If at First you do not succeed - the loss of the DUNCRAG

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Bill Harvey
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If at First you do not succeed - the loss of the DUNCRAG

Post by Bill Harvey » Wed Mar 20, 2013 2:24 pm

DUNCRAG (1902 – 1904) steel.
O.N. 115679. 563g. 280n. 165.2 x 28.2 x 12.0 feet.
C.2-cyl. (20-5/8” & 44-3/8” x 30”) engine by the shipbuilder. 78nhp
7.5.1902: Completed by Bow McLachlan & Company Paisley (Yard No. 153) for Home Trade Steam Carrying Co. (John Gray Frew, manager), Glasgow.
5.1902: Completed.
10.7.1903: Whilst under command of Capt Peter McLachlan, on a voyage from Dieppe to Liverpool with flint stone, stranded in fog, 3 miles Southeast of North Stack, near Holyhead. Severe bow damage incurred with plates bowed and cracked, but not holed.
11.4.1904: Whilst under command of Capt Peter McLachlan, on a voyage from Guernsey with granite for London, sank 25 miles south of St.Catherine's Point, Isle of Wight



Unique ID: 18501
Description: BOT Wreck Report for 'Duncrag', 1903
Creator: Board of Trade
Date: 1903
Copyright: Out of copyright
Partner: SCC Libraries
Partner ID: Unknown
Transcription
(No. 6571.)

"DUNCRAG" (S.S.).

The Merchant Shipping Act, 1894.

IN the matter of a formal investigation held at the Jury Court, County Buildings, Glasgow, on the 12th and 13th days of August, 1903, before WILLIAM GEORGE SCOTT-MONCRIEFF, Esquire, Advocate, Sheriff-Substitute of Lanarkshire, assisted by Captains WILLIAM ERSKINE and E. M. HUGHES, into the circumstances attending the stranding of the British s.s. "DUNCRAG," of Glasgow, about three miles southeast of the South Stack, near Holyhead, on 10th July, 1903.


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 of the s.s. "Duncrag" was the shaping of too fine a course by the master upon leaving the Beacon, near Rhoscolyn Head; and further, that the serious damage to the said ship was caused by the wrongful act of the master alone. The Court severely censures him, but in the whole circumstances of the case does not consider it necessary to deal with his certificate.


Dated this 13th day of August, 1903.


W. G. SCOTT-MONCRIEFF,


Judge.

We concur in the above report.


WILLIAM ERSKINE,

Assessors.


E. M. HUGHES,

Annex to the Report.


This inquiry was held at the County Buildings, Glasgow, on the 12th and 13th days of August, 1903, when Mr. Morton, Writer, Glasgow (of Messrs. McGrigor, Donald & Co.), represented the Board of Trade, and Mr. Thomas G. Wright, Writer, Glasgow, appeared for the master.

The s.s. "Duncrag," official number 115679, is a British steamship, built of steel by Messrs. Bow, McLachlan & Co., Ltd., Paisley, in the year 1902, and is fitted with two compound direct acting vertical inverted engines, which gave her a speed of 10 knots. She is owned by the Home Trade Steam Carrying Company, Limited, of 5 Dixon Street, Glasgow, John Gray Frew, of 5 Dixon Street, Glasgow, being designated the person to whom the management of the vessel is entrusted by and on behalf of the owners, per advice received the 7th day of May, 1902, under his hand as manager of the Company. Her dimensions are as follows: ”Length 165.2 ft., breadth 28.2 ft., and depth of hold 1.50 ft. Her gross tonnage was 562.95 tons, and after deducting 287.84 tons for crew space, etc., her nett tonnage was 275.11 tons. She had three boats, two of which were life boats, placed aft on skids and under davits, and one working jolly boat. She was stated to have been in good condition and supplied with all the life saving appliances as required by the Statute. She had two compasses, as stated in the answers to the questions.

On 7th July, 1903, the "Duncrag" sailed from Dieppe, under the command of Mr. Peter McLachlan, who holds a Home Trade certificate. No. 103899, and with a crew consisting of 11 hands all told, bound for the Mersey with a cargo of flint stone, weighing 700 tons, her draught of water being 12 ft. forward and 13 ft. 6 ins. aft. She proceeded down Channel all well, and at 8.30 p.m. of 9th July the Smalls Lighthouse was abeam, bearing S.E. 1/2 E., and distant half a mile by estimate; the weather hazy, light airs from S.W. and sea smooth. A course N.E. 1/2 N. was set for the South Stack, and on this course a deviation of half a point west was allowed, making the course magnetic N.E. by N. The speed of the vessel was reduced to about 6 knots when the fog set down, and increased when it lifted at intervals. Cardigan Bay Light Vessel was not seen, but at 8 a.m. of 10th July, the master looked at the distance run by the patent log. The wind was light S.W., and the weather hazy, but sufficiently clear to see about one mile. Not having seen Carnarvon Bay Light Vessel, but thinking he saw the loom of the land, the master reduced his speed to slow, and hauled in to the eastward and distinctly made out Rhoscolyn Head and the beacon off it, distant, by estimate, about one mile. At 10.25 a.m., the course was altered to N.W. by N. 1/2 N., and shortly after this the fog came down very thick, the speed being about 6 knots. The master took the helm and sent the two deck hands forward to get the lead from under the forecastle to take soundings. At this time he could only see about two hundred yards ahead from the bridge. At 10.45 he observed a large rock right ahead, and he immediately put the helm hard-a-starboard (by steam), but the vessel had not answered when she crashed with her stem on to the rock, the tide being then almost high water. The engines were stopped, but not reversed, as the master considered it would be dangerous to make an effort to back off into deep water. Soundings were taken all round, and were found 18 ft. at the fore rigging, 24 ft. before the bridge and 7 fathoms at the stern. The pump wells were sounded, and water was rising in the hold, but the engine-room and stokehold bulkhead kept tight. It may here be stated that the "Duncrag" had only one hold ”from the collision bulkhead forward to the engine and stokehold bulkhead aft.

The weather having cleared up, it was found that the vessel had stranded on a rock lying a short distance off Penrhos Point, and about half a mile from the life boat station of Porth Rhuffydd. The life boat went off to the vessel, but its services were not required, as the crew subsequently landed with their own boats, about 2 1/2 hours after the stranding, the master and one man remaining on board. The water rose in the hold to the height of 7 ft. and the "Duncrag" still remained fast on the rock. At 7 p.m. the master decided to leave the vessel and return again at high water. Shortly after his landing the flood tide twisted the "Duncrag" off the rock, and the tug "Blazer," which was in the vicinity, picked her up and towed her into Holyhead Harbour and beached her. The master and crew walked over to Holyhead. The fog signal on Holyhead was not heard until after the stranding.


The damage to the "Duncrag" was very serious; the whole stem was bulged in, frames and plates being cracked, but not holed.


The Court desires to say that there was no lack of zeal or anxiety shewn by the master, but it is quite clear to the Court that he should, after ascertaining his position off Rhoscolyn Head, have steered more out to sea and clear of danger.

At the conclusion of the evidence, the following questions were submitted, to which the Court gave the answers appended:

(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?
”The vessel had two compasses, one being a spirit compass, placed on the bridge, by which the vessel was navigated and steered; the other being a spare compass below. They were stated to have been in good order and sufficient for the safe navigation of the vessel. The bridge compass was last adjusted by Messrs. D. McGregor & Co., of Glasgow, on 8th May, 1902.

(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?
”The master stated that he took every available opportunity to ascertain the deviation of his compasses by observation from time to time. The errors were correctly applied, but the Court is unable to say if they were correctly ascertained.

(3) Were proper measures taken to ascertain and verify the position of the vessel at or about 8.45 p.m. of the 9th July last, was a safe and proper course then set and thereafter steered, and was due and proper allowance made for tide and currents?
”Proper measures were taken to ascertain and verify the position of the vessel at or about 8.45 p.m. of the 9th July last. A safe and proper course was then set and thereafter steered, and due and proper allowance made for tide and currents.

(4) Was a safe and proper alteration made in the course at or about 10 a.m. of the 10th July, and was due and proper allowance made for tide and currents?
”A safe and proper alteration was not made in the course at or about 10 a.m. of the 10th July. Due and proper allowance was not made for tide and currents.

(5) What was the land sighted at or about 10.20 a.m. of the 10th July last? Were proper measures then taken to ascertain and verify the position of the vessel? Was a safe and proper alteration then made in the course, and was due and proper allowance made for tide and currents?
”The land sighted at or about 10.20 a.m. of the 10th July last was Rhoscolyn Head and the Beacon off it. The position of the vessel was then ascertained. A safe and proper alteration in the course was not then made, neither was due and proper allowance made for tide and currents.

(6) Having regard to the state of the weather on the morning of the 10th July, was the vessel navigated at too great a rate of speed?
”The vessel was navigated at too great a rate of speed.

(7) Was the lead used, and if not, should it have been used?
”The lead was not used. It should have been used, as it would have shewn that the vessel was being navigated too close to the land.

(8) Was a good and proper look-out kept?
”No special man was on the look-out, but having regard to the size and class of the vessel, the look-out kept on the bridge may be considered sufficient.

(9) What was the cause of the stranding of the vessel, and was she seriously damaged thereby?
”The cause of the stranding of the vessel was the shaping of too fine a course by the master on leaving the Beacon near Rhoscolyn Head. She was seriously damaged thereby.

(10) Was the vessel navigated with proper and seamanlike care?
”The vessel was not navigated with proper and seamanlike care.

(11) Was serious damage to the s.s. "Duncrag" caused by the wrongful act or default of the master and chief officer, or of either of them?
”The serious damage to the s.s. "Duncrag" was caused by the wrongful act of the master alone.


The Court severely censures him, but in the whole circumstances of the case it does not consider it necessary to deal with his certificate.


W. G. SCOTT-MONCRIEFF,

Judge.

We concur.

WILLIAM ERSKINE,

Assessors.

E. M. HUGHES,



(Issued in London by the Board of Trade on the 15th day of September, 1903).





Unique ID: 18560
Description: BOT Wreck Report for 'Duncrag', 1904
Creator: Board of Trade
Date: 1904
Copyright: Out of copyright
Partner: SCC Libraries
Partner ID: Unknown
Transcription
(No. 6680.)

"DUNCRAG" (S.S.)

The Merchant Shipping Act, l894.

IN the matter of a formal investigation held at the Debts Recovery Court, Glasgow, on the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd days of June, 1904, before WILLIAM GEORGE SCOTT-MONCRIEFF, Esquire, Advocate, Sheriff Substitute of Lanarkshire, assisted by Mr. J. H. HALLETT, C.E., and Captains W. B. BIGLEY and W. COWIE, into the circumstances attending the loss of the British steamship "DUNCRAG," of Glasgow, through foundering about 25 miles south of St. Catherine's Lighthouse, Isle of Wight, on the 11th day of April, 1904.

Report of Court

The Court, having carefully inquired into the circumstances attending the above-mentioned shipping casualty, finds for the reasons state in the Annex hereto, that the cause of the foundering of the "Duncrag" was due to the sudden influx of water into the hold and tanks, combined with the fact that the vessel was too deeply laden. The Court further finds that, in so far as the loss of the vessel was contributed to by her overladen condition, it was due to the wrongful act of the master alone.

The Court hereby suspends the certificate of the master, Peter McLachlan, No. 103899, for the period of three months from this date.

On the motion of the agent for the master, the Court recommends that during the period of suspension the master be granted a mate's certificate.

Dated this 3rd day of June, 1904.


W. G. SCOTT-MONCRIEFF,

Judge.

We concur in the above Report.

J. H HALLETT, C.E.
WM. BARNETT BIGLEY,

Assessors.

W. COWIE,


Annex to the Report.

This inquiry was held at the Debts Recovery Court, Glasgow, on the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd days of June, 1904, when Mr. J. Morton, writer, Glasgow, appeared for the Board of Trade, and Mr. T. G. Wright, writer, Glasgow, for the owners, master, and registered manager. The first and second officers and the first and second engineers were made parties to the inquiry, but were not professionally represented.

The steamship "Duncrag," official number 115679, was a British steamer, built of steel, at Paisley, in the year 1902, by Messrs. Bow McLachlan & Co., Lim., and was of the following dimensions:—Length, 165.2 ft.; breadth, 28.2 ft.; and depth, 12.05 ft. Her gross tonnage was 562.95 tons, and, after making the usual deductions, her net registered tonnage was 275.11 tons. She was fitted with two compound direct acting engines of 77.8 nominal horse-power, built by Messrs. Bow McLachlan & Co., Lim., to give a speed of about 10 knots. She carried two life-boats, one on each side, aft, in davits; also a dingey, on the starboard side, abreast the funnel. She had 14 life-belts, 6 life-buoys, and carried 2. Compasses ”one on the upper bridge and one aft. The latter was unshipped and stowed below. She was owned by the Home Trade Steam Carrying Co., Lim., Glasgow. Mr. John Gray Frew, of 88, Clyde Street, Glasgow, being entrusted with the management of the vessel, by and on behalf of the owners, since 7th May, 1902. The vessel was constructed under Lloyd's supervision and classed 100 A1. She had three watertight bulkheads, situated as follows ”one at the after part of the forecastle, one before the engine-room, and one forward of the stern post. She had three ballast tanks ”one a fore peak tank and two under the cargo hold, forming a double bottom. Their total capacity was 205 tons. She was fitted with a pulsometer pump; a bilge pump, which could be used for pumping out the ballast tanks; two bilge pumps, which were worked by the main engines; and two hand deck pumps. In addition to these pumps, she had the usual main injection. She was a well-deck vessel, and had but one cargo hatchway, which was of the following dimensions: ”67 ft. long by 16 ft. wide; the coamings were 3 to 6 ft. high, and there were five iron portable beams. There were four 15-in. ventilators on the well-deck, two of which were close by the bridge and two by the forecastle. The coamings of these four ventilators were 3 ft. high, fitted with the usual bell-mouth cowels, with caps and canvas covers to be lashed on when the cowels were unshipped. The height of the bulwarks in the well-deck was 3 ft., in which there were six freeing ports, three on each side.

On the 8th of April last the vessel arrived at St. Sampson's Harbour, from Swansea, under the command of Mr. Peter McLachlan, with a crew of 12 hands, all told, and commenced loading a cargo of granite stones, consisting of sets, road metal and chips.

On Saturday afternoon, 9th April, the loading was completed and upon endeavouring to haul the vessel out from the loading berth, to proceed to sea, she was found to be aground aft. The fore peak tank was then run up in order to trim her for the next tide, but, upon that tide making, it was found she had been trimmed too much by the head and still remained aground. To trim the vessel for the next tide the fore peak tank was pumped out, with the exception of about 20 tons.

On the afternoon tide of Sunday, the 10th April last, the "Duncrag" floated and proceeded to sea. Her draught of water was 12 ft. 6 ins. forward and l4 ft 6 ins. aft, being a mean of 13 ft. 6 ins. Her summer freeboard was 1 ft. 8 1/2 ins., giving a corresponding mean draft of 12 ft. 10 ins., thus showing that the vessel left St. Sampson's, Guernsey, overladen to the extent of 8 ins., representing a weight of 76 tons beyond which she should have carried. According to the evidence, the 20 tons of water in the fore peak tank was pumped out as soon as the vessel had cleared the harbour, but this would still leave her overladen to the extent of 6 ins. The pilot left as soon as the vessel swung round, and she then proceeded on her voyage.

All seems to have gone well up till about 11.30 p.m. of the 10th of April, the chief officer being on the bridge in charge of the watch. The master, who had frequently been on deck since she sailed attending to the navigation, observed that there was a peculiar movement in the ship and about two feet of water level on the deck, which aroused his suspicions that there was something wrong, whereupon he sounded the hold and tanks, finding four to five feet of water in the hold and the tanks full. The master then asked the second engineer, who was on watch, if there was any water in the engine-room. He replied there was none. The captain then told the second engineer to put the pulsometer on to the tanks. The bilge injection was at the same time working on the holds, but it was thought useless to start the deck pumps. The master after this called the second officer, who, on being consulted as to the condition of the vessel, said he believed she was sinking. Thereupon, all hands were called and orders given to put the boats out. This was about midnight, and the ship so much submerged that the water was nearly level with the top of the hatch on the well-deck. The wind at the time was fresh from the W.N.W., with a moderate swell. The starboard boat was first lowered and sent away by the master's orders in charge of the chief officer and five of the crew. The helm, was then starboarded and a lee made, in order to lower the port life-boat, which was successfully accomplished, and it left the vessel with the master and remaining five of the crew.

This was about half-an-hour after midnight, and they remained lying off the vessel, watching her. At about 1.30 a.m. of the 11th April she was seen to list to starboard and founder, stern first, St. Catherine's Light bearing at this time about N., distant 25 miles. The wind was W.N.W., with moderate sea, and the boats, by means of sail and oars, reached Ventnor, Isle of Wight, at 2.30 p.m. of 11th April. The crew did not save any of their effects, and no life was lost.

At the conclusion of the evidence, Mr. Morton submitted the following questions, to which the Court gave the answers appended:

(1) When the vessel last left Swansea ”(a) Was she in good and seaworthy condition as regards hull and equipments? (b) Were the pumps sufficient and in good order?
”The vessel was in good and seaworthy condition as regards hull and equipments when she left Swansea, and the pumps were sufficient and in good order.

(2) Did the vessel sustain injury ”(a) when she was entering St. Sampson's Harbour, Guernsey, on the 8th April last? (b) while she was at her loading berth in St. Sampson's Harbour, Guernsey, during the 19th and 10th April last?
”(a) The vessel sustained no injury when entering St. Sampson's Harbour, Guernsey, on 8th April last. (b) After the loading had been completed there was insufficient water to float her, she being aground aft. The fore peak tank was then filled in order to tip and float her next tide, when it was found that too much water had been put into the fore peak tank. Half of the water was then pumped out and the vessel successfully floated next tide. While, looking to subsequent events, it is possible that in the efforts to get her afloat the ship may have sustained a strain or been. otherwise damaged, there is no evidence before the Court to warrant the finding that she actually did suffer any damage.

(3) When the vessel left St. Sampson's Harbour, Guernsey, on the 10th April last ”(a) was she in good and seaworthy condition as regards hull and equipments? (b) Were the pumps sufficient and in good order? (c) Was she overladen?
”(a) The ship when she left St. Sampson's Harbour, Guernsey, on 10th April last was in good and seaworthy condition as regards equipment, and, under reference to the previous answer, the hull appeared to be in a satisfactory condition. (b) The pumps were sufficient and in good order. (c) The vessel was overladen. The pilot, upon leaving, drew the master's attention to the disc being submerged.

(4) Did the vessel make an unusual quantity of water after leaving Guernsey on the 10th April last? If so, when did this occur? When, and by whom, was the fact discovered? Where was the vessel making water?
”The vessel did make an unusual quantity of water after leaving Guernsey on the 10th of April last. It is impossible to say when she actually began to make water, but at about 11.30 p.m. which was about nine hours after sailing the movement of the vessel aroused the captain's suspicions, and, upon sounding, water was found in both the hold and main tank. The decks at this time were being continually flooded with water, which was breaking over the ship's rail owing to her deeply laden condition. The Court is unable to say in what actual part of the vessel the leakage occurred.

(5) When an unusual quantity of water was found to be in the ship, were prompt and proper measures taken by the master, officers, and engineers to ascertain the cause thereof and to keep the water under?
”When an unusual quantity of water was found in the vessel there was neither time nor opportunity to ascertain the cause thereof, but prompt and proper measures were taken to keep the water under.

(6) Was every possible effort made by the master, officers, and engineers to save the ship?
”Every effort possible, under the circumstances, was made by the master, officers, and engineers to save the ship.

(7) Was the vessel prematurely abandoned?
”The vessel was not prematurely abandoned.

(8) What was the cause of the loss of the vessel?
”The cause of the loss of the vessel was the sudden influx of water into the hold and tanks, combined with the fact that the vessel was too deeply laden.

(9) Was she navigated with proper and seamanlike care?
”The vessel was navigated with proper and seamanlike care.

(10) Was the loss of the steamship "Duncrag" caused by the wrongful act or default of the master and chief engineer, or of either of them and/or was it caused by the neglect of the chief and second officers and second engineer, or of any of them?
”So far as the loss of the "Duncrag" was contributed to by her overladen condition, it was due to the wrongful act of the master. The loss was not due to the wrongful act or default of the chief engineer, or to the neglect of the chief and second officers and second engineer. The Court suspends the certificate of the master, Peter McLachlan, No. 103899, for the period of three months from the date hereof.

(11) What was the cost of the vessel to her owners? What was her value when she last left the United Kingdom? What were the insurances effected upon, and in connection with, the ship?
”The cost of the vessel to her owners was £13,293. There is no evidence before the Court as to her value when she last left the United Kingdom. The insurances were ”on hull, £12,000; disbursements, £3,000; and commissions, £250.

On the motion of the agent for the master, the Court recommends that during the period of suspension the master, Peter McLachlan, be granted a mate's certificate.

W. G. SCOTT-MONCRIEFF

Judge.

We concur,

J. H HALLETT, C.E.
WM. BARNETT BIGLEY,

Assessors.

W. COWIE,

(Issued in London by the Board of Trade on the 28th day of June, 1904.)

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