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The Viking

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Photographer:kevin blair [View profile]Title:The VikingAdded:Apr 20, 2012
Location:Tyne, United Kingdom
Photo Category: Ships under Repair or Conversion
This is The Viking in Palmers, Hebburn dry-dock in 1914. The Viking was built in 1888 by Robert Napier & Sons, Govan East as Atrato for the Royal Mail Steam Packet Company. She was 421 ft long and a beam of 50 ft and 5347 gt. She was used on the routes between England and the West Indies and was able to carry 279 passengers. She was sold to Viking Cruise Line in 1912. With the outbreak of WW1 most passenger ships were requisitioned by the Admiralty for war service and so it was with The Viking. In 1914 she was converted into an armed merchant cruiser and renamed HMS Viknor. HMS Viknor was assigned to the 10th Cruiser Squadron and was used to patrol the waters between Scotland and Iceland. She was lost with all hands, 291 crew/marines and apparently the Viknor had on board from the Bergenfjord, 1 German national suspected of being a secret agent and 6 stowaways who were also drowned, on January 13th 1915 off Tory Island, Ireland. To this day the cause of sinking isnít known, at the time of sinking there was a severe storm blowing and it was also thought she may have hit a mine laid by the German ship SMS Berlin. In 2006 the wreck was found on the outer edge of the minefield laid by SMS Berlin. Many bodies were washed ashore along the north coast of Ireland and a monument to the dead was erected at Friary near Ballycastle.
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