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stepping stones of maritime history


In the morning of January 20, 1941, the Heemskerk was attacked by a German plane 220 miles west of Foynes (Ireland). The dropped bombs caused damage to the deck and the machine. The weather was rough and the engine room and the spacious V were full of water running through the seas.
Since the damage was so great that the ship could no longer be saved, it was decided to go into the lifeboats. After a few hours, the crew was picked up by the English warship Delphiniuma.

Eight of the crew on board lost their lives. On January 26, 1941, the burning wreck of the Heemskerk on 53˚43’N and 16 ˚07’WL was torpedoed by the German submarine U105, eventually sinking.


Type: Steam, cargo vessel
Built: Neptunus, Schiffswerft & Maschinenfabrik, Rostock, Germany, 1920
Owner: Vereenigde Nederlandsche Scheepvaart Maatschappij , The Hague
Dimensions: 438 x 57.20 x 30.20 ft (British)
Tonnage: 6516 tons
Propulsion: Steam, Quadruple Expansion, Power: 3500


War grave. Eight of the crew on board lost their lives.

An abandoned ship sunk by U-105 during the night of 25/26 January was earlier identified as Heemskerk, but this ship had been bombed on 20 January and was seen to sink the next day by HMS Arbutus. The description of the wreck and the date of the sinking prove that the ship finished off by U-105 was the Lurigethan.

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