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Wreck Report for 'Maitlands', 1895

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Unique ID:16698
Description:BOT Wreck Report for 'Maitlands', 1895
Creator:Board of Trade
Date:1895
Copyright:Out of copyright
Partner:SCC Libraries
Partner ID:Unknown

Transcription

(No. 5147.)

"MAITLANDS" (S.S.)

The Merchant Shipping Act, 1894.

IN the matter of a formal Investigation held at the Municipal Buildings, West Hartlepool, on the 22nd and 23rd days of May 1895, before JOHN SUGGITT and THOMAS NODDINGS, Esquires, two of Her Majesty's Justices of the Peace for the Borough of West Hartlepool, assisted by Captains JOHN BAIN and SAMUEL BROOKS, into the circumstances attending the stranding of the British steamship "MAITLANDS," of West Hartlepool, at or near Svinbadan on the coast of Sweden, on or about the 20th day of January 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 casualty was caused by the master overestimating his distance from Kullen, proceeding at too great a speed, and omitting to use the lead with greater frequency after passing Kullen, and also by the setting from the north of the current which the master thought would be setting from the south, and which, while increasing the speed, had the effect of setting the vessel towards the shore.

The officers are not in default.

The master, Thomas D. Wayman, is in default in regard to the omissions mentioned above, but owing to the uncertainty of the current alluded to above, the Court is of opinion that the justice of the case will be met by censure, and a caution to be more careful in future, and does not deal with the master's certificate.

Dated this twenty-fourth day of May 1895.

 

(Signed)

J. SUGGITT,

Justices.

 

 

T. NODDINGS,

 

We concur in the above report.

 

(Signed)

JOHN BAIN,

Assessors.

 

 

SAMUEL BROOKS,

 

Annex to the Report.

This was an inquiry into the circumstances attending the stranding of the steamship "Maitlands," at or near Svinbadan on the coast of Sweden, and was held at the Municipal Buildings, West Hartlepool, on the 22nd and 23rd, days of May 1895, before John Suggitt and Thomas Noddings, Esquires, Justices of the Peace, assisted by Captains John Bain and Samuel Brooks.

Mr. Burton, solicitor, represented the Board of Trade, and Mr. Roche, solicitor, appeared on behalf of the master and owners. The mate was not represented by counsel, but appeared in person.

The "Maitlands," official number 86,967, was a British screw steamship built of iron by Messrs. William Gray & Co., West Hartlepool, in the year 1883. Her dimensions were as follows:—Length, 234.8 ft.; breadth, 31.45 ft.; depth, 15.01 ft.; her gross being 1088.88 tons, and, after deducting 415.72 tons for propelling and crew space, 673.16 tons nett. She was schooner-rigged, and fitted with two compound surface-condensing engines of 99 horsepower (combined). She had four boats, carried on the bridge under davits, two of which were fitted as lifeboats, in accordance with the Life-saving Appliances Act, and in other respects appears to have been well equipped for the trade in which she was engaged. She ad three compasses, viz., a pole compass on the fore part of the bridge, a spirit compass on the upper bridge, by which the courses were set and steered, and another in front of the after wheel. As stated elsewhere, they were last adjusted in December 1894, the deviation cards for the steering compass having been produced. They appear to have been in good working order, but owing to the bad weather experienced on the previous voyage the master was unable to verify them by observations, beyond that of making the courses set from point to point, which he stated showed that the deviation cards supplied him were correct.

It may be convenient to state here that the log-book and the chart by which the vessel was navigated were not produced in Court, they having been left on board at the time she proceeded on her present voyage, which was previous to the date of the order for the inquiry.

The "Maitlands" sailed from Sunderland on the 17th January last, bound for Copenhagen with 1,163 tons of coal, drawing about fifteen feet one inch fore and aft. She was under the command of Mr. Thomas D. Wayman, who held a certificate of competency number 06,503, and had a crew of seventeen hands all told. Strong winds from the north and westward were experienced crossing the North Sea and at 3.25 a.m on the 20th the Skaw Lightship was abeam, distant about half a mile, bearing W.S.W. The weather at this time was clear and the sea smooth. From this position a course S. by E. 3/4 E. by steering compass (or S.S.E. magnetic) was set and steered. The patent log (a taffrail) was consulted off the Skkaw, re-set and streamed, and when looked at again abeam of Fladen Lightship it showed 62 miles, while the actual distance made was only 51 miles, thus indicating a strong current setting northwards. At 11.20 a.m. Fladen Light-vessel was abeam distant about two ship's lengths, when the course was altered to S. 1/4 W. magnetic. At 2.30 the Anholt Light-vessel was abeam distant half a mile, the weather being described as moderately clear. On the run from Fladen Lightship to Anholt Lightship the patent log registered the actual distance, namely 24 miles, thus indicating no current. From the position named off Anholt a course S. by E. 1/2 E. magnetic was set and steered with the view of passing about 4 miles off Kullen. Between 3 and 4 p.m. the weather became hazy and at five o'clock it became thicker. The engines however were kept going full speed, the witnesses stating that they could see half a mile. At 6.5 p.m., the master being on the bridge (where he appears to have been all day) along with the boatswain, heard the Kullen fog-signal gun about four points on the port bow, and again abeam at 6.20, which, taken as a four-point bearing, gave two miles off. Up to this time full speed was maintained. From this position a course S. 1/2 E. southerly magnetic was set and steered, which, in the master's opinion, was an allowance of one point for a current he expected would set him in towards the land. At 6.50 a dense fog had set in, when the engines were put to dead slow and a cast of the lead taken, which gave eight fathoms, sandy bottom. The engines were then stopped, and remained so for five minutes, and as no fog signal could be heard from the Svinbadan Light-vessel, the engines were then reversed full speed, but she struck the ground before the way was off, and remained fast. The engines were stopped for a short time, and when soundings had been taken all round, which showed rocky bottom, and from 12 to 14 feet of water, they were turned astern and ahead, but without avail, the vessel hanging heavily from the bridge forward.

No. 1 water ballast tank filled rapidly. When the boats were put over the crew began to jettison cargo, and continued to do so until the "Orago" salvage steamer arrived at 11 o'clock the following morning. At daylight it, was found that she had stranded close to Hoganœs Beacon, two miles northward of Svinbadan Light-vessel. With the assistance of the salvage people some 90 tons of coal were thrown overboard, and at 3 p.m. she floated and was towed to Copenhagen, where she arrived at 8 p.m. on the same day. namely, on the 21st day of January. On being put into dry dock, it was found that the bottom plates, floors and frames, &c., from the bridge forward had sustained serious injury, which necessitated the removal or renewal of about 50 plates. No lives were lost by the casualty.

On the opening of the inquiry Mr. Burton read, and on the conclusion of the evidence submitted for the opinion of the Court, the following questions:—

1. What number of compasses had the vessel, were they in good order and sufficient for the safe navigation of the vessel, and when and by whom were they last adjusted?

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

3. Whether the vessel was supplied with proper and sufficient charts and sailing directions?

4. Whether proper measures were taken to ascertain and verify the position of the vessel at or about 3.25 a.m. of the 20th January last?

5. Whether safe and proper courses were thereafter steered, and whether due and proper allowance was made for tide and currents?

6. Whether proper measures were taken to ascertain and verify the position of the vessel at or about 11.20 a.m. of the 20th January, and from time to time thereafter?

7. Whether, on the afternoon of the 20th January, the lead was used with sufficient frequency?

8. Whether, having regard to the state of the weather, the vessel was navigated at too great a rate of speed?

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

10. What was the cause of the casualty?

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?

The Board of Trade charge Thomas Davie Wayman, the master, with having caused serious damage to the vessel by his wrongful act or default.

Mr. Roche addressed the Court on behalf of the master and owners. Mr. Burton having replied on behalf of the Board of Trade, the Court replied to the questions as follows:—

1. The "Maitlands" had three compasses. They were in good order and sufficient for the safe navigation of the vessel. They were adjusted by Messrs. Constantine, Pickering, and Company, Middlesbrough, in December 1894.

2. The master had only been in command of the vessel for the previous voyage to the Baltic, and had no opportunity of testing the compasses by observation during that period. The corrections applied to the courses were taken from the deviation card, and were properly applied.

3. The vessel was supplied with an Imray blue-back chart, dated 1894, and sailing directions, which the Court considers were sufficient.

4. The vessel passed the Skaw at 3.25 a.m. on the 20th January at an estimated distance of half a mile, but no measures were taken to verify her position be. yond judging the distance by the eye.

5. Safe and proper courses were steered after passing the Skaw, but no allowance was made for tide or currents.

6. When the vessel passed the Fladen Lightship at 11.20 a.m. of the 20th, the lightship was only a couple of lengths off on the vessel's starboard beam. At 2.30 p.m. the Anholt Light-vessel was passed, distant half a mile on same bearing. At 6.5 p.m. the fog. signal gun at Kullen was heard four points on the port bow, and was heard again when abeam at 6.20, which, according to the master's calculation, placed her two miles W. by S. of Kullen.

7. The lead was not used until 6.50 p.m., and a cast then gave eight fathoms with sandy bottom, but although the engines were reversed full speed she struck the ground before another cast could be taken. The Court is of opinion that the lead should have been used and continued to be used after passing Kullen, in order to avoid getting inside the ten fathom line.

8. Considering the thick state of the weather the vessel was navigated at too great a rate of speed after passing Kullen.

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

10. In the opinion of the Court the casualty was caused by the master over-estimating his distance from Kullen, proceeding at too great a speed, omitting to use the lead with greater frequency after passing Kullen, and also by the setting from the north of the current which the master thought would be setting from the south, and which, while increasing the speed, had the effect of setting the vessel towards the shore.

11. The vessel was navigated with seamanlike care up to Kullen, but not afterwards.

12. The officers are not in default. The master, Thomas D. Wayman, is in default in regard to the omissions mentioned in our answer to question ten, but owing to the uncertainty of the current alluded to in the answer to that question, the Court is of opinion that the justice of the case will be met by censure and a caution to be more careful in future, and does notdeal with the master's certificate.

 

(Signed)

J. SUGGT,

Justices.

 

 

T. NODDINGS,

 

 

 

JOHN BAIN,

Assessors.

 

 

SAMUEL BROOKS,

 

Issued in London by the Board of Trade on the 4th day of June 1895.

87089—10. 180.—5/95. Wt. 165. E. & S.

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