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The Berenice was en route from the Mediterranean to Amsterdam when the war broke out. The Berenice had to divert and ended up in Bordeaux. Here 22 Dutch refugees were taken on board.

On June 20 she had to leave Bordeaux and a course was set for Falsmouth in England. She sailed in convoy with the SS Orpheus, Arie Scheffer and the M.s. Nettie. During the night the ships lost each other.

At 7:15 am the Berenice was hit by a German submarine U 65 torpedo. The Berenice sank so fast that there was no time to lower the lifeboats. All persons below deck perished.

One of the passengers who died was the poet Hendrik Marsman. He was on his way to England with his wife.

There were eight survivors: the captain (died shortly thereafter), six crew members and Rien Marsman. They were the only ones who had been on the deck at the time of the explosion.


Type: vrachtschip met passagiers accommodatie 
Built: Bodewes Lobith 1919
BRT: 1166 tons
Length: 76.92 m 
Width: 11.10 m 
Draught: 4.08 m
Propulsion: steamengine AMF triple expansion
Speed: 11 kn
Complement: 18
Master: A.J. Huygens


  • Scheepsrampen  in oorlogstijd, Amsterdam 1947
  • U


East Indiaman

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