We escaped torpedo, Fire and shipwreck.
Passengers and crew of the Dutch motor vessel Tajandoen had
a thrilling experience on 7
. When their ship was torpedoed they were
picked up by the Belgian steamer Louis Scheid, which was herself
wrecked, an a hidden rock a few hours later. The story is
reprinted from the columns of the Evening Standard and the
When the Dutch motor vessel Tajandoen was torpedoed in the
North sea on 7
. The explosion set fire to oil floating
on the sea, and the survivors in lifeboat had to race away
from the spreading sea of fire, which crept upon them. The
captain of the ship, Mr J. B. Roederink, revealed this when
he and 62 of the crew and passengers (including five women
and two children) were landed at an English South West Port.
The Belgian ship, and Louis Scheid (6,057 tons), which rescued
them was herself wrecked on a hidden rock near the coast and
the survivors took to boats for a second time within a few
hours. Captain J. B. Roederink said all the passengers of
the Tajandoen, and the number of the crew were in their bunks
when the explosion occurred. It was a terrifc explosion and
the ship went down in a quarter of an hour. We got all the
passengers and crew away with the exception of two engineers
and four seamen will stop. Then began a grim race and safety.
The explosion had allowed our fuel oil to escape onto the
sea, and had ignited it. The surface around the vessel was
soon a huge blazing lake which spread away from the sinking
vessel. As it spread the lifeboat crews worked desperately
to keep their boats ahead of the blazing oil fortunately for
all the boats they won the race. The first intimation that
the Belgian rescue ship had hit a rock was when rockets rent
the blackout. Coastguards saw the vessel, brilliantly lit
from bow to stern, and called help. The vessel came on to
the beach within about 100 yards of an hotel. Several times,
the lifeboats made gallant efforts to get alongside, but their
work was hampered by heavy seas. The coxswain of one of the
lifeboats, said We had a very rough trip in lashing rain.
It was terrible. The first time we went along to the port
side of the Louis Scheid we took of 40 the second time, we
took off 22 more of the Dutch crew and passengers. All but
five thus accounted for. They had to jump with ropes around
them. It was with the utmost difficulty we got them all on
board. A small boat carried the survivors from the lifeboat
to land and then they were half carried up the steep cliff.
The officers and crew of the Louis Scheid, who remained on
their vessel after the removal of the survivors of the Tajandoen,
were later rescued by breaches buoy. Although it was foggy,
a rocket carrying a lifeline was shot across the steamer,
and the breaches buoy apparatus brought into operation. In
a short time all the officers and men have been brought ashore.
Spectators could see the seamen bobbing over a choppy sea
as they were hauled through mist and driving rain onto the
sands. A lifeboat and a tug stood by of the rocky shore. Police
and villagers for miles around hurried to the beach to aid
in the labourious work of rescue. One man said it was a terrible
night. There was no respite from the lashing rain and tide.
We had to rush the apparatus to another point, 2 miles away,
to bring the vessel within the length of the rope.
The Second Great War.
Edited by Sir John Hamilton
The War Illustrated.
Edited by Sir John Hamilton
2194 Days Of War.
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