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.
The following written statement was handed in to the Consulate by the 3rd Mate, Mr. Emil Johan Parelius:
The third mate appeared and stated as follows:
I was on watch on the 25th September 1941 from 8 p.m. We were on our voyage from Gibraltar under convoy with several other ships to England. The night was very dark and about 11.20 p.m. I suddenly saw a torpedo shooting against us on the port side and at the same moment a terrific explosion occurred and the torpedo had hit No. 1 hold. The forepart of the ship immediately began to sink and I jumped from the bridge down to the boat deck. When I landed a second explosion occurred and I dived into the water. The ship sank immediately and I was dragged under and after swimming about for an hour I managed to get on one of the rafts where O.B. Jonassen already was and he helped me to get on board the raft which otherwise would have been impossible on account of my exhausted condition.
I have nothing more to add to what is stated in my written statement.
No papers were saved and the latest full crew list would be the one from Liverpool.
Next appeared, as second wtness, Chief Engineer Hans Olav Hansen ... who stated verbally as follows:
I was in the messroom with four others when the explosion occurred and I at once ran to my cabin to fetch my electric torch and staarted to run down to the engine room but the ship heaved over so hard that I ran up and jumped overboard from the stern, the forpart of the ship already being under water. I was dragged under and could feel some ropes around my legs and I cannot remember anything from the moment I got myself free of those until I floated up and banged my head against some wreckage. After that I kept floating about and heard Captain Stenersen crying from pain. He was floating alongside a chart house top and I swam over to him and helped him to get on same as he said he had a broken leg. The chart-house could not hold us both and I got on a raft. I was nearly exhausted when I managed to get on the raft and blood started to come out of my mouth. I could do nothing but lie quiet. When I was found by the British Corvette I could hardly move so they had to come down on the raft and carry me up. I spent the first three days on the Corvette in my bunk where I was well looked after.
I have read the third mate's statement and have no further remarks to make.
Then appeared as third witness, 3rd Engineer Birger Johan Hansen ... He stated as follows:
I have seen the statement written by the third officer. I was asleep when the first explosion occurred and when I grabbed my lifebelt I heard the second explosion. The ship went straight down and I jumped overboard. After about ten minutes in the water I managed to get on a raft with Steward Bordvik and Fireman Jensen. After having spent about 3 1/2 hours on the raft we were picked up by a British corvette.
As last witness, appeared Letmatros John Aksel Jonassen ... and he stated verbally as follows:
I was at the helm when I heard the first explosion and at once jumped down to the boat deck, when the second explosion hurled me into the water. It was very dark and I could not see anything but after swimming about for about an hour or hour and a half I saw the dark outline of the raft close to and I managed to get on it. After about two hours on the raft we were picked up by a corvette. Besides myself the third mate was on the raft.
I have heard the third officers statement read aloud.