Ships hit by U-boats


Danish Steam merchant

Photo courtesy of Danish Maritime Museum, Elsinore

Type:Steam merchant
Tonnage1,064 tons
Completed1916 - Kjobenhavns Flydedok & Skibsværft A/S, Copenhagen 
OwnerDet Forenede D/S (DFDS), Copenhagen 
Date of attack16 Feb 1940Nationality:      Danish
FateSunk by U-14 (Herbert Wohlfarth)
Position58° 18'N, 1° 46'W - Grid AN 1699
Complement20 (9 dead and 11 survivors).
RouteMethil - Esbjerg, Denmark 
History Completed in January 1916. On 6 July 1917, the neutral Rhone was taken as prize by UC-79 (Haecker) in the Skagerrak, but later released. 
Notes on event

At 23.15 hours on 15 Feb 1940, U-14 spotted two steamers in a line and an escort about 50 miles north of Rattrey Head and fired at 23.40 hours one G7e torpedo at the second ship that detonated prematurely. This ship was the Rhone, which sank two minutes after being hit in the bow by a second G7e torpedo at 23.55 hours. The other steamer, the Sleipner stopped to rescue survivors and sent distress signals, but was also hit in the foreship by one G7e torpedo at 00.00 hours on 16 February and sank after 10 minutes.

All three lifeboats from Sleipner had already been launched before the ship was hit and they picked up 13 survivors from Rhone, but two of them died in the boats and their bodies were placed on a raft, which was found and recovered three days later by HMS Eclipse (H 08) (LtCdr E. Mack, DSC, RN) in 58°40N/01°05W. 18 survivors from Sleipner and 11 from Rhone in two lifeboats were picked up after 9 hours by the Swedish trawler Standard and landed at Wick. Twelve survivors in the third boat were picked up after about 12 hours by HMS Kipling (F 91) (Cdr A. St. Clair-Ford, RN). Seven of 23 crew members and six of 18 passengers (Greek seamen to join a ship in Denmark) from Sleipner were lost.

On boardWe have details of 9 people who were on board

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