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Wreck Report for 'Carlisle', 1895

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Unique ID:16673
Description:BOT Wreck Report for 'Carlisle', 1895
Creator:Board of Trade
Date:1895
Copyright:Out of copyright
Partner:SCC Libraries
Partner ID:Unknown

Transcription

(No. 5104.)

"CARLISLE" (S.S.)

The Merchant Shipping Act, 1894.

IN the matter of a formal Investigation held at the Municipal Buildings, West Hartlepool, on the 2nd and 4th days of March 1895, before ROBINSON MURRAY and JAMES MCGREGOR, Esquires, Justices of the Peace for the Borough of West Hartlepool, assisted by Captains J. THRELFALL BRAGG and WILLIAM BARNETT BIGLEY, into the circumstances attending the stranding of the British steamship "CARLISLE," between Seaham and Sunderland, on or about the 6th February 1895.

Report of Court.

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 cause of the stranding was the first mate twice altering the course of the vessel towards the land without acquainting the master, thus acting against the standing orders. The Court finds the first mate, Charles Wilyman, alone in default, and suspends his certificate as master, No. 00,378, for a period of six months from this date; but on the application of his solicitor recommends that he be granted a second mate's certificate during the period of such suspension. Owing to the state of the master's health, the Court is of opinion that he committed an error of judgment in not giving more specific instructions before leaving the deck, but under the circumstances refrains from dealing with his certificate. The Court is of opinion that the second mate was in no way to blame.

Dated this fifth day of March 1895.

 

(Signed)

R. MURRAY,

Justices.

 

 

J. MCGREGOR,

 

We concur in the above report.

 

(Signed)

J. THRELFALL BRAGG,

Assessors.

 

 

WM. BARNETT BIGLEY,

 

Annex to the Report.

This was an inquiry held before the justices at West Hartlepool into the circumstances attending the stranding of the British steamship "Carlisle," between Seaham and Sunderland, on or about the 6th February 1895.

Mr. Burton, solicitor, Newcastle, appeared on behalf of the Board of Trade; Mr. Tilly, solicitor, West Hartlepool, on behalf of the master and owners; and Mr. Giepel, solicitor, West Hartlepool, on behalf of the chief officer. The second officer appeared in person.

The "Carlisle," official number 95,895, is a British screw steamship, built of steel by the Sunderland Shipbuilding Company, Limited, at Sunderland, in 1889. She is of the following dimensions:—Length 213.5 ft., breadth 30.2 ft., and her depth of hold from tonnage deck to ceiling amidships is 13.7 ft., her tonnage being 1001.62 tons gross, and after deducting crew and propelling spaces, 642.34 tons nett. She is schooner-rigged, and is fitted with tri-compound engines of 95 nominal horse-power combined, constructed by Messrs. George Clark, Southwick Engine Works, Sunderland. She was registered on the 30th of April 1889, at West Hartlepool, Leonard Richard Conner, of the Exchange, West Hartlepool, being designated managing owner.

On the 2nd of February the "Carlisle" left Rouen, in France, bound for the Tyne. At the time of her sailing from Rouen she had two compasses, viz., a pole compass above and in front of the bridge, and a steering compass in front of the wheel on the bridge. They were last adjusted by Messrs. Ainslie, of South Shields, outside the Tyne, on December 2nd 1893, when deviation cards were furnished. She also had boats and life-saving appliances according to the Board of Trade requirements. She carried no cargo, but was in water ballast, carried in tanks fitted in her bottom, having a capacity of 215 tons, and which were full. Her draught of water was about 6 ft. forward and 10 ft. 6 in. aft. Her crew consisted of 16 hands all told, Mr. Edward G. Bowles, whose certificate of competency as master is numbered 94,094, being in command. Her chief mate, Charles Wilyman. also held a certificate of competency as master, No. 00,378. It was stated in evidence that the master, E. G. Bowles, had been suffering from influenza at Rouen, and that when making the English land he was still very weak, and almost unable to stand. After leaving the Seine, the vessel proceeded on her voyage towards the Tyne, all going well with her until 9 p.m. on the 5th February, when the master, who was fatigued from having been on deck all day attending to the navigation of the vessel, went below to rest. In due course Flamborough Head was passed, at 9.25 p.m. on the 5th February. The second mate, who was then the officer in charge, took a four-point bearing, and made the vessel's distance off the light seven miles. From this point a course N. by W. was steered, the master having set that course before going below, and the engines were running full speed. This N. by W. course was continued, and Whitby High Light was seen some time afterwards, bearing about N.W. or N.W. 1/2 N., but the exact time and bearing were not fixed by the second mate. At midnight the first mate relieved the second and took charge of the watch, the second mate giving him N. by W. as the course to be steered. The weather at this time was clear, wind light from the S.S.W., and four-point bearing of Whitby Light was taken by the first mate, who made its distance off, when abreast at 0.55 a.m. on the 6th February, to be four miles. The first mate stated in his evidence that at this point he altered the vessel's course to N.N.W., or one point in towards the land, without any instructions from the master or without even informing him that he bad altered the vessel's course. No other shore lights were seen, but the vessel was run by the mate full speed upon the altered course until 2.30 a.m., when he again altered the course to N.W. by N., which alteration made the course two points more towards the land than that set by the master. He continued to steer this course without acquainting the master until 4 a.m. He was then relieved by the second mate, but as the weather became hazy he altered the course again, without any reference to the master, to N. by W., giving this course to the second mate to be steered. Soon after this, about 4.20 a.m., a snowstorm came on, and the second mate sent an A.B., named Read, to call the master, and ordered the engines to be put dead slow. Read, after calling the master, returned to the bridge and reported that the master was coming up, and the second mate stated that a few minutes afterwards it became very thick with snow and blew hard. and a short time afterwards, at about 4.35 a.m., he saw something ahead, and heard the surf on the port bow, when the helm was put hard-a-port and the engines reversed, but the vessel struck just as the master was coming on to the bridge. The engines were kept going astern, and soundings were taken round the vessel. Six feet of water was found forward, and 9 ft. 6 in. aft. The tide was the last quarter ebb. The vessel remained fast, and orders were given to pump out the ballast tanks, which was done, and to lower the boats to the rail in case of necessity, but as the vessel was lightened and as the flood tide rose she came off at about 8 a.m., making no water. The master stated that he did not know the exact spot where the vessel grounded, owing to the snowstorm continuing, but thought she stranded between Seaham and Sunderland. After getting off the ground the vessel was steered to the N.E., and the foghorn on Souter Point was heard. The vessel was then stopped for nearly an hour, and when the weather cleared the south pier of Shields was bearing W.S.W., about 3 miles distant. The vessel was then steered full speed for the Tyne, where she arrived at about 10.30 a.m. of the same day. It was stated that the vessel made no water, but this must refer to her holds, as when she was placed in the Tyne Engineering Company's dry dock at South Shields it was found that her bottom was very much crushed up and indented all along the flat of the floor, and she also had, near about the mainmast, one plate completely punctured through. Mr. Andrew Jackson, Board of Trade Surveyor, of North Shields, on his visit to her on the 13th February, stated that the vessel had been materially damaged, as nearly all of the plates under the flat of the floor would have to be replaced, and a number of her frames would have to be straightened and fished. It will be seen by the answers to the questions formulated by the Board of Trade that the Court have dealt with the certificate of Charles Wilyman, the first mate, and is of opinion that the stranding was due to his altering the course set by the master without acquainting him of the fact. It does not appear that this was done for a malicious purpose; but even if done with the best intention, the master, although being below sick, had not given over the charge of the navigation of the vessel to the mate, and therefore the Court finds that the mate's conduct alone brought about this disaster.

At the conclusion of the evidence Mr. Burton submitted the following questions to the Court:—

1. What number of compasses had the vessel on board, where were they placed, and were they in good working order and sufficient for the safe navigation of the vessel?

2. Did the master ascertain the deviation of his compasses? Were the errors correctly from time to time ascertained and the proper corrections to the courses applied?

3. Whether proper measures were taken to ascertain and verify the position of the vessel at 12.55 a.m. on the 6th of February, and from time to time thereafter?

4. Whether a safe and proper course was set at the last-mentioned hour, and thereafter steered?

5. Whether due and proper allowance was made for tide and currents?

6. Whether a safe and proper alteration was made in the course at or about 2.30 a.m. on the last-mentioned date, and was due and proper allowance made for tide and currents?

7. Whether the lead was used, and, if not, whether its neglect was justifiable?

8. Whether a good and proper look-out was kept?

9. Whether the master was on deck at a time when the vessel required his personal supervision?

10. What was the cause of the stranding of the vessel?

11. Whether the vessel was navigated with proper and seamanlike care?

12. Whether the master and officers are, or either of them is, in default?

In the opinion of the Board of Trade the certificates of Edward Gedge Bowles, the master, Charles Wilyman, the chief officer, and John Thomas Bower, the second officer, should be dealt with.

Mr. Tilly addressed the Court on behalf of the master and owners, and Mr. Geipel on behalf of the chief officer. The second officer stated he did not desire to address the Court.

Mr. Burton having replied on behalf of the Board of Trade, the Court replied to the questions as follows:—

1. The vessel had two compasses on board, one on a pole in front of the bridge by which the courses were set, and one in a binnacle in front of the wheel on the bridge for steering by. They were in good working order, and sufficient for the safe navigation of the vessel.

2. The master did ascertain the deviation of the compasses from time to time. The errors appear to have been correctly ascertained and proper corrections applied to the courses.

3. Proper measures were taken at 0.55 a.m. of the 6th of February to ascertain and verify the position of the vessel, but not thereafter.

4. The alteration of the course at that hour by the mate was neither safe nor proper.

5. No allowance was made for tide or currents.

6. Neither a safe nor proper alteration in the course was made at or about 2.30 a.m. of the last-mentioned date, and due and proper allowance was not made for tide or currents.

7. The lead was not used, and its neglect was not justifiable.

8. A good and proper look-out appears to have been kept.

9. The master, who was just recovering from an attack of influenza and according to the showing of the officers was in a very weak condition, had set a course north by west, which if made good would have taken the vessel in safety to a position twelve miles off the mouth of the Tyne, and as he came on deck as soon as he was called, when the weather became thick, the Court considers that he was on deck at a time when the vessel required his personal supervision.

10. The cause of the stranding was the first mate twice altering the course of the vessel towards the land without acquainting the master, thus acting against the standing orders.

11. The vessel was not navigated with proper and seamanlike care.

12. The Court finds the first mate, Charles Wilyman, alone in default, and suspends his certificate as master, No. 00,378, for a period of six months from this date; but, on the application of his solicitor, recommends that he be granted a second mate's certificate during the period of such suspension.

Owing to the state of the master's health, the Court is of opinion that he committed an error of judgment in not giving more specific instructions before leaving the deck, but under the circumstances refrains from dealing with his certificate.

The Court is of opinion that the second mate was in no way to blame.

 

(Signed)

R. MURRAY,

Justices.

 

 

J. MCGREGOR,

 

We concur.

 

(Signed)

J. THRELFALL BRAGG,

Assessors.

 

 

WM. BARNETT BIGLEY,

 

81564—227. 180.—3/95. Wt. 60. E. & S.

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