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Herzogin Cecilie

Herzogin Cecilie

Here is the sad sight of the Finnish Barque Herzogin Cecilie aground on the Hamstone in April 1936, she sank in Starhole Bay, Salcome.

Frank

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When she went ashore, April 25th, 1936, at Start Point she was many miles off her intended course. She crashed into the Ham Stone, holing herself in the fore hold and pump room and flooding three compartments; both anchors were let go, but they found no holding ground and she slewed round on to the cliffs a-lee. The heavy swell carried her inshore, to ground at the mouth of Sewer Mill Cove. Distress rockets were observed by a coast-guard at Hope Cove. The Salcombe lifeboat brought the crew and a passenger ashore. The shipowner, Gustav Erikson of Mariehamn, who considered the "Herzogin" his flagship, never forgave the skipper. Stein
 

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That is the question. It has been stated that compass trouble was experienced during the later stages of a homeward trip from Australia. W.L.A. Derby dismisses this and that magnetic influence should have played a role. He points to the Captains inexperience in the eastward passage from Falmouth and the heavy current that exists here. There was no shift of wind, but definitely a heavy fog.
Tales were told,- no officers on deck etc. Odd things were in the reports, like Eddystone neither being heard, nor seen. The Captain quit the sea, was killed by a bull while farming in South Africa. The shipowner went wild when the loss of his "Herzogin" was mentioned. (His ships were uninsured).
Alex Hurst has written much on the subject. His speculative map shows the Herzogin with a totally wrong course already on leaving Falmouth, and soon being so far inside Prawle Point that Start Point light was obscured.
PS: She was refloated, taken in tow to Starehole bay, and there driven ashore by bad weather and holed anew. This time it was final. Stein
 

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