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Wreck Report for 'Hoselaw', 1885

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Unique ID:14967
Description:Board of Trade Wreck Report for 'Hoselaw', 1885
Creator:Board of Trade
Date:1885
Copyright:Out of copyright
Partner:SCC Libraries
Partner ID:Unknown

Transcription

(No. 2460.)

"HOSELAW" (S.S.)

The Merchant Shipping Acts, 1854 to 1876.

IN the matter of a formal Investigation held at the Town Hall, North Shields, on the 12th and 13th days of February 1885, before JOSEPH GREEN and JOHN ROBSON, Esquires, assisted by Captains CURLING and WILSON, into the circumstances attending the stranding of the S.S. "HOSELAW" on the Isle of Tudy on the 21st day of January 1885.

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 stranding of the S.S. "Hoselaw" was caused by an error of the master in setting the course, and the Court considers the master, James Brigstock, committed a grave error in judgment in setting the course he did, and admonishes him to be more careful in the future.

Dated this 14th day of February 1885.

 

(Signed)

Jos. GREEN,

JOHN ROBSON,

Justices.

We concur in the above report.

 

(Signed)

WILLM. CURLING,

R.N.R.,

R. WILSON,

Assessors.

Annex to the Report.

This is an investigation into the circumstances attending the stranding of the S.S. "Hoselaw," of Newcastle, held at the Town Hall, North Shields, before Joseph Green and John Robson, Esquires, two of Her Majesty's Justices of the Peace, assisted by Captains Curling and Wilson (nautical assessors). Mr. E. B. Gee appeared on behalf of the Board of Trade, Mr. W. O. Forster on behalf of the master, Mr. Ingledew represented the owners, and Mr. H. A. Adamson represented the underwriters. The "Hoselaw," official number 88,757, was an iron screw steamer, built at Sunderland in 1883, of 1095.54 gross and 704.58 registered tonnage. She was fitted with two compound surface condensing engines of 99-horse power (combined), and was owned by Mr. George Reid and others, subject to a mortgage on eighteen sixty-fourths of Mr. Reid's shares to secure an account current with interest. From the evidence adduced, it appears that the "Hoselaw" left Bilboa at 5 p.m. on the 20th of January 1885, with a cargo of 1,250 tons of mineral ore and a crew of 18 hands all told, under the command of James Brigstock, who holds a certificate of competency as master, number 86,716, bound to Stockton, the vessel drawing 14 feet 4 inches forward and 15 feet 5 inches aft., in good order and condition. A course N. 1/2 E. magnetic was set, half a point having been allowed for current, the tide being four hours flood, weather fine and sea smooth, moderate breeze from the S.S.E. The patent log was set and put over. At 10 p.m. of the 21st the master had the patent log hauled in, which shewed 251 miles. The master then went below and marked off the chart, and came on deck when the vessel struck the rocks near the Isle of Tudy, Finisterre, France. The forehold filled very rapidly, and immediately afterwards the vessel began to break up. All hands then got into the lifeboat, and they stood by the ship till daylight when they rowed ashore and landed at the Isle of Tudy, the vessel afterwards becoming a total wreck. It was stated by the master that after the pilot left him at Bilboa he tested the compasses by bearings of the leading marks of the harbour and afterwards by the polar star, and he found by these observations that they agreed with his deviation cards, and that in his opinion the compasses were not in error. The first and principal error of the master was by setting the course too far to the eastward, and as the ship overrun her distance by log this brought him to the position he found himself at 10 p.m., which caused the disaster. It was stated in evidence that at noon of the 21st, the weather being cloudy, no observations were to be obtained. Failing these means of verifying the ship's position at that time it should have caused the master to exercise every possible precaution, standing in for the land as he then was. The vessel had had a fair wind with canvass on her from the time of leaving, but no allowance appears to have been made for increased speed which no doubt she was making. The master stated that he considered she was going 8 3/4 miles per hour, the chief engineer stated that he considered she was going 9 1/4, and the Court was of opinion that the latter was correct. The Court also thought that the master should have considered his position at an earlier hour than he did, and not seeing any shore lights and the probability of the vessel under the circumstances overrunning her distance he should have (had he been more thoughtful) rounded her to and taken a cast of the lead which would have shewn him that he was to the eastward of his assumed position. From some cause or other no light was seen until a few minutes before she struck when it was too late to do anything to save the vessel. The Court is willing to believe that the master set his course by mistake N. 1/2 E. instead of N. 1/2 W., which latter course would have given him a good offing to the westward of Les Saintes, and carried him safely past all danger.

At the conclusion of the evidence the following questions were submitted to the Court on behalf of the Board of Trade:—

1. What was the cause of the stranding of the British S.S. "Hoselaw" on or near the Isle of Tudy on the 21st day of January 1885?

2. Whether the vessel was properly and sufficiently manned, and whether the watches on deck were sufficient to enable the deep sea lead to be passed along and watched at any time without calling up the watch below?

3. What number of compasses had the vessel on board, and how were they placed?

4. Whether the master ascertained their deviations by observation from time to time?

5. Whether the errors of the compasses were correctly ascertained and the proper corrections to the courses applied?

6. Whether the vessel should not have been supplied with a chronometer?

7. Whether proper measures were taken to ascertain the position of the vessel after the pilot left her at Bilboa on the 20th January last?

8. Whether a safe and proper course was then set and steered, and whether due and proper allowance was made for tide and currents?

9. Whether the total neglect of the lead was justifiable, especially about the time when the master expected to sight Penmarche Light and did not sight it?

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

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

In the opinion of the Board of Trade, the certificate of the master should be dealt with.

Dated this 13th day of February 1885.

EDWARD B. GEE,

For the Board of Trade.

Judgment.

1. The stranding of the S.S. "Hoselaw" was caused by an error of the master in setting the course.

2. The vessel was properly and sufficiently manned.

3, 4, and 5. The vessel had three compasses properly placed, and the master ascertained their error by observation from time to time, but proper corrections to the courses were not applied.

6. Although it is not usual to provide chronometers in the trade the vessel was then running in, still the Court is of opinion that chronometers should be supplied to all vessels going that voyage.

7. The vessel's position was properly verified on leaving Bilboa.

8. A safe and proper course was not set on leaving Bilboa.

9. There was nothing within the master's knowledge previous to the casualty to make him believe it necessary to take a cast of the lead.

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

11. The Court believes that the master made a mistake in setting his course N. 1/2 E. instead of N. 1/2 W.; in other respects the vessel was navigated with proper and seamanlike care.

The Court considers the master, James Brigstock, committed a grave error in judgment in setting the course he did, and admonishes him to be more careful in future.

 

(Signed)

JOS. GREEN,

JOHN ROBSON,

Justices.

We concur in the above judgment.

 

(Signed)

WILLM. CURLING,

R.N.R.,

R. WILSON,

Assessors.

L 367. 2235. 170.—2/85. Wt. 36. E. & S.

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