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  #551  
Old 30-01-2018, 00:11
Scatari Scatari is offline
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Default Re: Warship Collisions, Groundings, Fatal Events

Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Salt View Post

HMS FALMOUTH V RFA TIDEFLOW

Another great article in your wonderful series Brian - absolutely amazing that no lives were lost in this incident!

Good to see you back in action.
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  #552  
Old 05-02-2018, 22:47
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Default Re: Warship Collisions, Groundings, Fatal Events

(Short one this week)

SAS Southern Floe - Loss

A number of South African whalers were converted to anti submarine roles and commissioned into the South African Navy for service. They were part of the South African Seaward Defence Force anti-submarine flotilla. However, HMSAS Southern Floe, HMSAS Southern Sea and HMSAS Southern Maid were sent to the Mediterranean and based at Alexandria, Egypt.

On 31 January 1941 HMSAS Southern Floe (Lt J E Lewis) and HMSAS Southern Sea arrived at Tobruk on to take over patrol duties from two of their two sister ships.

Although submarines were not a threat in the first six months of the Western Desert campaign, numerous floating mines pointed to the existence of extensive moored mine fields. Except for the sweeping of the narrow coastal traffic route and harbour entrances at this stage there had not yet been time to locate these fields with any accuracy, much less to clear them.

The main duty of the two Southerns was alternately to patrol the nearest section of the swept channel and to escort shipping along it. The port at that time was subject to air raids, littered with sunken wrecks and possibly active ground-mines. On patrol, the duties were complicated by sandstorms that strong off-shore winds extended for many miles out to sea, resulting in low visibility, heavy cross-seas, and much discomfort to personnel. To these conditions were added the menace of the mine fields on one side and an ill-defined and unlighted coast on the other.

On the morning of 11 February 1941 Southern Sea arrived at the patrol rendezvous, two miles east of Tobruk, but found no sign of Southern Floe. This was reported but caused no concern at first; it had blown hard enough all night for the ship to find herself far from her station at dawn. However that evening, a passing destroyer picked up one man clinging to some wreckage – all that remained of Southern Floe and her company.

This sole survivor was Stoker C J Jones, RNVR (SA), lent from HMS Gloucester to fill a vacancy just before Southern Floe sailed from Alexandria. He was almost insensible after 14 hours in the water, but afterwards stated that he had been in the stokehold when, at about 04:00 there had been a heavy explosion and the ship had filled rapidly. In the darkness, he had found his way into the flooded engine-room and struggled out through the skylight as the ship sank. He had seen a few other persons in the water at that time and later had done his best to support a wounded man. In the absence of other evidence there is little doubt that a mine, either floating or moored, was the cause.

The loss of the ship, although but a trivial incident in a world war, came as a sudden and grievous blow to the flotilla and to the SDF. The ships had spent a barely one month on the station and at home few were aware that they had arrived and had been in action. The casualties were the first naval losses suffered by the South African Seaward Defence Force and the sense of loss in the service was profound.

A relic of Southern Floe was brought to South Africa long after, in the form of a small brass ship’s badge, found amidst the other debris of battle 70 miles inland from Benghazi. Supposedly it had floated ashore, attached to a wooden fragment of the ship’s bridge, and been carried thence by an Italian souvenir-hunter.


After the war Stoker Jones, the sole survivor (photo below) placed a memorial notice in the Cape Town newspapers. He continued to do this for many years until he also passed away.


http://www.saspresidentkruger.com/hmsas-southern-floe/

Brian
Attached Images
File Type: jpg SAS Southern Floe T26.jpg (18.5 KB, 16 views)
File Type: jpg SAS Southern Floe T26.Stoker Jones, sole survivor.jpg (20.1 KB, 14 views)
File Type: jpg SAS Southern Floe_2 T26.jpg (61.1 KB, 18 views)
File Type: jpg SAS Southern Floe Ship's Crest.jpg (25.0 KB, 5 views)
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  #553  
Old 06-02-2018, 17:37
Scatari Scatari is offline
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Default Re: Warship Collisions, Groundings, Fatal Events

Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Salt View Post

(Short one this week)

SAS Southern Floe - Loss

Brian
What a tragic story Brian - thanks for posting it.
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  #554  
Old 15-02-2018, 14:38
gruntfuttock gruntfuttock is offline
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Default Re: Warship Collisions, Groundings, Fatal Events

HMS Sutherland remembers HMAS Sydney :-

https://www.royalnavy.mod.uk/news-an...ralian-tragedy
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  #555  
Old 16-02-2018, 00:48
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Default Re: Warship Collisions, Groundings, Fatal Events

A very nice and thoughtful touch.
Brian
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  #556  
Old 16-02-2018, 03:35
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Default Re: Warship Collisions, Groundings, Fatal Events

Quote:
Originally Posted by gruntfuttock View Post
HMS Sutherland remembers HMAS Sydney :-

https://www.royalnavy.mod.uk/news-an...ralian-tragedy
From the article:
Quote:
The Kormoran’s survivors provided some details about the cruiser’s fate, but it was March 2008 before the wrecks of both ships were found by deep-sea explorers.
Kormoran's survivors provided extensive, detailed, and accurate information about the fate and location of Sydney - and were disbelieved and called liars right up until Sydney was found - right where they said, and in exactly the condition they described!
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  #557  
Old 17-02-2018, 04:00
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Default Re: Warship Collisions, Groundings, Fatal Events

USS S-51 (SS-162) - Loss

On September 25, 1925, the U. S. submarine S-51 left the New London base for sea exercises, carrying a crew of regular and student officers. That night S-51 was operating on the surface near Block Island, with her running lights on. The approaching steamship City of Rome spotted a single white masthead light but was unable to determine its course, speed, or intentions. The ship altered her course away from the unknown light to give whatever it might be greater leeway.

Inside the S-51, most of the crew were already in their bunks in the battery room. The CO was in the control room when the lookout on the S-51's bridge spotted the lights of the steamship. The submarine had the right of way under the International Rules of the Road at Sea; therefore the S-51 was required to maintain its course and speed. Since the submarine's stern light was plainly visible to the approaching ship, they felt no alarm; the steamer would change its course and pass them, so they thought. S-51 spotted the ship's masthead and green sidelights, and held her course as she was required to do by the Rules of the Road then in effect.

They watched as the City of Rome drew closer until it looked as if it would run them over in spite of the rules. The submarine turned its rudder hard right. Just when it seemed that the steamer was turning away from them, to their horror, it changed direction and headed for their starboard side. In an instant, the City of Rome had struck the battery room filled with the sleeping men.

Water rushed into the submarine through a huge hole about 30 inches wide. The steamer ran over the submarine, forcing her underwater, and kept going. It all happened so quickly that there was no time to close the watertight doors. The S-51 sank in less than one minute in some 132 feet of water about fourteen miles east of Block Island A few men who had been on watch on the bridge and two or three from inside the sub managed to get out.

Swimming was difficult in the cold, choppy water, and the few men who had escaped tried to rid themselves of their clothing, which was pulling them down. One by one, they vanished except for three men clothed in only their underwear; they had been sleeping when they were thrown from their bunks. These three swam for nearly an hour. Finally, a small boat picked them up and took them aboard the City of Rome.

The courts found City of Rome at fault for not reducing her speed when in doubt as to the movement of S-51, and for not signalling her change of course. However, both the district court and the Circuit Court of Appeals found S-51 at fault for having improper lights. i.e. both vessels were at fault for not following the rules of the road at sea.

In the case of the submarine, being 240 feet (73m) in length it was not showing the second masthead light aft and higher than the forward one as required by Rule 23:
Rule 23. Lights displayed by power-driven vessels underway
A power-driven vessel underway must display:
• a masthead light forward;
• If over 50 metres (164 ft) length, then also a second masthead light aft and higher than the forward one; except that a vessel of less than 50 metres in length shall not be obliged to exhibit such light but may do so;
• sidelights;
• a sternlight.

Clearly a submarine by its construction does not have a mast and cannot carry this second light. The United States Navy argued that it was not practicable to have submarines of this class comply with the letter of the law, and that, as a special type of warship, S-51 was under no legal compulsion to do so.

The court responded by saying if these statements were correct, then submarines "should confine their operation to waters not being traversed by other ships."

Salvage efforts went on for many months. Divers risked their lives in the icy waters at depths that could crush them. S-51 was finally raised on 5 July 1926 and was towed to the Brooklyn Navy Yard. There it stayed on display for some time until it was struck from the Naval Vessel Register on 27 January 1930 and sold for scrap on 23 June to the Borough Metal Company of Brooklyn, New York.

Note:
The yearly Annual Summary of Notices to Mariners (UKHO) NP 247 (1) and (2) contains information that certain warships cannot comply with the Rules concerning lights. Other countries publish similar information.

References:

Wiki

Submarine Force Museum http://ussnautilus.org/blog/the-loss...s-s-51-ss-162/

http://ussnautilus.org/blog/?s=s+51&...x=7&submit.y=8
etc.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg HMS S-51.jpg (28.7 KB, 7 views)
File Type: jpg HMS S-51 Salvage.jpg (94.2 KB, 11 views)
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Last edited by Old Salt : 17-02-2018 at 04:21. Reason: Add photos
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  #558  
Old 18-02-2018, 02:46
Scatari Scatari is offline
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Default Re: Warship Collisions, Groundings, Fatal Events

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Originally Posted by Old Salt View Post

USS S-51 (SS-162) - Loss

Hadn't heard of this incident Brian - thank you for posting it.
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  #559  
Old 18-02-2018, 05:06
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BlackBat242 BlackBat242 is offline
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Default Re: Warship Collisions, Groundings, Fatal Events

A young US Navy officer named Charles B. (Swede) Momson (then commanding the US sub S-1) was the one who found the oil slick & trail of bubbles that marked S-51's resting place.
He was also present when she was finally lifted - and saw the entombed crew, including the unmistakable evidence that many had survived the initial sinking, only to die of asphyxiation during the following hours/days.

That was followed 2 years later with the sinking of S-4 in a collision with a Coast Guard cutter - in 110 feet of water. Her 41 crew ALL survived the sinking, only to die awaiting rescue (their hammer-taps against the hull could be heard by hydrophones aboard the vessels moored above, but due to bad weather they couldn't get lifting cables around her in the just under 3 days that the crew survived).

This is what drove Swede to develop, first, the "Momson Lung", the first individual emergency escape apparatus for use from a submerged vessel - and then the submarine rescue bell* used so well to rescue the survivors of the Squalus in May 1939.


* Named the McCann Submarine Rescue Chamber, for the man who oversaw 3 years of revisions after Momson had made the first successful demonstration of the device. Momson had first proposed it to the Bureau of Construction and Repair (BuC&R) in 1926 - and the loss of the crew of S-4 provided the push needed for the Navy to provide funds and equipment. However, by the time the chamber was refined enough to be considered operational, Swede had stepped on enough high-ranking toes that his name was ordered to be kept from association with the chamber, and McCann was given the credit.
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