Daily Event for October 8, 2013

In the morning of October 8, 1902 the steamer Robert Ingham was in the English Channel about five miles off Beachy Head heading for Newcastle in ballast. The 224' long ship has been built in 1871 by Redhead & Softley in South Shields and was only 1,028 gross tons. The conditions were foggy at 0730 when the master, Captain Elliott, was proceeding at only 3 knots when he heard the loud blast of a foghorn. Elliot sounded his siren and cut his engines, but seconds later a large liner broke through the fog and rammed his ship.

The liner, Norddeutscher Lloyd's Kronprinz Wilhelm, 663' long and 14,906 gross tons, cut through the starboard quarter carrying it away. Capt. Elliott ordered the boats to be lowered, and amazingly this was accomplished, which was probably the only reason the thirteen men who survived were picked up. As she went down her boilers exploded tearing the ship open and less than five minutes after the collision the steamer slipped under the sea.

The Chief Officer was found floating in the water and he was pulled into a boat, but sadly he was dead. He along with the only passenger on the ship were the only two casualties. Both has been sleeping at the time of the collision, but only the Chief made it to the deck. The collision had not killed him, but when he made it to the deck he was washed overboard and drowned before he could be rescued. The survivors were taken aboard the big German liner and while en route to Southampton the passengers took up a collection for the widow of the dead crewman raising $250.

Blame for the accident was placed on the master of the German ship for sailing at full speed (22 knots) when conditions should have required prudence.
© 2013 Michael W. Pocock

Roll of Honour
In memory of those who lost their lives in
SS Robert INgham
"As long as we embrace them in our memory, their spirit will always be with us"

Miller, William
Chief Officer
Scott, Mr.

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