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boat, Annie Busse, almost ahead and a little on the port bow. We had no sail set and had put out no distress signals. As soon as we saw the Annie Busse we shifted our course direct for the boat, and as they had sighted we were enabled to come on board at about 12.30 p.m., after not more than 1% hours on the water. The patrol boat was anchored, and on account of the thick fog it was unable to bring us in until February 24th, on which date we landed at Wilhelmshaven at 1 p. m. From there we were sent to Bremerhaven, reaching the latter port at 10 p.m. the same day. During our stay on the Anne Busse we were most courteously and kindly treated, and received everything necessary in the way of sleeping accommodations and food, etc. The only men of the crew lost were those previously mentioned, Third Assistant Engineer William Bazzell, of Pensacola, Fla., Fireman Antonio Martinez, and Coal Passer Segunda Blaz, the last two of Corunna, Spain. EDGAR L. Cole, Master of S. S. Carib.
CoNSULAR AGENCY OF THE UNITED STATES,
Subscribed and sworn to before me by the above-named Captain Edgar L. Cole, February 26th, 1915. J. F. BUCK,
Consular Agent of the United States of America. [Seal of American Consular Agency.]
Sworn Statement of First Officer of S. S. “Carib.”
My name is George H. Gifford. I was born in Salem, Mass., March 24, 1875. I have been first officer on the Carib since two weeks before we sailed for Germany. I have never made a trip to Germany before. The ship was loaded with 4,600 bales of cotton and 250 tons of pig iron as ballast. We finished loading at Charleston, January 26, 1915, and sailed the following day at 1 p. m. We had 30 men in our crew, including officers, when we sailed. The captain had special instructions to proceed to the Isle of Wight to get a pilot, and from there, in case he could not get one, to proceed to Hook of Holland for German pilot. He had received these instructions from the Clyde Steamship Company before sailing.
We also had a chart from the United States Hydrographic Office, I think the one for January. We also had Hydrographic bulletins. I did not see in the bulletins any special instructions for the trip, but we were not looking for other instructions, as we were ordered to via Hook of Holland. We had bad weather twice between Charleston and the Isle of Wight, the first time February 8th, when we had to heave to, and the second time February 13th. The captain demonstrated himself to be an able and a capable seaman and a very good navigator. He got along well with his officers and crew and never had any trouble with them. We reached the Isle of Wight February 14. We anchored there at 10 o’clock the same night. We got a Trinity House pilot there the next morning and proceeded to the Downs. We were detained at the Downs about 48 hours on account of bad weather. The boarding officer came on board at 5.20 a. m., February 17th, and we were cleared that night at 8 p. m., but did not leave until the following morning. We went via Sunk Lightship and the Galloper to Maas Lightship the night of the 18th and did not attempt to go further that night on account of mines. We passed one mine at 3.45 that afternoon a half hour before we anchored. This mine was recorded in the log book as having been within 50 feet of our vessel. I did not see it. February 19th we left for Maas by way of Schouvenbank Lightship. On that day we saw 14 mines, 13 of them between 8 and 10 a. m., and the other one about 12.45 p.m. I saw 13 of the mines myself. They were what I took to be floating mines and jutted at least one-third out of the water. They were plainly visible a long ways off, as we had a calm sea. They were painted black and had a white letter “H.” There was also a balance rod on top, thin and perhaps four feet long. I saw all mines with the naked eye and did not use the glasses. We never saw any more mines after the 14 above mentioned. We reached the Maas at 1.35 p.m., Saturday, the 20th. We did not anchor there. We proceeded to the Hook of Holland, reaching there at 4 p.m. the 20th. The captain went ashore immediately. The English pilot had told us that we could get a pilot at Maas and we signaled for one there, but we had to go inside for him. The Furness Shipping Company of Rotterdam furnished the pilot; the captain had orders to ask the Furness Company for one and he told me afterward that the pilot was from them. I talked with the pilot a few times, and he told me he had sailed to the Weser as master, but did not say he had ever come in as a pilot. He told me he was not a Government man, but a private pilot, and claimed that North Sea pilots were not licensed. From what he said I inferred that he had been to the Weser enough times to bring in a ship in safety.
The pilot talked as though we were clear of the mines and said we were outside of them. He figured on going out farther. We were on full speed all the time after leaving the Hook of Holland, having no reason to do otherwise. The pilot came on board the 21st of February, at 4 p. m. From the time we left the Downs we kept a lookout night and day, which was according to instructions from America. The explosion occurred about 10.58, February 22, 1915. The ship was going full speed at the time, so far as I know. The weather was somewhat thick, but only for a few minutes at a time. There was a light fog. The wind was SW. It was ebb current. The current ran about from 2 to 4 knots. When we struck the mine we were about 10 miles north by west of Norderney Lighthouse. When the explosion came I was in my cabin. It seemed to be right amidships. At first I thought something had gone wrong in the engine room. There is no doubt in my mind that we struck a mine. I could not say just how the ship was damaged, as the explosion came from the port side and I was on the starboard side. In 20 or 25 minutes we were in the boats which were swinging in the davits. Practically all of us remained several minutes on board and the engineers and others tried to get into the engine and fire rooms to look for the Third Assistant Engineer and fireman and coal passer, but it was impossible to get down to them on account of the rush of sea water and live steam. The three men were probably killed instantly. After we got clear of the ship we hung around for 30 or 40 minutes to see if any trace of the men could be found, but the ship's quarter deck was already under water then. I do not think the ship could have staid afloat very long. I was in charge of boat No. 2. We were in the boats about one or 1% hours, and were picked up about 12.45 by the German scout boat Annie Busse and kept there 48 hours on account of the fog, when we were taken to Wilhelmshaven. The German officers and crew treated us most courteously and even gave up their beds for us. We reached Wilhelmshaven at noon of the 24th and arrived in Bremerhaven at 10 o'clock that night. G. H. GIFFORD, - First Officer S. S. “Carib.” AMERICAN CoNSULAR AGENCY, City of Bremerhaven, Empire of Germany, ss:
Subscribed and sworn to before me by the above-named First Officer Gifford on the 28th of February, 1915. J. F. BUCK, Consular Agent of the United States of America.
[Seal of American Consular Agency.]
My name is Charles H. Winnett. I was born in Philadelphia, June 28, 1876. I was third officer on the S. S. Carib and joined that vessel at Charleston, January 26th, 1915. I never made the trip to Germany before. We finished loading on the night of the 26th and sailed for Bremen the 27th of January. We had 4,600 bales of cotton and pig iron as ballast. I understand that the iron was distributed in all four hatches. We cleared from Charleston. I do not know whether the captain had any special sailing instructions before leaving. The captain was Edgar L. Cole. Shortly after leaving Charleston the captain told me that he had orders to go via the English Channel and then to the Hook of Holland, where the agents were to furnish us a pilot for Germany. I know that the captain never had any difficulties with his officers Or Crew. We broke the steering gear twice, the first time February 1st, about 600 miles south of Halifax and about 900 miles east of New York, and the second time 90 miles west of the Scilly Islands, February 13th. When the gear broke the first time, it carried away the hand gear as well, and we had nothing to go by except the steam gear. After the steam gear had been repaired it was as good as ever. The gear was repaired immediately after it broke. The ship had proper charts to bring her across the Atlantic and through the Channel, but the chart of the North Sea was not a good one as it was too small. We got a new North Sea chart at the Hook of Holland which was a large scale chart and a good one. We had the January and February Hydrographic charts from the United States Government on board. I believe the master and pilot consulted these charts. The master expected to be able to get proper instructions and a qualified pilot at the Hook of Holland. We took our English pilot at Nab Lightship. He took us via the Downs to Sunk Lightship. The British boarding officer came on board at the Downs after we had laid there about 44 hours. We anchored at Downs the night of the 17th and the boarding officer came the morning of the 19th. His visit was delayed on account of a heavy southwest gale and a rough sea. The delay was due to weather conditions. He detained us about 12 hours before giving us permission to proceed.
The captain discussed the voyage with the English pilot. The pilot advised the master as to what he considered the best route to the Maas Lightship, and the pilot laid down the course on the chart, via Galloper Lightship. We reached the Hook of Holland February 20th, at 3 p.m. about. The captain went ashore to see about securing a German pilot, or pilot for Germany, and the Dutch sea pilot remained on board until he returned. The captain applied to his agents at Rotterdam for a pilot. I do not know the agents’ names. The captain told me in off-hand conversation that the agents furnished the pilot. The pilot for Germany came on board the 21st, between 4-5 p.m. The sea pilot went ashore then and the other pilot took charge, I presume. I do not know the pilot's name. I had no conversation with the pilot until 11 o’clock that night, when I called him and he instructed me to cast the lead, and we found 17 fathoms and altered the course to NE. 44 E. I was on watch from 8 to 12 that night and from 8 to 11 the next morning, and during these periods had some conversation with the pilot. The pilot claimed to be a general pilot; he claimed to be a North Sea pilot. He said he had run into the Weser but said he had not been to Bremen or Bremerhaven since the war started. He was talking about ships which run from Rotterdam to the River Plate, and I assumed he was either master or mate of a ship on that run. He said he was not a government pilot, but a private pilot. He said nothing about holding a license either as master or pilot. I was informed by another pilot at the Hook that the Dutch government pilots are not allowed to leave Dutch waters, and could not make the trip to Germany. He seemed to know how to handle the ship all right; he knew his courses and he knew his distances. As he had been sent on board by the agents, I supposed he was qualified to take us in safely, but I believe now if he had been a qualified man he would have been better posted. During my watches on the night before and the day of the explosion the vessel was running at full speed. This was, of course, on the pilot's orders. The pilot never seemed anxious about mines. We had double outlook on watch for floating mines. We posted double lookouts after leaving Nab Lightship. We saw our first mines on Saturday morning, the 20th, by the North Hinder Lightship, west of there about 6 to 8 miles. We saw two groups of three mines each and passed between them, three on each side, about a quarter of a mile away from them. I saw the mines