A Brief History Of The H.M.T.S. Alert

Written by Nuke. Posted in General

hmts alertThe H.M.T.S. Alert was a cable laying ship completed in 1918 and sunk during WWII on February 24, 1945.  During the sinking of this ship, all 59 hands, aged from 17 to 62 died.  Many of the crew members were from the East Kent area, where a memorial plaque to the ship was dedicated on February 24, 2011.  During its 27 years of service this ship provided several important tasks.

The H.M.T.S. Alert was built by shipbuilders Swan, Hunter and Wigman Richardson in 1918.  The vessel weighed 941 tons and was designed for laying cable under the ocean.  At that time it was built the primary cables being laid were telegraph cables.  The ship was being used to repair telegraph cable off of Dodman, North Goodwin Sands when it was sunk.  Its task on that day was the repair of the telegraph cable from Dumpton Gap, Kent to La Panne, Belgium, essential for the war communication.

In addition to being used to lay cable, the ship was used in the early PLUTO experiments where pipelines were laid under the ocean.  When enemy forces cut off the fuel supplys, this pipeline provided valuable services, especially in June 1944.

The vessel that sunk the H.M.T.S. Alert was a small 2 man German Submarine.  These small subs had a 17 ton displacement and carried tow G7e type torpedoes undlerslung to the sub.  The subs were limited to a 300 km range on the surface and 63 when submerged.  Their top speed was 7 knots at surface level and 3 knots when submerged.  Some of the subs had additional storage tanks that doubled their range.  These so called midget submarines were involved I several limited actions in the area, including the sinking of the H.M.T.S. Alert.

h.m.t.s. sunk

The H.M.T.S. Alert was not the intended target of the German sub.  In fact, the submariners reported they had sunk the French destroyer La Combattante; however, this ship had been mined the night before.

The crew of the H.M.T.S. Alert included members of the Merchant Navy as well as the Royal Navy.  These men played a vital part in the war efforts and gave the ultimate sacrifice of their own lives.  The sacrifice they made should be remembered by all.

Listing Of 10 Most Famous Shipwrecks

Written by Nuke. Posted in General


Only a few of the millions of ships built over many centuries have approached some note of fame. Those that have were innovative vessels looked at as prototypes in the ship evolution process, or warships of some sort. There were some others though that made their name through some sort of catastrophic failure.

Truly, history has left us with many examples of both human propensity and nature towards bad luck, miscalculations and violence. Only some vessels that met a fate which was a tragic one are recalled today by the public. The reasons they are recalled are as different as the people doing the recalling.

Many are war vessels whose contribution to some sort of major conflict keeps them in people’s thoughts and remembrances. Others are remembered for the huge loss of life incurred, or the vast fortunes they took down with them. Still others remain famous because their loss was so totally unexpected to ever happen. The truth is that picking 10 from the many to choose from is not the simplest of tasks.

1. Titanic:

For it’s time, the Titanic which was built in Ireland, was the largest cruise ship ever built. It was also considered to be the safest one ever built as well. Unfortunately though, as history points out, on the 14th of April, 1912, a collision with an iceberg in the Atlantic took it down. In one of the largest tragedies ever, 1517 people lost their lives.

2. Sultana:

Over 1800 people died in this less remembered disaster. Explosions of four boilers engulfed the whole ship in fire and 80% of all on board perished. One of the reasons for lack of coverage in the press was because the preceding day marked the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. It is near Memphis, Tennessee that the wreckage lays.

3. Joola:

This ship which was designed to hold about 500 passengers was owned by the Senegalese government. There were however over 2000 passengers when it launched on September 22, 2006. When off the coast of Gambia it hit bad weather, it sank. In only 5 minutes, most passengers were thrown into the sea when the ship capsized. Mariama Diouf was the one woman out of 600 on-board who survived, and she was pregnant at the time. Most of the other passengers who survived the capsizing died in the freezing water waiting to be saved.

4. The Estonia:

The Estonia, which was built by Meyer Werft in Germany, sank in the Baltic Sea on September 28, 1994. The causes for this tragedy were very controversial, and more than 800 people lost their lives in it.

5. USS Oriskany:

One of the 24 Essex class ships that were to the US Navy commissioned, this ship had the nickname the mighty O. Many battles were seen by it from Cuba (Guantanamo Bay), to the war in Vietnam. The ship was to an artificial reef transferred in 2004, and is now widely considered one of the great diving sites in the world, and home also to millions of fish!

6. Mont-Blanc:

The ship, en-route to France was completely loaded with explosives and ammunition when docking at Halifax, Nova Scotia it collided with the SS Imo causing a massive explosion. More than 2,000 were killed, and the injury toll topped 9,000.

7. Halifax Explosion:

Prior to the testing of the atom bomb, the largest explosion ever recorded came on September 16th, 1917, when the SS Imo collided with the Mont Blanc right off the coast. The explosions and fires following were responsible for more than 2,000 deaths and over 9,000 injured. The ensuing tsunami that the crash fostered went on to devastate land and buildings in the Halifax Harbor as well.

8. Rms Rhone:

On October 26th, 1867, off the coast of Salt island which is part of the British Virgin Islands, this beautiful ship ran into a hurricane that destroyed it and was responsible for the loss of 123 lives. Today, it serves as a preferred diving site in the Caribbean, where so many fish, eels and even sharks call home.

9. The Mary Rose:

A warship in King Henry VIII’s fleet, the Mary Rose was destroyed in the Isle of Wight while leading an attack against the French navy ships there. In 1982, the wreck was salvaged and today in the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, one can see many arte-facts displayed. Many of these are totally unique and offer people great knowledge of that era’s ships.

10. MV Dona Paz:

This Philippine registered ferry heading to Manila collided with another ship with the net result being the deaths of at least 1,749 people. It is the worst peace time accident ever, and many believe the death toll to be much higher as there apparently were more on-board, perhaps as many as 4,000.