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PICADOR H520
Built
1933
Cook Welton & Gemmell
Off Number
163165
Length Ft
154.6
Tons Gross
424
Yard Number
580
Breadth Ft
25.6
Tons Net
163
Launched
04 10 33
Draught
13.9
Hp
HP 111
Registered
09 11 33
Engine Builder
C D Holmes
Knots
K
Registered PICADOR H520 Owners 1933 Hull Northern Fishing Co Ltd ( Hellyer Bros managers )
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    .  
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Fate : 25th MAY 1936. Sank after collision with the SAN SALVADOR TANKER
 

Surname
Christian
Age
Vessel
Birth Pl
Occupation
Date/ Scource
Detail
. . . . . . . .
BROOKS SYRIAN 48 PICADOR H520 . Cook 25 May 1936 Lost with 5 others in collision with the SS SAN SALVADORE /
. . . 146 Brookland Road . . . .
. . . . . . . .
CAVANY ARTHUR 23 PICADOR H520 . Sparehand 25 May 1936 Lost with 5 others in collision with the SS SAN SALVADORE
. . . 2 Victoria Place Waverley St . . . .
. . . . . . . .
HAWKER
N P
23
PICADOR H529
Sparehand
25 May 1936
.( RAYMOND )Lost with 5 others in collision with the SS SAN SALVADORE
. . . 21 Flinton St . . . .
. . . . . . . .
IVERSON LOUIS 57 PICADOR H529 . Third Hand 25 May 1936 Lost with 5 others in collision with the SS SAN SALVADORE
. . . 79 Strickland Street . . . .
. . . . . . . .
KEIGHLEY
FRANK
20
PICADOR H529
Fireman / Trimmer
25 May 1936
Lost with 5 others in collision with the SS SAN SALVADORE
. . . 2 Olive Grove Flinton St . . . .
. . . . . . . .
SANDERSON
ALBERT
44
PICADOR H520
Mate
25 May 1936
Lost with 5 others in collision with the SS SAN SALVADORE
. . . 68 Havelock St Hull . . . .
. . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . .

 


S.T. "PICADOR" and S.S. "SAN SALVADOR"

THE MERCHANT SHIPPING ACT, 1894

REPORT OF COURT

In the matter of a Formal Investigation held at the County Court, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, on the 16th day of December, 1936, and, by adjournment, at the Moot Hall, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, on the 17th, 18th and 22nd days of December, 1936, before Ernest Leonard Beckingham, B.Sc., and Edward Richmond Newbigin, Esquires, two of His Majesty's Justices of the Peace for the City and County of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, assisted by Captain Piers de Legh and Captain J. Inkster, Nautical Assessors, into the circumstances attending the collision between the steam trawler "Picador" and the steamship "San Salvador," about sixteen miles N.E. by E. of Withernsea on the 26th day of May, 1936, which resulted in the total loss of the s.t. "Picador" and the subsequent loss of life of six members of her crew.

The Court, having carefully inquired into the circumstances attending the above-mentioned shipping casualty, finds, for the reasons stated in the Annex hereto, that the collision between the s.t. "Picador" and the s.s. "San Salvador" and the subsequent sinking of the s.t. "Picador" was caused by the wrongful act and default of William Mitchell Dobbie, the chief officer of the s.s. "San Salvador" in proceeding at full speed through thick fog, and hereby suspends his certificate, No. 29008, for the period of nine months from the date hereof.

Dated this 22nd day of. December, 1936.

E. L. BECKINGHAM, Judges.
E. R. NEWBIGIN,

We concur in the above Report.

PIERS DE LEGH, Assessors.
JAMES INKSTER,

Annex to the Report.

This was an Inquiry into the circumstances attending the collision between the s.t. "Picador" and the s.s. "San Salvador," about sixteen miles N.E. by E. of Withernsea, at 7.56 a.m. on the 26th day of May, 1936, in which the s.t. "Picador" was sunk, with the subsequent loss of six lives.

The Inquiry was held at the County Court, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, on the 16th day of December, 1936, and, by adjournment, at the Moot Hall, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, on the 17th, 18th and 22nd days of December, 1936, before Ernest Leonard Beckingham, B.Sc., and Edward Richmond Newbigin, Esquires, two of His Majesty's Justices of the Peace for the City and County of Newcastleupon-Tyne, assisted by Captain Piers de Legh, and Captain J. Inkster, Nautical Assessors.

Mr. E. N. Robinson appeared for the Board of Trade, Mr. T. C. Jackson, Ll.D., represented the skipper of the s.t. "Picador," and also held a watching brief for her owners and underwriters, Mr. G. H. Main Thompson was Counsel for the master of the s.s. "San Salvador," Mr. Vere Hunt, Counsel for the chief officer, and Mr. Roger Clayton held a watching brief for her owners.

The steam trawler "Picador," official number 163165, was a single screw, steel fishing vessel, ketch-rigged, built by Messrs. Cook Welton and Gemmell, of Beverley, in 1933. She was of 424.26 gross tonnage and 163.37 registered tonnage, with a triple expansion direct acting inverted cylinder engine of III N.H.P. and 700 I.H.P. and one steel cylindrical multitubular boiler of 210 lbs. loaded pressure, developing a speed of II½ knots. Her registered dimensions were as follows:?length between perpendiculars 154.6 feet, breadth 25.6 feet, and depth 15.4 feet.

She had five bulkheads and two water ballast tanks of a capacity of about 14 tons, and carried one lifeboat and the usual life-saving appliances. There were two compasses on the bridge, last adjusted in November, 1935, and she was fitted with wireless telegraphy transmitting and receiving apparatus and D.F. apparatus, also an echometer, and she carried a crew of 20 all told. She left Bear Island fishing ground on the 21st May last, and proceeded to Hull at full speed on a S.S.W. magnetic course, expecting to arrive there on the 26th May. On the 25th May the skipper received wireless instructions from his owners not to dock before the evening tide of the 26th May.

At about 9 p.m. on the 25th May it commenced to rain and the weather became misty. The skipper gave instructions to reduce speed to 10 knots, the visibility at that time being approximately 3 miles.

At 2.10 a.m. on the 26th May dense fog was encountered, the engines were immediately stopped, the whistle was sounded, and when way was off the vessel two long blasts were given at regular intervals. At 4.30 a.m. visibility improved, the engines were started slow ahead, and the whistle kept going. Just about 6 a.m. visibility improved to about 3 miles, and the engines were then put full speed ahead and maintained at that speed until 7.25 a.m. when dense fog was encountered. Speed was then reduced to slow, visibility being practically nil, and the whistle was continually sounded. At 7.30 a.m. the watch was changed, the boatswain was relieved by the second hand, the skipper, who had been on the bridge almost continuously from 2.10 a.m., remained on watch with the second hand. The watch was being kept in the wheelhouse with all windows open, the second hand being on the port side and the skipper on the starboard side. At this time the sea was smooth with light northerly wind. At 7.50 a.m. the skipper heard one blast on a whistle on his port side and immediately stopped his engines, the trawler's whistle was kept going and the skipper and the second hand listened in the intervals between the blasts for further signals, but heard none. Just before 7.56 a.m. the skipper saw a bow wave and the stem of a ship appearing out of the fog a little forward of his port beam at a distance of about 150 feet. The skipper at once put his engines full speed astern, but almost immediately the ship which proved to be the s.s. "San Salvador" struck, the "Picador" nearly amidships, cutting half way through her into the wheelhouse and killing the helmsman. The skipper who had been thrown out of the wheelhouse found himself hanging on to the window ledge outside. He returned to the wheelhouse to give an order to the helmsman but found he was dead. He then threw a number of lifebelts overboard to a man he saw struggling in the water, then climbed on to the top of the wheelhouse and from there up the port anchor of the "San Salvador."

The "San Salvador," official number 147,603, is a single screw steel steamship, built by Sir W. H. Armstrong Whitworth & Co., Ltd., of Newcastleupon-Tyne, in 1924, and classed 100 A.I Lloyd's. Her gross registered tonnage is 5,805.25 and her net registered tonnage 3,546.90, her length 407.4 feet, breadth 52.2 feet, and depth 32.5 feet.

She had two decks, is schooner-rigged, clincher built with elliptical stern, has 15 bulkheads, and two water ballast tanks with a capacity of 87 tons.

She is fitted with one triple expansion direct acting vertical engine of 538 N.H.P. and 2,800 I.H.P. giving her a speed of II¼ knots, and has three cylindrical multitubular steel boilers with a loaded pressure of 180 lbs.

She was provided with the requisite boats, lifesaving appliances, compasses, navigational apparatus, wireless receiving and transmitting installation, and carried a crew of 41 including the master.

The s.s. "San Salvador" sailed from Minatitlan in Mexico on the 2nd May last bound for Jarrowon-Tyne with a cargo of oil in bulk, her draught being 27' 00" forward and 27' 2" aft.

She passed South Goodwin light vessel at 1.15 p.m. on the 25th May, her log being set at noon. From that position onward she encountered frequent patches of fog of varying density, but her engines were kept full speed throughout. At 5.18 a.m. on the 26th May Outer Dowsing light vessel was passed at a distance of about six miles, the visibility at that time being about three to four miles, sky overcast, sea smooth and wind N.W. force 2. The vessel was proceeding on a N. 23° W. magnetic course. At 6 a.m. the chief officer, who was on watch, reported to the master that it was becoming more hazy, and although the whistle was being sounded in compliance with Board of Trade regulations no alteration was made in the speed of the vessel.

At about 7.40 a.m., when the visibility was about one mile, the master left the bridge, telling the chief officer that he was going to change his boots and send a wireless message to his agents. He gave no indication as to when he intended to return, nor did he give any specific instructions to the chief officer. The vessel at that time was still proceeding at full speed. Shortly after the master left the bridge visibility gradually deteriorated, but this change in the weather conditions was not reported to him.

At about 7.45 a.m. the chief officer heard the whistle of a vessel which he judged to be about three to four points on the starboard bow, and estimated it to be a few miles off. He heard this signal three to four times and thought it was from a vessel proceeding in the opposite direction. He states that at about 7.55 a.m. he saw the "Picador" on the starboard bow at a distance of about 800 feet, that he had already ported his helm and that the "San Salvador's" head was swinging to port. At this moment the master returned to the bridge having heard the vessel's whistle when leaving his cabin. The evidence from the time the master returned was very conflicting, the master stating that he left the helm to port and immediately put his engines full speed astern. The chief. officer in his evidence stated that the master said the helm should have been put to starboard which he, the master, admits he may have said. The helmsman stated that he received the order to steady his helm and that this order he carried out.

At 7.56 a.m. the "San Salvador" collided with the "Picador" striking her almost end on and cutting right through into the wheelhouse. The engines which had been going full astern for a short time (25 to 30 revolutions) were then put ahead with the object of keeping the ships together and so saving life. The "Picador" remained afloat about two minutes, then disappeared under the bows of the "San Salvador." The "San Salvador's" lifeboat was immediately launched and, in charge of the chief officer, saved several of the "Picador's" crew who were in the water. Ropes and rope ladders were also thrown over the "San Salvador's " side, by which means other members of the "Picador's" crew were saved. The "San Salvador" cruised around in the vicinity looking for survivors for over an hour, but on the crew of the "Picador" being mustered it was discovered six men were missing.

The "San Salvador" then proceeded to Jarrow where she arrived the following morning.

The Court cannot accept the evidence of the master and the chief officer with regard to either the bearings or distance given of the "Picador" and is of the opinion that the "Picador" when first sighted by the "San Salvador" was ahead or nearly ahead and at a distance of not more than 200 feet, also that the "San Salvador's" helm had been steadied and the vessel was actually swinging to starboard when the collision occurred. The Court accepts the evidence of the master that he only intended leaving the bridge for a short time just prior to the collision, and is of opinion that he was justified in doing so having regard to the weather conditions then prevailing. Shortly after he left the bridge visibility became poorer than it had been during any previous part of the voyage. The Court is satisfied that on his return to the bridge he took all the steps that he could reasonably be expected to take, having regard to the short time at his disposal, to avoid the collision, and that every effort was made by those on board the "San Salvador" to save the crew of the "Picador" after the collision.

At the conclusion of the evidence the following Questions were submitted on behalf of the Board of Trade:?

Counsel addressed the Court for their respective clients and Mr. Robinson replied.

Questions and Answers.

Q. 1. What was the approximate position of the s.t. "Picador" at or about 7.40 a.m. on the 26th May, 1936?

A. The approximate position was latitude 53° 52' N. longitude 0° 27' E.

Q. 2. What was the state of (a) the weather; (b) the wind; (c) the visibility; (d) the sea at that time?

A. (a) The weather was calm with light airs; (b) wind northerly; (c) visibility very poor; (d) sea smooth.

Q. 3. On what course and at what speed was the vessel proceeding at or about 7.40 a.m. on the 26th May?

A. She was proceeding on a course S.S.W. magnetic at a speed of about four knots.

Q. 4. Who was in charge of the navigation of the vessel at that time? Who else was in the wheelhouse or on the bridge then?

A. The skipper was in charge of the vessel, and the second hand and the helmsman were also in the wheelhouse.

Q. 5. Did the person in charge of the vessel hear any, and if so what, fog signals from another vessel? If so, when did he hear the first of them, how many did he hear and how did they bear?

A. The skipper heard one blast on a whistle at 7.50 a.m. forward of his port beam, bearing approximately S.E.

Q. 6. Was any, and if so what, reply made by the s.t. "Picador" to the fog signals?

A. The s.t. "Picador" continued blowing her whistle at frequent intervals.

Q. 7. Were the windows of the wheelhouse of the s.t. "Picador" open at the time?

A. All wheelhouse windows of the s.t. "Picador" were open.

Q. 8. When did the skipper of the s.t. "Picador" first see the s.s. "San Salvador"? How far distant was she then? How did she bear and how was she heading?

A. The skipper of the s.t. "Picador" first saw the s.s. "San Salvador" at 7.55 a.m. at a distance of about 150 feet. She bore about S.E. and was heading about N.N.W.

Q. 9. What was the approximate position of the s.s. "San Salvador" at or about 7.40 a.m. on the 26th May, 1936?

A. Her approximate position was latitude 53° 49' N., longitude o° 29' E.

Q. 10. On what course and at what speed was the vessel proceeding at that time?

A. The vessel was proceeding on a N. 23° W. magnetic course at full speed (about 9½ knots).

Q. II. What was the state of (a) the weather; (b) the wind; (c) the visibility; (d) the sea at that time?

A. (a) The weather was fine but foggy; (b) light northerly airs; (c) visibility poor; (d) sea smooth.

Q. 12. Was the master of the s.s. "San Salvador" on the bridge at that time? Did he leave the bridge and go below afterwards and, if so, at what time? If so, whom did he leave in charge of the vessel when he left the bridge?

A. The master of the s.s. "San Salvador" left the bridge at about 7.40 a.m. leaving the chief officer in charge of the vessel.

Q. 13. Did he hear any whistle signals from another vessel before he left the bridge?

A. He heard no whistle signals from other vessels before leaving the bridge.

Q. 14. Was there any, and if so what, change in the weather conditions after the master left the bridge? If so, when did it take place?

A. Visibility became poorer and got gradually worse from the time the master left the bridge.

Q. 15. Did the person who was left in charge of the vessel hear any fog signals after the master left the bridge? If so, how many did he hear, when did he hear them, and how did they bear?

A. The chief officer heard three or four fog signals between 7.45 a.m. and 7.55 a.m., the first one at 7.45 a.m. apparently bearing three to four points on the starboard bow.

Q. 16. Did the person in charge of the s.s. "San Salvador" take any, and if so what, action (a) with the whistle; (b) with the helm; (c) with the engines when he heard the fog signals?

A. The chief officer on hearing the fog signals (a) sounded his whistle at frequent intervals; (b) put his wheel to port; (c) left the engines running at full speed.

Q. 17. How soon after the fog signals were heard did the person in charge of the s.s. "San Salvador" see the s.t. "Picador"?

A. The s.t. "Picador" was seen by the chief officer and the master, who had just returned to the bridge, about a minute after the last fog signal was heard.

Q. 18. How did the s.t. "Picador" bear, how far distant was she and how was she heading?

A. The evidence on these points is somewhat conflicting, but the Court is of opinion that the s.t. "Picador" was sighted practically right ahead, at a distance of about 200 feet, and was heading about S.S.W. magnetic.

Q. 19. Did the s.s. "San Salvador" take any, and if so what, action when the s.t. "Picador" was seen?

A. The engines were put full astern.

Q. 20. Were (a) the s.t. "Picador" and (b) the s.s. "San Salvador" being navigated at a moderate speed, having regard to the weather conditions?

A. (a) The s.t. "Picador" was being navigated at a moderate speed; (b) the s.s. "San Salvador" was not being so navigated.

Q. 21. Did (a) the s.t. "Picador" (b) the s.s. "San Salvador "stop her engines when the whistle of the other vessel was heard?

A. (a) The s.t. "Picador" stopped her engines; (b) the s.s. "San Salvador" continued at full speed.

Q. 22. Was a good and proper lookout kept on board (a) the s.t. "Picador" and (b) the s.s. "San Salvador"?

A. A good and proper lookout appears to have been kept on both vessels.

Q. 23. Were (a) the s.t. "Picador" and (b) the s.s." San Salvador" navigated with proper and seamanlike care?

A. (a) The s.t. " Picador " was navigated with proper and seamanlike care; (b) the s.s. " San Salvador " was not so navigated.

Q. 24. When did the collision take place? At what angles did the vessels collide?

A. The collision took place at 7.56 a.m. on the 26th day of May, 1936, practically at right angles.

Q. 25. What damage was caused by the collision to (a) the s.t. "Picador" and (b) the s.s. " San Salvador"?

A. (a) The s.t. "Picador" was cut nearly half through amidships and sank almost at once; (b) the s.s. "San Salvador" sustained damage to her stem and both bows to the extent of about ?1,500.

Q. 26. Were any, and if so how many, lives of the crew of the s.t. "Picador" lost as a result of the collision?

A. Six of the crew of the s.t. "Picador" were lost.

Q. 27. Did those in the s.s. "San Salvador" take all proper steps to rescue the crew of the s.t. "Picador"?

A. All proper steps were taken by those on the s.s. "San Salvador" to rescue the crew of the s.t. "Picador."

Q. 28. What was the cause of the collision?

A. The collision was caused by the s.s. "San Salvador" proceeding at full speed through thick fog.

Q. 29. Were (a) the collision between the s.t. "Picador " and the s.s. "San Salvador" and the subsequent sinking of the s.t. "Picador" (b) the loss of life, caused or contributed to by the wrongful act or default of Gjert Myhre, the skipper of the s.t. "Picador", John Bernard Sullivan, the master of the s.s. "San Salvador," William Mitchell Dobbie, the chief officer of the s.s. "San Salvador" or any and, if so, which of them?

A. (a) The collision between the s.t. "Picador" and the s.s. "San Salvador" and the subsequent sinking of the s.t. "Picador" was caused by the wrongful act and default of William Mitchell Dobbie, the chief officer of the s.s. "San Salvador." (b) The loss of life was not caused or contributed to by the wrongful act or default of any one, except as a consequence of the collision.

The Court hereby suspends the certificate, No. 29,008, of William Mitchell Dobbie for the period of nine months from the date hereof.

The Court, in suspending his certificate for the comparatively short period of nine months, took into account the unfortunate example set him by the master of the s.s. "San Salvador," who admitted proceeding at full speed through recurring periods of fog during the twenty-four hours immediately preceding the casualty.

Mr. R. W. Flintoff asked the Court to recommend that the chief officer be granted a first mate's certificate during the period of suspension, but this the Court declined to do.

E. L. BECKINGHAM, Judges.
E. R. NEWBIGIN,

We concur.

PIERS DE LEGH, Assessors.
JAMES INKSTER,

(Issued by the Board of Trade in London

on Saturday, the 6th day of February, 1937)