and engine room stores.