|Photographer:||Gordy [View profile]||Title:||SUEVIC||Added:||Feb 09, 2015|
||Cruise Ships and Liners built before 1950|
Suevic (I) 1901-1942.
Type: Passenger/cargo (ref)
Owner: Oceanic S.N.Co Ltd (Ismay, Imrie), Liverpool
Builder: Harland & Wolff, Belfast.
Yard No: 333
Starke: V1901 #624
Above Details: Mirimar Ship Index
In March 1907 the "Suevic" was homeward bound from Melbourne and had already called at Cape Town and Tenerife. She was due to call at Plymouth to land most of her passengers before going on to London to discharge and then around the coast to Liverpool, her home port of sailing.
On March 17th she was making her landfall. A heavy blow from the southward and westward, raising a high following sea had moderated and there was a gentle westerly breeze.
Visibility was good but fog threatened. The ship followed her course at full speed of 13 kts. At 22.00 hrs dead reckoning gave her as covering 122 miles of the 138 without taking allowance for the set of the tide, so that she should have been well within the range of the powerful light at the Lizard.
At a quarter-past ten the glare of the light was seen ahead although through the murk. The ships course was confirmed, but the light seemed to be so low down that that the captain considered he was several miles away from it and carried on with-out using his lead. No allowance was made for the fact that the cause of the light's lowness might have been, as it was, that the fog over the lighthouse was throwing the beam down on the horizon.
At 25 minutes past ten the chief engineer, standing on deck, saw the loom of the light and crossing over to get a better view saw rocks breaking the surface close to the port side of the ship.
There was no doubt that they were close inshore and heading straight for disaster.
The master immediately ordered the helm hard a-port, but it was too late.
The "Suevic" had hardly swung two points before she struck the dreaded Maenheere Rocks.
With little delay all the Royal National Lifeboat Institution lifeboats within reach went to the "Suevic to assist. Passengers were ferried ashore in the lifeboats and in the "Suevic's" own boats. Most of the passengers were landed at the little village of Cadgwith.
The salvage steamers "Ranger" and "Linnet", former Navy sloops were sent down from Liverpool, equipped for the work, and every available barge and coaster in the West Country was collected to receive cargo.
The next thing was to decide was what to do with the hull. The final plan was to cut the ship in two. After a lot of consideration and planning the big ship was cut in two just abaft the bridge. The swell lifting the buoyant stern finally helped to break the vessel in two and the after part floated off on an even keel. As the engines and boilers were still in full commission the "Suevic" steamed stern foremost to spare any strain on the exposed bulkhead, she then made her way to Southampton where she was docked.
A new 212ft (64m) fore part was built at Harland and Wolff and joined up. Suevic was out of service for 18 months at Southampton. The ship surgery on Suevic was, at the time, the largest rebuilding operation ever undertaken, as virtually half the ship was renewed.
1928 Sold to Yngar Hvistendahl Finnvhal A/S Tonsberg, Sweden for £35,000 and converted at Kiel into a Whale Oil Factory Ship (12,686 grt), r/n SKYTTEREN
1940 Interned at Gothenburg
1942 1st Apr. scuttled off Maseskar lighthouse, Skagerrak, when intercepted by German Navy, trying to escape from a German controlled Baltic.
Photo Credits: The Trove Australian National Library