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stepping stones of maritime history


SS Beemsterdijk began her maiden voyage on January 31, 1923 from Rotterdam to New York, sailing on route to the North American East Coast and the Gulf States.

The ship had already completed several convoy voyages across the Atlantic Ocean after May 1940 and now had defenses and armaments.

Traveling in ballast from Greenock to Cardiff, the SS Beemsterdijk ran into an Allied mine on 26 January 1941 in the Bristol Channel, 2 miles west-north-west of the Smalls. The ship stayed afloat although it was heavily damaged and the crew, who had initially disembarked, went back on board.

The ship, which could no longer sail under its own power, was anchored and people waited for tugboat assistance. However, the next day, on January 27, 1941, the ship suddenly sank and was lost, killing 39 people; only 3 people survived the disaster.


Type: cargo ship, steamship
Built: NV Maatsch. v Scheeps- en Werktuigbouw Fijenoord, Rotterdam, 1922
Propulsion: Brown Curtis turbines; 1 schroef 3000 apk
Speed: 12

People on board42
Length416.5 feet (126.9 m)
Width54 feet (16.5 m)
Draft39 feet (11.9 m)
Tonnage8869 ton


39 of the 42 crew members died.


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