Shipping snippets 1939

Liverpool Daily Post, Oct 3rd 1939

Copenhagan Monday

The Finnish ship BALTIC with 10 men aboard, struck a mine today off the east coast of Zeeland.

Stockholm Monday

8 Swedish steamers captured today by German aircraft trawlers.

Naval escorts to be provided for ships in Swedish territorial waters, following recent infringements of the laws, including the seizure of the Latvian ship IMANTA

Oct 6th 1939

The crew of the German Submarine U-34 lent their bunks to the seamen of the Greek steamer DIAMANTIS, whose vessel they had sunk off Lands End.

The crew of the DIAMANTIS had arrived in Dublin from Dingle [County Kerry] where they had been landed by the submarine on Wednesday. Later they left for Holyhead en route for London.

Capt PANAGOS, Master of the DIAMANTIS, said after he had been ordered to take to the boats, we were told to go aboard the German submarine, where the commander informed me he would sink our vessel. They fired three shots and she sank within half an hour.

Orders were given to dive, we broke surface 30hrs later beside the Kerry coast. We were brought 50yds from shore off Ventry, the commander a nice young chap, put us ashore in a collapsible boat four at a time. We were treated well with plenty of tea, milk and cigarettes, and the crew actually gave us their bunks while they dried our clothes.

NB correspondence re above [The U-Boat that sank the DIAMANTIS was U-35, not U-34. I am a relative of U-35's Chief Engineer; my website is Greetings from America, Hans U. Mair]

It is known the German warship GRILLE is patrolling the area east of Deland. The GRILLE, Admiralty Yacht, built 1934, 2,560 tons, carries three 4-1 inch guns and 2, 37mm anti-aircraft guns.

Rio de Janiero Monday

28 survivors of the Newcastle steamer ROYAL SCEPTRE, sunk by a u-boat a month ago, arrived here today in the Liverpool steamer BROWNING, they plan to return to England at the earliest opportunity.

Oct 9th 1939

The Dutch steamer BINNENDIJK, 6,800tons, bound from New York to Amsterdam was sunk in the English Channel early yesterday, 41 survivors landed in a lifeboat which stood by all night. Capt W. MOREE of Rotterdam, master of the BINNENDIJK, said, he was on the bridge when there was a terrific explosion, and the engines and wireless were put out of action. "The ship began to sink very slowly." He said "and when we fired rocket signals they were answered."

"Later an examination vessel came alongside and making fast to our ship, took us off. There were 41 officers and crew we had no passengers"

Oct 10th 1939

The Royal Mail Lines Motor-ship LOCHGOIL, 9,462 tons, outward bound with a cargo last Friday, was damaged off the English coast by an explosion. She carried a crew of 64 under Capt W. C. TARRANT, none of the crew were injured. When assistance reached the ship a skeleton crew were left on board the anchored vessel, the rest taken ashore. She was built in 1922, in December last she struck a 30ft whale, when homeward bound from the Pacific. The whale became lodged in the bows and was carried for half an hour till the ship stopped, when it freed itself. In 1930 the LOCHGOIL had to return to San Pedro when fire broke out in one of the holds.

The call "SOS MINE," was received at Blaavand radio station from the Finnish steamer INDRA, 2,026tons. Nothing further was heard it is stated. The owners confirm she was in the area and had just been released following several days detention at Keil.

Oct 11th 1939

The Swedish steamer VISTULA, 1,018 tons, was sunk by a submarine on Sunday in the North Sea. The crew, were given 10mins to leave and taken on board the submarine and given bread which they described as "awful stuff." They were then put on the VISTULA'S two boats, one reached a Northern port yesterday carrying 9 men. A search has been made for the other boat with the Captain and remainder of the crew, but there has been strong southerly gales and a heavy sea.

There was an explosion on the Brocklebank liner MARWARRI, [registered at Liverpool, 8,036 tons] yesterday off the Welsh coast, the crew, of 91 are mostly Arabs and Lascars, 5 men are injured but none seriously.

Mohamed JAMA, Deck hand said, "There was a terrific bang, everything fell about us, the doors crashed in and the lights went out. There was a rush on deck as water came pouring in. As the ship took a heavy list the skipper Capt RICHARDSON, ordered us to take to the boats, some crew were praying. We reached shore and were treated hospitably."

The vessel was taken in tow by tugs. She was bound from Belfast to Newport in ballast, it is not known whether she was struck by a mine or attacked. 20 crew were landed at Port Talbot the rest at Swansea


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