Chilean Steam merchant
|Completed||1938 - Aalborg Værft A/S, Aalborg|
|Owner||Cia Sud Americana de Vapores, Valparaiso|
|Date of attack||13 Mar 1942||Nationality: Chilean|
|Fate||Sunk by U-404 (Otto von Bülow)|
|Position||40° 10'N, 73° 50'W - Grid CA 5241|
|Complement||28 (27 dead and 1 survivor).|
|Route||Baltimore - New York|
|History||Completed in June 1938 as Danish Lotta for A/S D/S Vesterhavet (J. Lauritzen), Esbjerg. In April 1940 laid up at Talcahuano, Chile. On 16 February 1941 seized by the Chilean Government and later renamed Tolten. |
|Notes on event|
At 06.43 hours on 13 March 1942 the neutral and unescorted Tolten (Master Virgilio Aquiles Ramírez Bárcena) was hit near the bridge by one torpedo from U-404 and sank within 6 minutes 32 miles off Barnegat, New Jersey. The Germans reported that the ship was zigzagging in a darkened condition and was identified as Chilean ship only after the attack, in fact the master had been ordered to proceed without lights by a patrol vessel only a few hours prior to the attack. The only survivor, fireman Julio Faust Rivera, was blown overboard, managed to swim to a loose raft and passed out. He was first spotted by an aircraft in 39°50N/73°40W, later by the US Navy blimp L-2 from Lakehurst and finally picked up after 12 hours by USS Larch (AN 21) and taken to the Marine Hospital at Stapleton, Staten Island.
This sinking let to a harsh diplomatic reaction by the foreign minister of Chile and demonstrations against Germany, assisted by US propaganda, but unlike the declaration of war after U-boat attacks on Brazilian ships no further steps were undertaken.
|On board||We have details of 28 people who were on board.|
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