Maritime inquiry 1940 - 1945

The information below 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
December 27, 1940
Location
11 30 N, 21 30 V
Cause
Torpedert [av tysk ubåt]
Cargo
Kull og stykkgods
Route
Newcastle on Tyne - Cape Town - Alexandria
Crew list
Komplett
Survived
29
Captured
0
Deceased
0 [0]
Missing
0
  • Abstract

    Date
    January 14, 1941
    Location
    Cape Town
    Administrator
    Konsul Th. Mørch Hansson

    ...

    Appeared Sverre Kure-Olsen, the vessel's master ... and stated that the deck log book and the engineers' log book had not been saved so that instead of log extract he produced a statement prepared at sea on board the M/T "BELINDA", the 8th January this year, countersigned by the vessel's chief engineer and chief officer ...

    ...

    Of the ship's papers, the Tonnage Certificate, the Trading Certificate and the Certificate of Nationality, also Crew Lists, were saved. The master was, at the time, on the bridge when the explosion suddenly occurred. The vessel first rose up in the asir and then sank back again so that she was lying deep, thereafter she rose a little by little. The coal cargo in the No. 2 hold ran out and the vessel had a heavy list to port. All hatches and cross webs disappeared and water and coal smoke rose high up into the air. The master soon became aware that the vessel was hopelessly lost and in a sinking condition. All on board at once ran to the lifeboats, of these, after the explosion, only the motor boat and the two jolly boats were usable. There were also lifesaving rafts, but they were not used. The master at once went down to fetch the ship's papers and thereafter up on deck where he inspected the damaged. The No. 2 hold was full of water. A good quarter of an hour after the explosion the master left the ship as last man and shortly afterwards the submarine came to the surface and commenced firing. It was a large submarine, dark grey with dark brown conning tower and did not resemble the German submarines which the master has had the opportunity of seeing. The position of the place as entered in the statement has been put approximately according to the observations taken earlier in the day by the chief officer andt he 3rd officer. When the submarine came up she was about 1 1/2 nautical miles away. Nothing could be seen of her before she came to the surface. The vessel had a gun which was ready for action, but there was no question of using it. The chief engineer had shut off the engine by means of the emergency wheel, but the vessel had still movement ahead when the master left the ship. After the sinking, the submarine disappeared without coming over to the lifeboats. These were well supplied with provisions and water so that the crew suffered no prevation. The master set the course eastward toward the nearest land on the African coast until, on the 29th December, they were picked up by the M/T "BELINDA", of Oslo. The motor boat was hoisted on board and, as far as the master knows, it is still on board the M/T "BELINDA". The jolly boat was left in the sea as useless. The whole of the crew got into the lifeboats as they were, without getting an opportunity of saving any of their personal effects.

    The master presented as witnesses the chief officer, the 3rd officer, the chief engineer, the donkeyman, the fireman on watch and the deck crew on watch. The 3rd officer was on watch at the time. It was clear weather with good visibility. Of the deck crew, one was at the wheel and the other was stand by.

    ...

    Appeared the 1st witness, chief officer Sverre Lie ... and stated that when the explosion occurred he was amidship on the starboard side. It was a heavy explosion which lifted up great volumes of water and coal from the cargo. The witness at once went to the lifeboats and assisted with the launching of the motor boat which drifted off when the painter broke so that the witness waited by one of the jolly boats and left the ship with the captain. The witness left the ship just as he was and does not think that the others got anything with them either. Shortly after the explosion the vessel had a heavy list, but later rightened herself. In the opinion of the witness there was no possibility of the vessel being saved. The witness had nothing further to state.

    ...

    Appeared the 2nd witness, cheif engineer Ingvald Falkanger ... and stated that at the time he was in the store room and went up on deck when he heard the explosion, but was stopped for a long time at the exit from the engine room by the masses of water coming in from the deck. He tried to pull the quick shutting stop valve, but found this already closed, presumably by the donkeyman. Thereafter the witness stopped the fuel oil pump from the boat deck. The witness saw the fireman, but not the donkeyman, and went down into the engine room to look for him. At that time there was not very much water in the engine room. When the witness left the ship with the captain she had a heavy list to port. The witness did not get any personal effects with him, nor did any of the others as far as the wtness knows. When the witness left the ship the engine was still working with a revolution of the engine now and again. The witness had nothing further to state.

    ...

    Appeared the 3rd witness, donkeyman Adolf Johannesen ... and stated that he heard the explosion and saw water pouring down from the deck, he and the fireman then at once made their way up to the lifeboats after having tried to lift the master valve which he found had already been lifted with the wire from the boat deck. There was coal and water over the whole vessel which had a list to port when the witness left the ship in the motor boat. The witness did not manage to save any of his personal effects, nor did any of the others as far as the witness knows.

    ...

    Appeared the 4th witness, ordinary seaman Arne Gunnar Godtfredsen ... and stated that he was at the wheel when the explosion occurred. Kåre Heggen, who was on the same watch, was on the flying bridge. The witness at once ran to the lifeboat, without orders, as he thought the ship was going to sink at once. He did not manage to save anything, nor did any of the others as far as the witness knows. The witness had nothing further to state.

    ...

    Appeared the 5th witness, ordinary seaman Kåre Heggen ... and stated that when the explosion took place ha had just left the flying bridge where he had been keeping look-out according to orders from the officer on watch. The witness does not think it had been possible to see the submarine before the explosion even if the weather had been of good visibility. The witness ran to the lifeboats as he assumed the ship would soon sinkl He did not manage to save any of his personal effects, nor did anyone else as far as he knows.

    ...

    Appearedt the 6th witness, fireman Runar Fredrikson ... and stated that he was on the stokehold platform when he heard the explosion and saw water coming down from the deck. He at once ran up and along to the lifeboats without doing anything in the engine room. He did not manage to save anything, nor did any of the others as far as the witness knows.

    ...

    3rd officer Knut Sandøy ... is still not present, but as the master, as well as the nautical assessors, are of opinion that he will hardly be able to make any statement towards the further elucidation of the cicumstances connected with the sinking of the vessel the President considered that according to what has already been stated through the Maritime Inquiry his evidence as witness was not absolutely necessary wherefore the Martime Inquiry may be terminated.

    ...