Sjøforklaring 1939 - 1945

Informasjonen nedenfor vedr. skip i Nortraships flåte er direkte avskrift av orginalkilden "Sjøforklaringer fra andre verdenskrig (1940 - 1945)". Informasjonen her er fra sjøforklaringer holdt under og rett etter krigen og kan derfor avvike noe fra den øvrige kvalitetssikrede informasjonen i Krigsseilerregisteret.

16. mars 1941
61 N. 13 W.
Torpedert [av tysk ubåt]
11000 tonn gasolene
Bermuda - Aruba - Clyde
? [4]
  • Referat

    22. mars 1941
    Fungerende konsul Nils Ihlen


    Appeared master mariner Hans Hansen ... master of the tanker "Beduin" ... The "Beduin" came from Aruba and, after calling, left Bermuda on the 26th February with a cargo of Gasolene for the Clyde (about 11000 tons). The appearer stated that the vessel's log book had unfortunately not been saved. The captain stated:-

    The vessel left Bermuda in convoy, the convoy was protected by 6 - six - destroyers. When, during the night of the 16th March, they had reached 61 degrees North and 13 degrees West Longitude, the vessel was struck by a torpedo a little abaft the pump room. The explosion was so violent that the deck plates were blown up so that they stood up in the air and the fore and aft gangway disappeared. On the bridge were the 3rd officer and the captain as well as 3 of the crew. The rest of the crew had received orders to hold themselves at the lifeboats as, practically speaking, they went about expecting to be torpedoed as several of the vessels in the convoy had already been torpedoed. The 5 men who were on the bridge, plus the 2nd officer who came from his cabin amidship, immediately went to the motor boat and got it lowered. The boat remained hanging by the after tackle for a moment after it had come into the water and was partly filled with water. The captain shouted to the 2 who lowered the boat that they should lower themselves down by the tackles, but received no replly. What the reason for this may have been the captain does not know, but he does not consider it unlikely that they have possibly been overcome by gas which was pouring out from the ship. On account of this gas the captain at once had to get away from the vessel as they had already commenced to notice the effect of it. They rowed as hard as they could - they did not manage to start the motor - towards windward in order to get away from the gas. After a while they got in communication with the chief officer's boat by means of light signals and they also saw light signals from the other boat. They got a painter on board the chief officer's lifeboat and the captain decided that both boats should lie drifting until daylight in order to see how the vessel fared. In spite of the chief officer having given clear instructions to keep together, the other lifeboat disappeared in the darkness. When daylight came, both boats rowed down to the wreck, and it was found that the "Beduin" had been divided in 2. They came up under the after part of the ship and shouted, but there was no reply. The captain found that the risk was too great, both as regards the seas and the gasolene gas to go on board. The forward part of the ship which was standing more or less vertically in the water had drifted about 1 mile away from the after part of the ship. They then set sail and came up under the forward part of the ship where there was no sign of life either to be observed. As they could not get the motor started, they found it more sensible to go over into the lifeboat. They took water tanks and bread tanks and other things with them over into the lifeboat and let the motor boat take its own course. They thereupon set sail and steered eastwards. After about 2 days sailing they caught sight of a vessel, they steered up to her and at about 22.30 o'clock on the 18th March they were taken on board the fishing-trawler A.337 (RIVER AYR) of Aberdeen, which landed the crew at Torshavn the day after at about 23 o'clock the 19th March. Since the torpedoing the weather had been moderate. On board the boat were the captain, the chief officer, 2nd and 3rd officers, and the 2nd engineer and 16 men. The 2nd engineer had got 2 fingers on the left hand injured and was immediately taken to hospital. Among the crew some had sustained burns from the gasolene. They were also treated in hospital. The captain hopes that it will be evident from the above statement why all 4 deck officers were in one boat. The captain brought with him crew list, the pass-ports for all the men, also the ship's accounts. Boat drill had been carried out during the stay at Bermuda. The vessel was, on departure from Bermuda, in every respect in completely seaworthy condition.


    Appeared as the 1st witness:- Leif Egil Ammundsen (Chief Officer) ... and stated that he was in the mess-room on the after deck when the explosion occurred. He went out at once and the boat crew was already then ready and the boat was lowered level with the poop deck. As the witness became aware that the vessel had not caught fire, and he thought that the explosion had taken place in the engine room, he went down on the intermediate platform in order to find out how the explosion had occurred an whether there were any men in the engine room. When the witness found that the explosion had not taken place in the engine room and that everything was in order there, he went back to the lifeboat and asked the crew to wait for him until he had made an attempt to get to amidship in order to see what had happened to the captain and the others who were there. The witness got as far as to the fore and aft gangway. The crew in the lifeboat called out to him that those who were amidship had got the motor boat into the sea. From the deck plates standing up about 20 feet in the way the witness was able to conclude that the explosion had probably taken place between tank 14 and the pump room. When the witness found that the gas pouring out commenced to have effect on the crew and he could otherwise not do anything more he lowered the boat into the water and rowed up to winward. The boat, which was sprayed with benzine, was cleaned as well as possible. Whilst they were rowing up to windward the witness saw that the vessel commenced to break into 2 parts. They rowed for about 1 hour and during that time they were in communication with the other lifeboat by means of signal lights. The other lifeboat was instructed to keep in the vicinity. The witness's boat thereupon got in communication with the captain's motor boat which was still lyhing in the benzine. When, as will appear from the captain's statement, they did not manage to start the motor, the witness found it the most sensible thing to proceed down and help them. He had later connection with the other lifeboat on 2 occasions, after which it disappeared. The subsequent evidence of the witness was in accordance with that of the captain and did not bring forth anything fresh.


    Appeared as the 2nd witness:- Roald Helge Ellingsen ... engineer assistant on board the "Beduin" and stated:-

    The witness was on watch in the engine room when the explosion occurred. All the lights in the engine room and all over the ship at once went out and the engine stopped. The dynamo and auxiliary motor worked continuously. The witness, as well as the greaser and the fireman, then immediately went up on deck. The witness went into the chief officer's boat which was lowered as mentioned in the chief officer's evidence. It is to be noted, however, that the two who lowered the chief officer's boat did not get into the boat and that after the boat had got into the water no reply could be obtained in spite of shouting and signalling. The witness considers it as probable that they have been overcome by the gas.

    Nothing fresh was forthcoming from the further evidence of the witness.


    Appeared as the 3rd witness:- Vidkun Ravn ... ordinary seaman on board the "Beduin", and stated that he was on the bridge when the explosion occurred.

    The evidence of the witness was entirely in accordance with that of the captain and did not bring forth anything fresh. He was in the motor boat.