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.
Appeared Captain Otto Sigurd Hansen ...
The captain stated that the vessel was on departure in every respect in completely seaworthy condition for the voyage. The prescribed lifesaving equipment was available and in good order. As regards boats, there were two lifeboats, swung out on departure, and one motor lifeboat on the after deck. The vessel had the prescribed equipment. A lifesaving raft was lying on the after deck. Liefsaving jackets had been distributed to every one. The majority had lifesaving jackets in their cabins. The crew's quarters were aft. The look-out man, Georg Husebø, had lifebelt on at the time. There was the prescribed number of lifebelts.
The vessel's draught forward was 12 feet, aft 14.5 feet. The degaussing was working at the time. The firemen were to be relieved at 8 o'clock. Fireman Moen had an artificial leg, but was otherwise vigorous in so far as he was aware.
The captain produced a report prepared according to memory. All the ship's books and papers went down with the ship, likewise the crew's personal effects.
The report was read out and approved by Captain Hansen.
The captain stated that he did not hear any sound from the explosion. The explosion could be described as a violent report.
He got coal and water etc., on top of his head, felt that blood was running from his head, was knocked half unconscious, tried to get along to the saloondoor in order to fetch the papers, but the door would not open, does not remember exactly how he got to the starboard lifeboat, when he got there the vessel had commenced to sink forward and had heeled over to starboard.
From the lifeboat he saw that the propeller was in the air, he did not see the vessel go down. As mentioned, he was half unconscious, had a gash on his forehead and his body was knocked about.
Husebø was lying quite a distance away from the lifeboat.
Appeared the 1st witness, Petter Birger Pettersen, ... chief officer on board. ...
The produced report was placed before the witness and he declared that it was signed by him. He approved the report.
As regards the sound of the explosion the witness stated that a light thump came first and then a report, not a boom, but a sharp report.
He could feel that the port side forward was hit by the explosion. Because the ship was thrown over at the same time.
He was at first thrown upwards and fell down again, fell down on the deck below the bridge (perhaps through the ladder opening), a flood of water came over him so that his first thought was to jump out. The flood receeded and the ship was then heeling over to starboard and had started to go down by the head. He then heard the captian shout:- Get into the boats.
The port lifeboat was his lifeboat, but on getting to it there was nobody there and the ship was heeling over too much. He then went to the starboard side which was the leeward side andwas probably the last one to get into the lifeboat. It had taken at the most 3-4 minutes from the explosion until he got into the lifeboat, and the lifeboat was lying there until the ship - after a few minutes - rose up on end and disappeared. He is inclined to think that the whole affair took about 5 minutes from the explosion occurred until the vessel disappeared.
Thomassen had fallen out of the lifeboat and was picked up. There was shouted from the lifeboat:- Is there any one in the water? Reply was heard from Husebø, but from no one else. Husebø was then picked up. He was lying a distance away, probably carried there by the tide. He had a lifebelt on.
We did not know where Moen might be. There was no way of getting on board the ship again.
At the time the witness had a lifesaving jacket as well as a lifebelt. The majority had likewise both kinds on, not the 2nd engineer, however, who came up in his under clothes, and the captain. As regards the firemen, those of the firemen who were on watch used to place their lifebelts outside the stokehold door.
The witness had more faith in the lifebelts than in the lifesaving jackets of the type which were on board.
Appeared the 2nd witness, Edvard Finne Warhus ... A.B. Seaman on board. ...
It was after part of the forecastle on the port side which was hit by the explosion. The witness saw a flame there on the ship's side. The sound seemed like a boom. He was flung up from the deck, frell down again just by the wheel, a flood of water came over in such a way that he thought the ship was going down.
Got out of the wheel house and ran along to the lifesaving raft making his way there on the port side, thereafter over to the starboard lifeboat.
Fireman Thomassen, who was lowering the boat down, fell into the water. When Thomassen was picked up the lifeboat had just come clear of the propeller.
It was after this that shouts were heard from Husebø. When he had been picked up the ship had sunk.
The witness did not see anything of Moen. When they were rowing towards Husebø there was talk about Moen being missing.
At the most, it took about 5 minutes from the time of the explosion until the witness got into the lifeboat as the last man but one, the mess room boy came after.
The witness had a lifebelt on, likewise the lifesaving jacket, but the witness had no faith in lifesaving jacets of the type which were on board the "Hundvaag" and which ar to expand automatically. Thomassen, who fell into the water, had lifesaving jacket on, but no belt. It was found that the lifesaving jacket had not expanded much, but all the same Thomassen managed because he could swim and was lightly clad.
Appeared the 3rd witness, Gotfred Racine Paulsen ... chief engineer on board ...
The witness was standing just outside the engine room door on the port side when the explosion occurred. It was a short report and the vessel shook violently, he fell down.
Fireman Moen was on his way down to his watch in the engine room and the witness spoke to him as he was coming past on the port side. The engine room door, where the witness was standing, was at the after part of the casing. Since then the witness had not seen anything of Moen. The latter could hardly have got down before the explosion occurred.
The witness belonged to the starboard lifeboat and went up the ladder there. It seemed to the witness as if the whole of the fore deck was under water by the time the lifeboat was clear. Very soon afterwards the propeller was up in the air. The whole thing happened at a terrific speed.
The ship had gone down by the time Thomassen was picked up. Husebø was picked up later still.
The witness assumed that Moen had fallen down from the gratings and was knocked unconscious.
The witness had lifesaving jacket on, not so much because he had faith in it, buth while on watch in the engine room one cannot have a lifebelt on. It was found that the lifesaving jacket which fireman Thomassen had on had not expanded, anyhow not to any great extent.
Appeared the 4th witness, Johan Gunerius Johnsen ... fireman on board. ...
When the explosion occurred the witness had just come off watch and was standing outside the stokehold door on the starboard side. Moen was then standing inside the door on the top grating. He was occupied with taking off his lifebelt.
The witness was thrown upside down and his head was bruised. On recovering, the witness ran towards aft in order to look for his friends.
On getting to the lifeboat the witness asked for Moen. Everything was in confusion and the witness was dazed in consequence of the bruises he had sustained to his head. When the witness had got into the boat, shouts were heard from the sea. It was found to be Thomassen and Husebø. By the time Thomassen had been picked up the ship had gone down.
Appeared the 5th witenss, Arne Martin Thomassebn ... fireman on board ...
He was sitting in the crew's quarters afte when he heard a violent explosion, a short sound, like a dynamite report, far more powerful than a cannon shot, and it felt as if the ship was sinking under one's feet, it felt as if the vessel's bow had been lifted up. He ran to the lifeboat to which he belonged, which was the starboard lifeboat, which they were then occupied in lowering. He did not see anything of Moen. Finally he caught hold of the fall of the after tackle and lowered himself down, but in doing so he fell into the water and quickly drifted towards aft away from the lifeboat, the engine was working and there was a current.
The vessel had at once got a list to starboard.
From the water - he was lying in the water probably about 10 minutes - he saw a dark cloud over the amidship and assumes that the water had got into the stokehold, he saw the propeller going full bore.
He assumed that the vessel went down in about 5 minutes from the moment of the explosion.
No doubt they heard nothing from Husebø until the witness had been picked up.
The lifesaving jacket which was of a type which is self-inflating by means of tartaric acid gas (in so far as the witness had heard) had been inflated to a small extent, but very little, when the witness was picked up after having been in the water for perhaps about 15 minutes. The jacket was of a fairly heavy weight so that the witness rather thinks that the jacket would have sunk by itself. It had been very little inflated. The others kept asking him as to how the jacket had been acting. At the start the jacket felt like a weight, as if he had 4 sand bags on him. When walking about on board in the jacket it felt heavy and awkward, hard to lie down in. No one on board had any faith in it.
The witness had been a swimmer since childhood. The water was not cold. He had dungaree trousers and a shirt on.