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.
M/T "ORKANGER". EXTRACT FROM THE DECK LOG BOOK
The M/T "ORKANGER" arrived at Port Said from Abadan the 26/5-40, with a cargo of fuel oil for the British Admirality. Waited for orders at Port Said until the 7/6 when we were ordered to continue to Malta. The vessel was loaded down to the summer mark. Left Port Said at about 18.00 o'clock. All the lifeboats swung out and in tip top order. We had one British officer, two naval ratings, and nine soldiers on board as passengers. Steered courses and ran distances as given by the Naval Authorities at Port Said. At about 19.00 o'clock the 10th June we heard on the wireless that Mussolini had declared war on Great Britain and France. Opened an envelope with secret orders and in accordance with these orders we turned back. The 11th June at about 16.00 o'clock we met a British cruiser and received orders to proceed to Alexandria. The same day we met an French aeroplane and gave the vessel's name.
The 12th June. Clear atmosphere, almost calm, slight swell. The 3rd officer on watch on the bridge from 20.00 until 24.00, besides two men on the look-out at the same place, one man on the look-out on the forecastle and one man on the poop. The master turned in at 22.00 o'clock and gave orders about being called at 03.00 o'clock in the morning unless something untoward occurred before that time. At 22.55 o'clock the vessel was shaken by a violent explosion. It was found that the vessel had been hit presumably by a torpedo between 6 and 7 tanks on the port side. The ship's side and the deck outside the summer tank hatches had been torn open so that the plates were projecting about 15 feet up in the air. Oil from the tanks were flung all over the amidship. The amidship port lifeboat had been thrown in on th amidship deck and smashed. The other lifeboats, one amidship on the starboard side and two aft were at once lowered while the chief engineer reversed the engine and then stopped it. He likewise stopped the steering engine. While two of the lifeboats moved away, the starboard lifeboat aft was ordered to wait for the master, all the three officers, the chief engineer and the British officer, all of whom were still on board while S.O.S. was sent out. The vessel had then only a slight list to port and in all probability there was no danger of her sinking. Then occured a further violent explosion and this time aft in way of the engine room. They then knew that all hope of saving the vesse was over. The waiting lifeboat by the starboard side aft was smashed by the explosion and there was nothing else to be done but to put out the small boat (pram) and get away from the wreck as quickly as possible. The crew of the smashed lifeboat was picked up by the other boats, but on roll call being made it was found that four men were missing and must be considered to have perished through the explosion aft, while five men were more or less injured. The missing were: 2nd engineer Georg Aksdal, 3rd engineer Emil Birkeland, ordinary seaman Leo Aarseth and fireman Ludvig Svendsen. The lifeboats were called together in order to remain lying until daylight commenced and then search the fairway. The "ORKANGER" sank at about 23.30 o'clock quite slowly and with the after part of the vessel first. Most of the crew were insufficiently dressed so that the clothes in the lifeboats now came in very useful. At about 02.30 o'clock the Spanish s/S "TOM" of Bilbao came past and by means of light signals we managed to get her called in to assist. Onboard the"TOM" the injured received first aid and otherwise the best treatment was extended to the others of the crew. The vessel remained at the place of the casualty until daylight whereafter the whole of the fairway was searched at slow speed, but nothing else than pieces of wreckage could be found.
At about 18.00 o'clock the 13/6 we were landed at Alexandria where the injured were taken to hospital while the others of the crew were temporarily accomocated at the Seamen's Home.
All the ship's papers were lost through the sinking of the vessel.
Ole Jamne, Ch. Engineer
J. Sæther, 3rd Officer
L. Teffre, Master
S. Helland, A.B. Seaman
P. Knarvik, Jr. Ordinary Seaman
Erling Fosse, Chief Officer
K. Stubseid, 2nd Officer
Karl Aas, Engine Assistant