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Wreck Report for 'Davaar', 1895

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Unique ID:16712
Description:BOT Wreck Report for 'Davaar', 1895
Creator:Board of Trade
Date:1895
Copyright:Out of copyright
Partner:SCC Libraries
Partner ID:Unknown

Transcription

(No. 5167.)

"DAVAAR" (S.S.)

The Merchant Shipping Act, 1894.

IN the matter of a formal Investigation held at Recorder's Court, Belfast, on the 3th and 4th days of July 1895, before GARRETT NAGLE, Esquire, Stipendiary Magistrate, assisted by Captains BIGLEY and EDWARDS, into the circumstances attending the stranding of the S.S. "DAVAAR," on or near the Briggs Reef, near the entrance to Belfast Lough, on or about the 7th day of June 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 through due and proper allowance not being made for tide and currents and total neglect of the lead. The Court finds that the master alone was in default, but taking into account his record-of long and meritorious service, the coolness and resource displayed by him after the stranding of the vessel, and the candid manner in which he gave his evidence, the Court has decided not to suspend his certificate, but severely censures him, and warns him to be more careful in future.

The Court makes no order as to costs.

Dated this 4th day of-July 1895.

 

(Signed)

GARRETT NAGLE, Judge.

We concur in the above report.

 

(Signed)

WM. BARNETT BIGLEY,

Assessors.

 

 

T. TOLSON EDWARDS,

 

Annex to Report.

This inquiry was held at Belfast on the abovementioned days, when Mr. J. S. McTear appeared for the Board of Trade, and Mr. R. E. McLean for the master, mate and first engineer of the vessel.

The s.s. "Davaar," official number 86,902, was a steel screw steamship of 567.62 gross, and 165.85 nett registered tonnage, and was built in 1885 by the London and Glasgow Engineering Iron Ship Building Company, Limited, of Glasgow. She has one deck, two masts, was schooner-rigged, clincher built, and fitted with two compound direct-acting vertical inverted engines of 155 horse-power (combined) by the builders, her length being 217.8 feet, breadth 27.05, and depth of hold of hold 12.95 feet. The s.s. "Davaar" was owned by the Campbeltown and Glasgow Steam Packet Joint Stock Company, Limited, of Campbeltown, who held all the shares, Mr. Ross Wallace, of Campbeltown, being designated managing owner. She had four boats, and was fully equipped with life-saving appliances required by the Act. She had two compasses, placed as follows: a standard on the bridge, by which the courses were set and steered, and one aft on the quarterdeck; they were last adjusted by Messrs. Whyte and Company, of Glasgow, in May 1891. The s.s. "Davaar" sailed from Campbeltown at 7 a.m. on the 7th of June 1895, under the command of Mr. Samuel Muir, with a crew of 23 hands, all told, about 400 passengers, 30 tons of pig iron, 30 tons of bunker coal, and two bales of rags, drawing 9 feet forward and 12 1/2 feet aft. The weather at the time of leaving was fine, with a light breeze from the N.W., and the tide about two hours flood. About 8 a.m., one hour after sailing, Sanda Island was abeam, bearing N.W. magnetic, and distant by estimation about 1 1/2 miles, when the course S.W. by S. magnetic was set for Black Head, the master stating this was allowing a quarter of a point for the tide setting the vessel to the southward, and that her speed over the ground up to time of slowing would be about 14 knots. There was no patent log on board, neither was the hand log hove after passing Sanda, up to 10.30, when the steamer stranded. At 8.55 a.m. the weather became hazy, and they steamed into a bank of fog which increased in density as the vessel approached Belfast Lough. At 9.45 a.m. the mate and three hands were on the lookout, and the steam whistle was blown at short intervals. The course S.W. by S. magnetic, which had been set off Sanda Island, was continued at full speed up till 10.15 a.m., when the captain, judging he had run his. distance to Black Head, stopped, for the weather had then become very thick. The course was then changed to S.W. by W. magnetic, and the engines put at dead slow for five minutes, after which they were again stopped for two or three minutes, and put ahead again dead slow until 10.30. When breakers were reported right ahead by the men on the look-out, the engines were at once put full speed astern; but before they could take any effect, the vessel ran on to the Briggs Reef about half a mile to the southward and westward of the buoy (which is placed off the north end of the reef) and half a mile from the mainland, at the south side of the entrance to Belfast Lough. The master finding that the vessel remained fast, stopped the engines. Soundings were at once taken round the vessel with the following result: four fathoms over the stern, four fathoms off the port and starboard quarters, and six feet at the bow. It was high water at time of stranding, wind light from the northward, and sea smooth. During the whole time the vessel was on the reef she remained perfectly upright, and 50 feet of the keel from the stern was visible at low water. Immediately after the stranding orders were given to close the sluices and sound the different compartments, upon which no water being found in the vessel, the boats were at once put out to land the passengers, and the steam whistle blown to attract attention and obtain assistance. Shortly after stranding the fog lifted, and the Copelands and he mainland became visible. With the assistance of the fishermen and boats from the shore all the passengers were safely landed, the "Davaar's" two lifeboats being the first to leave the vessel, having only women and children in them, and just sufficient of the crew to manage the boats. After all the passengers were landed, a kedge and 90 fathoms of warp was taken out astern and hove taut to keep the vessel in position, the master endeavouring at the same time to tip the vessel by bringing the anchors and chains from forward aft, filling the after-peak tank with water, pumping 150 tons of water into the after-hold, and removing 30 tons of pig iron from forward aft, the engines at the same time working full-speed astern. Seeing the vessel did not move, the engines were stopped, and the water pumped out of the after-hold. On Friday night the tug "Ranger" came to their assistance, and tried to tow the steamer off at high water, but was unsuccessful. A more powerful tug was then sent round from Liverpool, which succeeded in towing the "Davaar" off the reef on Sunday morning at high water. The "Davaar" then proceeded under her own steam to Belfast, where she was put into dry dock, and the following damage was discovered:—Sixty keel rivets started at the fore end of keel and fore-foot, two plates damaged on the starboard side, close to the collision bulkhead forward (which is about 20 ft. from the stem); these plates had to be removed, owing to a rent and small hole in them; one keel plate was also slightly ridged and bent on the port side; this was taken out, straightened, and replaced. This is the only damage the steamer received, and no lives were lost.

These are the facts of the case, and on the conclusion of the evidence Mr. McTear, on behalf of the Board of Trade, put to 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 course applied?

3. Whether proper measures were taken to ascertain and verify the position of the vessel at or about 7.55 a.m. of the 7th of June last?

4. Whether a safe and proper course was set at or about 7.55 a.m. of the 7th of June last, and thereafter steered, and whether due and proper allowance was made for tide and currents?

5. Whether a safe and proper alteration was made in the course at or about 10.15 a.m. of the 7th of June, and whether due and proper allowance was made for tide and currents?

6. Whether proper measures were taken at or about 10.15 a.m. of the 7th June, and from time to time thereafter, to ascertain and verify the position of the vessel?

7. Whether the total neglect of the lead was justifiable?

8. Whether, having regard to the thick 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 stranding of the vessel, and was she materially damaged thereby?

11. Was the fog syren on Mew Island sounding between the hours of 9 a.m. and 10.30 a.m. on the 7th of June last, and if so, was the sound of it heard by those on board the "Davaar?"

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

13. Whether the master and chief officer are, or either of them is, in default?

Mr. McLean, having addressed the Court on behalf of his clients, the following answers were given to the questions submitted by the Board of Trade:—

1. She had two compasses; they were in good order and sufficient for the safe navigation of the vessel, and were last adjusted by Messrs. Whyte & Company, of Glasgow, in May 1891.

2. The master stated that the standard compass had no deviation according to the card supplied by Messrs. Whyte & Company, of Glasgow, and that he had not at any time taken measures to verify them.

3. The only measures taken at 7.55 a.m. on the 7th of June to ascertain the vessel's position was an estimated distance off Sanda.

4. A safe and proper course was set at 7.55 a.m. of the 7th of June and steered thereafter; due and proper allowance was not made for tide and currents.

5. A safe and proper alteration was not made in the course at or about 10.15 a.m. of the 7th of June, inasmuch as the assumed position of the vessel was in. correct, due and proper allowance not being made for tide and currents.

6. Proper measures were not taken at or about 10.15 a.m. of the 7th of June, and from time to time thereafter, to ascertain and verify the position of the vessel.

7. The total neglect of the lead was most unjustifiable.

8. The vessel was not navigated at too great a rate of speed.

9. A good and proper look-out was kept.

10. The cause of the stranding was through due and proper allowance not being made for tide and currents, and total neglect of the lead. The vessel was materially damaged thereby.

11. The Court is of opinion that the Mew Island Fog Syren was sounding between the hours of 9 a.m. and 10.30 a.m. of the 7th of June, but Copeland Island intervening prevented those on board the s.s. "Davaar" from hearing it.

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

13. The master alone is in default; but taking into account his record of long and meritorious service, the coolness displayed by him after the stranding of the vessel, and the candid manner in which he gave his evidence, the Court has decided not to suspend his certificate, but severely censures him, and warns him to be more careful in future.

 

(Signed)

GARRETT NAGLE, Judge.

We concur.

 

(Signed)

WM. BARNETT BIGLEY,

Assessors.

 

 

T. TOLSON EDWARDS,

 

Issued in London by the Board of Trade on the 18th day of July 1895.

87039—31. 180.—7/95. Wt. 165. E. & S.

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