Wreck of the Ark Royal

Santos
11th February 2006, 20:24
There is a TV program on Sunday 12th February 2006 on UK BBC 1 at 8pm ( 2000hrs ) on the discovery and outboard exploration of the wreck of the Ark in the Medi.

I have seen a preview and it looks promising. (Thumb)

She is classed as a War Grave as one person lost their life and is still on board, so only the outside of her has been filmed.

Chris.

vix
11th February 2006, 23:16
There is a TV program on Sunday 12th February 2006 on UK BBC 1 at 8pm ( 2000hrs ) on the discovery and outboard exploration of the wreck of the Ark in the Medi.

I have seen a preview and it looks promising. (Thumb)

She is classed as a War Grave as one person lost their life and is still on board, so only the outside of her has been filmed.

Chris.
I only hope certain people continue to respect the clssification of War Grave. Vix

Coastie
13th February 2006, 17:57
It was a very good programme, even though I missed the first 5 minutes of it, and it continued on BBC 4 at 21:00hrs, but, sadly I wasnt able to watch that bit. It'll probably be on again on BBC2 at some point anyway. (Applause)

jim barnes
13th February 2006, 18:14
Yes very good program but strange that one of the airmen was the last to leave the sinking vessel thought it is traditional for the Capt to leave last?also not up to date with the circumstances but the Capt stood a court martial over the sinking or was that more of a inquiry?

Coastie
13th February 2006, 18:58
Yes, I thought it was unfair for the Captain to have stood a court martial, after all, they did their best to save it. Ironicaly, if the three tugs had reached her and they hadn't started the engine, she may have been saved. Shame.

GDav
30th July 2006, 12:46
Is it not customary for the captain of a lost rship to face inquiry? In any case I don't recall the capt of Ark Royal being hauled over the coals. They did everything they could to save her. HMS Manchester yes. Her captain was considered to have acted very rashly.

ronnie r
30th July 2006, 15:05
I heard or read somewhere that a few days previous to the u boat torpedo attack,
the Ark was flying off a Swordfish armed with depthcharges ,it lost power on take off and went over the bow. the resulting explosion weakened her plates
and she was limping to Gibraltar at very reduced knots.and one torpedo sealed her fate. can anyone expand on this rumour??

fred henderson
30th July 2006, 20:19
The information I have is that Ark Royal was lost because of engineering design faults. She was struck by a single torpedo from U81 which hit very deep on the starboard side and bottom abreast the boiler room making a hole 130 ft x 30 ft. I cannot believe that this only caused one death.
Ark Royal assumed an immediate 10 degree list. Flooding spread to the centre and port boiler rooms through the smoke uptakes, which were taken across the ship to the starboard funnel position too low down and were not fitted with baffles. The ship lost all electric power as there were no diesel generators. The loss of steam resulted in the loss of all pumps and after 14 hours the ship capsized.

Fred

Peter Dryden
30th July 2006, 22:28
This was in fact "Ark Royal" number 3 sank by a torpedo from U81. The second "Ark Royal was a merchant ship converted (1914) to fly off seaplanes. The conversion work taking place at my home town by "The Blyth shipbuilding Ltd". If ever you are visiting Blyth, go to the main library opposite the bus station, where on display is the shipbuilders model and it is a lovely example.She was renamed HMS Pegasus to free the name Ark Royal for the third one built at Birkenhead.
Incidentaly The first Ark royal was ordered by Sir Walter Raliegh.

GDav
31st July 2006, 11:17
The information I have is that Ark Royal was lost because of engineering design faults. She was struck by a single torpedo from U81 which hit very deep on the starboard side and bottom abreast the boiler room making a hole 130 ft x 30 ft. I cannot believe that this only caused one death.
Ark Royal assumed an immediate 10 degree list. Flooding spread to the centre and port boiler rooms through the smoke uptakes, which were taken across the ship to the starboard funnel position too low down and were not fitted with baffles. The ship lost all electric power as there were no diesel generators. The loss of steam resulted in the loss of all pumps and after 14 hours the ship capsized.

Fred

The recent documentary I watched alleges that she was not that badly damaged and they managed to keep her afloat for over 24 hours. My memory fails me after that - were there not enough other craft to tow her back to Gib?

Coastie
31st July 2006, 18:07
According to the recent documentary, she didn't seem to be that badly damaged. Three tugs were sent to her but she managed to restart her engines and get underway. Sadly, in doing so, it would appear that extra strain was put on her and she started to break up and take in more water.

GDav
31st July 2006, 18:45
Yes that was more or less my recollection. The major factor being that the current was taking them in the wrong direction and was also responsible for breaking the tow on at least one occasion.

fred henderson
1st August 2006, 00:45
After a search through the Fleet Air Arm Archive, Winkipedia and other internet sources I think my original post is not entirely correct. The torpedo took out the main electrical switchboard, which added to the chaos. A further engineering design fault was that the boiler room flat ran the full width of the ship, spreading the flood water and forcing the engineers to abandon the port boiler shortly after they had managed to re-start it.
The main cause of the loss however was the incompetence of the ships damage control teams, plus the failure to use the Gibraltar tugs in a timely manner, even though the ship was only 25 miles from port.
All sources agree that the ship sank 14 hours after being torpedoed.
The following is an extract from the Winkipedia page: -

“However, by that time, the list had increased to 18 degrees and the flooding was starting to spread across the ship's boiler room flat. This was an uninterrupted compartment running across the whole width of the ship, making the entire area of the machinery spaces vulnerable. The efforts made by the engine room crews to restore power were futile. The boiler room flat flooding forced the plant to be shut down again.
Progressive flooding now caused the list to increase rapidly. The list reached 20 degrees 11 hours and 4 minutes after the hit and touched 27 degrees an hour and a quarter later. At this point, the abandon ship order was again given. All crew were off the ship at 0430hrs, 12 hours 19 minutes after the hit, at which time the list had reached 35 degrees. HMS Ark Royal capsized and sank at 0619hrs, after the list reached 45 degrees.
The primary cause of the loss of Ark Royal was held to be the inexperience and poor judgement of those responsible for damage control. Proper measures were not undertaken in good time, nor was action to tow the ship to Gibraltar, less than 25 miles away, undertaken promptly.
The Investigation also concluded that there were a variety of design factors contributing to the loss:
• The uninterrupted boiler room flat was a significant error: it was immediately rectified in the Illustrious and Indefatiguable classes.
• The adoption of a double hangar had forced the use of cross-deck uptakes low in the ship, adding to vulnerability.
• The reliance on steam generators was also an error: diesel generators were retrofitted to the armoured carriers.
• The power train design itself was strongly criticised.”
Fred

GDav
1st August 2006, 01:19
Sounds reasonable to me Fred.