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
January 22, 1942
Location
41'16 N, 60'32 W
Cause
Torpedert [av tysk ubåt]
Cargo
Pool Motor Spirit
Route
Aruba - Bermuda/Halifax - UK
Crew list
Komplett
Survived
5
Captured
0
Deceased
34 [36]
Missing
2
  • Abstract

    Date
    February 5, 1942
    Location
    Halifax
    Administrator
    Konsul Harald Juell

    ...

    As the Captain and 35 of the others of the crew are assumed to havelost their lives in consequence of the torpedoing, there were unly five survivors: Of these, A.B. Seaman Ragnar Nilsen was prevented from attending.

    Appeared Rolf Bjerkøy ... Chief Officer on the m.t. "INNERØY" ... The Chief Officer stated that the vessel was in completely seaworthy condition. The vessel's log book and all other ship's papers were lost in consequence of the torpedoeing. The Chief Officer produced a report prepared in English about the occurrence, signed by himself and three of the other survivors. The fifth survivor, Ragnar Nilsen, owing to temporary absence from Halifax had not had the opportunity of seeing the report. ...

    In reply to the President's questions, the chief officer further stated:-

    He, himself, was on watch on the bridge and was in the wheel-house when the torpedo struck. A.B. Seaman Hans Tuft was at the wheel and A.B. Seaman Ragnar Nilsen was look-out man on the bridge. The Captain was in his cabin when the torpedo struck the ship. The weather was partly cloudy and the sea smooth. Everything in the engine and in the steering engine was in complete order. The lifeboats and lifesaving equipment also in complete order. Boat drill had been carried out at the last port of departure, Barry, on the 22nd December 1941. The torpedo was first seen by the look-out man, Ragnar Nilsen, when it was three to four metres from the ship on the stb. side. The vessel had steered zigzag course since daylight until the torpedoing occurred. After the five survivors had got into the lifeboats they saw that the captain had come from his cabin up on the bridge and they shouted to him that he should jump over board, but he did not do so. As the flames were getting nearer to the motorboat it had to be rowed away. On being questioned as to where the rubber lifesaving suits were, the witness stated that they were in the cabins and that none of those who were saved had time to get them. Neither the witness nor anyone else on board had, as far as he knew, partaken of intoxicants.

    ...

    Thereafter appeared Sigmund Hanssen ... 3rd Officer on board the m.t. "INNERØY". The report about the casualty produced by the chief officer was signed by the witness and he referred to it. In reply to the President's questions he further stated:-

    He was off duty when the torpedo struck the vessel and at that time he was in his cabin. The lifeboats and lifesaving equipment were otherwise in complete order, and they were constantly being examined. When the 3rd Officer had got into the lifeboat he saw the captain on the bridge, on the port side, with rubber suit on. They all shouted to the captain that he should jump into the sea. The witness is of opinion that the captian understood their calls, but remained standing on the bridge.

    The witness had not partaken of intoxicants nor, in his opinion, had any of the others on board partaken of intoxicants.

    ...

    Appeared Iver Nausthaug ... wireless operator on the m.t. "Innerøy". He had just been with the captain in the latter's cabin to hand in crew and provision lists. From there he went to the steward's cabin, but as the latter was not there he went from the stewards's cabin out on deck, and at the same moment there was the report of the torpedo. He then immediatly went up on the bridge and into the wireless room. There the light had gone out, but he switched ont he emergency light, got the emergency transmitter started and sent out an S.O.S. He made sure that the emergency transmitter functioned. The heat, however, prevented further stay in the wireless room, and he did not get any opportunity of ascertaining whether his S.O.S. had been picked up. He only managed to send out a single distress signal. The witness had made himself aquainted with the report produced by the chief officer which he, the witness, had signed. He also referred to this. With regard to the appearance of the captain on the bridge and the survivors calling out to in, also the behaviour of the captain after the torpedoeing, he made statement in conformity with the other witnesses. The witness had not partaken of intoxicants.

    ...

    Finally apperaed Hans Tuft ... A.B. Seaman on board the m.t. "INNERØY". He had made himself acquainted with the report produced by the Chief Officer which he, the sitness had signed, and in reply to the President's questions stated further:-

    He was at the wheel when the casualty happened. When the explosion occurred he went past the Chief Officer, who was standing by the engine telegraph, out to the wing on the stb. side. There he was inveloped in blazing which set his coat alight and injured his hands. He was therefore obliged to go back to the wheel-house and out on the port side. From there he followed the chief officer down on to the fore deck and put a lifesaving raft, which was on the port side, into the water. As the vessel had movement ahead, the lifesaving raft, however, disappeared in the masses of flame. Thereafter, they went up on the bridge deck in order to lower the port motor lifeboat, which they succeeded in putting into the water and which the surviving five men got into. In all essentials he made statement in accordance with the other witnesses with regard to the bearing and behaviour of the captain after the explosion. The witness had not partaken of intoxicants.

    ...