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LORD RUNCIMAN H165
Built
1935
Cochrane`s Selby
Off Number
163964
Length Ft
155.8
Tons Gross
444
Yard Number
Breadth Ft
26.1
Tons Net
179
Launched
Draught
14.1
Hp
101 NHP
Registered
Feb 1935
Engine Builder
C. D. Holmes & Co., Ltd
Knots
11.5 K
Registered LORD RUNCIMAN H165 Owners Pickering & Haldane Hull
    Owners  
Fate : On 16 March 1937 The Lord Runciman collided with another Hull trawler the Cape Matapan and later sank under tow
 

 

Surname
Christian
Age
Vessel
Birth Pl
Occupation
Date/ Scource
Detail
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. . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . .
PETTMAN ROBERT . LORD RUNCIMAN H165 . Skipper Mar 1937 When vessel lost - Certificate suspended 9 months
BEAUMONT THOMAS . LORD RUNCIMAN H165 . Chief Engineer Mar 1937 When vessel lost
CRAIG T . LORD RUNCIMAN H165 . Cook 1935 .
HOWARD L . LORD RUNCIMAN H165 . Sparehand 1935 .
MASON FRANCIS . LORD RUNCIMAN H165 . Sparehand 1936 .
HAZEL LESLIE . LORD RUNCIMAN H165 . Third Hand Mar 1937 When vessel lost
. . . . . . . .

 

CAPE MATAPAN

The vessel left Hull on the 4th March, 1937, for a voyage to the Andenes fishing grounds off the N.W. coast of Norway and arrived there on the 9th March when she commenced fishing. She later put into Harstad to have a sick man attended to and some attention to her electric light installation, and remained there four hours. She then continued fishing in a position about 15 miles W.N.W. of Andenes Light. There were approximately 70 to 80 trawlers in the vicinity.

The skipper retired to rest at 10.50 p.m. on the 15th March the weather then being fine and clear with a smooth sea. He was fishing on the extreme edge of the Bank. At this time he left the mate, Frederick Townsend, and a spare hand in charge of the vessel. The skipper left orders with the mate to call him at midnight and report the depth of water. This was done and 200 fathoms reported. The skipper then decided to fish another 15 minutes and at 12.15 a.m. on the 16th March, to fish another 10 minutes. The skipper went on the bridge at 12.30 a.m. and ordered his crew to stand by to haul, he was then alone on the bridge. Three of the four front windows and one starboard window were open.

At this time, 12.30 a.m., Andenes Light bore S.E. by E. distance about 13 miles and the s.t. "Cape Matapan" was heading in a N.E. direction, the tide also was running in the same direction. The telegraph was showing "full speed" and the trawler was making about 4 knots whilst trawling. This speed was materially reduced as the operation of hauling was carried out and the ship's head swung in a S.E. direction.

The vessel was showing the usual regulation lights for a vessel of her class whilst engaged in trawling.

When the s.t. "Cape Matapan" began to haul at 12.30 a.m. she sighted amongst others a trawler which afterwards proved to be the s.t. "Lord Runciman", about two points on her starboard quarter, distance about 1 mile, but did not take special notice of her. Shortly after this the skipper of the "Cape Matapan" began to take special notice of the "Lord Runciman" which was heading in a N.E. direction about 2 points before her starboard beam and closing in on her. The s.t. "Cape Matapan" gave no special signal for hauling as his morse light was showing. This would appear to be a recognized unofficial signal for fishermen whilst hauling on that particular ground. When the "Lord Runciman" was about three to four ship's lengths from the "Cape Matapan" the skipper of the "Cape Matapan" began to get very anxious and, when about two ship's lengths from her, he considered it was necessary to take some action to avoid a collision. The skipper of the "Cape Matapan" then put his helm hard to starboard with a view to turning short round and passing port to port, keeping his engines full ahead.

At 12.40 a.m. the "Cape Matapan" struck the "Lord Runciman" abaft the port beam at an angle of about 60°.

The Court considers the manoeuvre of the skipper of the "Cape Matapan" was a grave error of judgment as the vessels were then too close together, and this contributed to the collision. The Court also considers that the skipper of the "Cape Matapan" should have stopped his engine; this might have proved successful in averting a collision; also when the "Cape Matapan" went hard to starboard the skipper should have indicated this to the "Lord Runciman" by giving one short blast.

After the collision the skipper, thinking it was only a slight blow, immediately proceeded to heave in his warps and cut away his trawl and he bore towards the "Lord Runciman" with the object of rendering any assistance that might be necessary. In the meantime the s.t. "Filey Bay" had gone to the assistance of the "Lord Runciman". The skipper of the "Cape Matapan" offered the "Lord Runciman" assistance but this was declined as the s.t. "Filey Bay" was doing all that was necessary.

LORD RUNCIMAN

The vessel left Hull on the 6th March, 1937, for the Andenes fishing grounds, arriving there on the l0th March when she commenced fishing with Ando Light bearing N. ½ E. distance 19 miles.

The trawl was finally shot at 11.20 p.m. on the 15th March and towing in a N.E. by E. direction, the tide also running in the same direction. The skipper was alone on the bridge at this time, one window open on each side of the wheelhouse, weather then being fine and clear with a smooth sea. The wireless operator was on duty and the rest of the crew were busy about the decks clearing up fish.

At midnight 15–16th March the third hand came on watch with the skipper; there were approximately 70 trawlers in sight, all trawling in the same direction. The nearest trawler to the "Lord Runciman" at this time, which was afterwards proved to be the "Cape Matapan", was two points on the port bow distant less than one mile.

The s.t. "Lord Runciman" continued trawling and at 12.30 a.m., having gained slightly on the "Cape Matapan", noticed she was altering her course to the Eastward and seeing steam from her exhaust knew that she was hauling and so altered his course to starboard to keep out of the way, at the same time giving one short blast on his whistle. The skipper of the "Lord Runciman" had plenty of room to manoeuvre to starboard. The skipper of the "Lord Runciman" did not at first notice the morse lamp of the "Cape Matapan" but observed it later.

At 12.33 a.m. the skipper of the "Lord Runciman" put his helm hard to starboard and gave a short blast. When the "Lord Runciman" was about 6 ship's lengths from the "Cape Matapan" the skipper of the "Lord Runciman" gave another short blast. When the skipper saw that the "Cape Matapan" was still swinging to starboard and a collision was inevitable, he put his helm hard to port to minimise the impact. Apparently no whistle signal was heard on the "Cape Matapan" owing to the noise of their own winch.

At 12.40 a.m. the collision occurred.

The skipper of the "Lord Runciman" gave orders to haul the gear and at the same time told his chief engineer, Tom Beaumont, to make an inspection. Within a minute he reported the vessel was making water, and already the engine room plates were covered. The skipper stopped his engines and went below into the engine room and found the water was 1½ feet above the stokehold plates. He returned to the bridge and told the wireless operator to get in touch with the s.t. "Cape Matapan" and later, any vessel. The skipper then found two feet of water on the engine room platform, and on the engineer informing him that there was a danger of the boiler exploding, he ordered him to reduce pressure on the boiler.

In less than half an hour the s.t. "Filey Bay" came to her and took off half of the crew and very shortly after the remainder. A warp was got ready and passed on board the "Lord Runciman" and towing was commenced. In the meanwhile the s.t. "Filey Bay" endeavoured without success to get in touch with a Norwegian salvage vessel. The s.t. "Filey Bay" continued towing the "Lord Runciman" until 4.5 a.m. when the "Lord Runciman" sank in latitude 69° 26' N. longitude 15° 48' E. The entire crew were brought to Hull in the s.t. "Filey Bay".

The Court, having carefully inquired into the circumstances attending the above-mentioned shipping casualty finds, for the reasons stated that the collision was caused by the wrongful act of Robert Pettman, the skipper of the s.t. "Lord Runciman" and contributed to by the wrongful act of Urban Harling, the skipper of the s.t. "Cape Matapan".

The Court finds Urban Harling, the skipper of the s.t. "Cape Matapan", in default and suspends his certificate of competency as skipper (number 15,155) for three months from this date, and finds Robert Pettman, the skipper of the s.t. "Lord Runciman", in grave default and suspends his certificate of competency as skipper (number 13,580) for nine months from this date.