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Date: 21 February 1915


The Cambank Sunk in the Irish Sea as She Stops to Take Aboard Mersey Pilot

German Submarine Reappears in Path of Steamships Bound for Liverpool and Sends Coasting Vessel to the Bottom Without Warning.

[Special Cable to the Herald.]

Herald Bureau,
No. 130 Fleet Street,
London, Sunday.

A German submarine yesterday morning sank the British steamship Cambank in the Irish Sea a few miles east of Linas Point just after the vessel had stopped and taken aboard the Liverpool pilot. The Cambank's only warning of the attack was the explosion of a torpedo against her hull that killed three of her crew, the third engineer and two firemen. She settled rapidly in the water and a fourth man was drowned while those on board were taking to the boats. The remainder of the crew and the pilot, twenty in all, were saved.

One of the men, in describing the experience of the Cambank, said:—"We were bound from Huelva, a Spanish port, for Liverpool with a cargo of copper. When outside of Amlwoh [sic], on the north coast of Wales, we took aboard a pilot. We had gathered speed when a periscope was observed about two hundred yards away. The engines were reversed, but while the vessel was turning the submarine discharged a torpedo, which struck us amidships.

"We launched the lifeboats and managed to pull clear before the Cambank sank. We had no time to save anything and most of us were scantily clad and much exhausted when a vessel took us in charge and towed us into Amlwoh [sic] Harbor."

A steamship which has arrived at Liverpool reports that she had been warned by the Cambank that there was a submarine in the vicinity. She at once put on full steam and being a speedy vessel reached port safely.

Except for the loss of life, the sinking of the Cambank was not in itself a serious matter, but the presence of a German submarine near the route which the Atlantic steamships take on their way to and from Liverpool and along which many vessels pass daily is bound to cause some uneasiness. It was in the same waters that the U-21 sank three British vessels three weeks ago, but the commander of that German craft hailed his victims and permitted the crews to leave the ships before sending them to the bottom.

The Cambank was a vessel of 1,990 tons.

In connection with the damaging of the Norwegian tank steamship Belridge by an external explosion off Folkestone on Friday, the Admiralty announced last night that seven pieces of metal found aboard the Belridge after she was beached at Walmer have been examined at the Admiralty offices and proved beyond doubt to be pieces of a discharged torpedo.

The Norwegian Foreign Office has ordered the Norwegian Consulate at London to investigate this affair and report immediately, with the object, it is thought, of making representations to Germany if the facts are as stated by the
British officials.

The reappearance of a hostile submarine in the Irish Sea has had little effect on steamings from the British ports. The daily average is being maintained.

World War history: daily records and comments as appeared in American and foreign newspapers, -1926. (New York, NY) 19 Feb. 1915, p. 135. Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

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