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.
No. 4. Was the casualty caused by the nature of the cargo by overloading, or by the cargo or the ballast having been wrongly distributed or not been properly stowed and secured, or that the deck cargo was high and thereby caused a list.
No. 5. Was the vessel lying upright on her departure? Of what density was the water in the harbour where the vessel loaded and how many inches of additional buoyancy was calculated on when coming into completely salt water?
No. 6. Was the casualty caused by any error, neglect or carelessness by anyone?
No. 9. Had they previously been exposed to fire of oil which had leaked out or accumulation og gas? When was the bottom under boilers and engine last cleaned? What kind of fire extinguishing equipment was available on the stokehold platform? Was it in order? Were any of the boilers coal fired?
Then appeared the vessel's master who produced ... a free transcript of the log book and written according to memory as the vessel's log book had been lost.
The master referred in all respects to this extract. He maintained that everything was in ordrer on board and they could not have prevented that which occurred. The men on watch, when the casualty occurred, were the master and the 2nd officer who were both on the bridge,- the 3rd engineer was on watch in the engine room, and the look-out man who was standing on top of the chart room.
No. 4. - The captain stated that the casualty was not caused by the nature of the cargo or by overloading, or by the cargo or the ballast having been wrongly distributed or not been properly stowed and secured, or that the cargo on deck had been to hight and thereby caused a list.
No. 5 - The vessel was lying upright on departure (also that the water at Aruba was salt).
No. 6. - The casualty was not caused by any error, neglect or carelessnes by anyone on board.
No. 9. - Evernything in order. - All directions and orders from the Admiralty had been complied with. The Commodore's orders were also followed and no deviations made from the written instructions. All signals which were given during the voyage had been punctually carried out.
The master further stated that there was fresh N.W. breeze, moderate sea. The master "assumed" that the torpedo hit the vessel between the dry hold and No. 3 tank on the starboard siden. He thinks that the hold forward had been shattered as the forward part of the vessel commenced to sink very quickly.
Appeared the 1st witness:- FINN BIRKELAND, 2nd officer ...
Witness was the officer on watch together with the captain and is of opinion that the casualty was caused by a torpedo. He pointed out that it was quite clear to him what was required as he had previously been going in convoy and he had received instructions for perusal. The captain had shown the witness the orders from the Admiralty as to how one should act and that the Commodore's orders must always be complied with. All these orders were punctually and immediately carried out. When the first vessel was torpedoed the witness was in his cabin and heard the explosion. He then went out on deck where he heard the second explosion. The speed was then increased to the utmost that the engine could render.
The witness took over the watch at 0.00 o'clock. The convoy had then dispersed and they were proceeding on a zigzag course with a mean course of about 60' true. The witness could then dimly see two or three vessels.- The explosion occurred at about 2.30 o'clock in the morning, and the witness could then dimly make out one vessel about abeam and another about 3 to 4 points on the port bow. After the explosion the vessel commenced to sink with the foredeck first. This could be felt by the witness before he went into the lifeboat. The witness did not see the vessel sink, but according to his own judgment and according to what was said on the destroyer which picked up the crew it must be assumed that the fore hatch was under water. This hatch covered a large empty space, estimated at about 2500 tons.
... as 2nd witness appeared:- JONAS JONASSEN, Ordinary Seaman ...
The witness was on the look-out on top of the chart room when the explosion occurred. It was a violent explosion and smoke and flames shot up. Water, oil and metal plates flew up in all directions. The witness then ran down to the navigation bridge and waited there until he received instructions to run towards aft. As the witness ran along the fore and aft gangway a considerable incline was noticed. He firmly believed that the vessel would sink as they went into the lifeboats. The lifeboats were aft on the poop.
... 3rd witness: BJARNE SKREE, Jr. Ordinary Seaman ...
The witness immediately obeyed all ordres which were given in connection with the steering and steered about 73' 74' magnetic course, zigzag course. He stated that the vessel was in all respects equipped in the prescribed manner, and that she was lying upright on departure and during the whole voyage.
The witness received orders to leave the wheel after the explosion had occurred.
... 4th witness: PETTER JAKOB GRØSVIK, 3rd engineer ...
The witness was in the engine room when the explosion occurred. He noticed a severe shaking and there was immediately rung stop on both telegraphs. The witness put on the lifesavingvest and ran up with a torch in his hand. The chief engineer ordered witness up from the engine room. Before the casualty occurred the engine was going wilth as great speed as could be obtained.
The witness stated that the vessel had commenced to sink by the head when he entered the lifeboat.