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AFTON

Manylion y Safle

© Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey licence number 0100022206

NPRN 274838

Cyfeirnod Map SM88NE

Cyfeirnod Grid SM8578785933

Awdurdod Lleol Arforol

Hen Sir Arforol

Cymuned Maritime

Math o Safle LLONGDDRYLLIAD

Dosbarth Cyffredinol ARFOROL

Cyfnod Ôl-Ganoloesol

Disgrifiad o´r Safle Archaeological remains associated with the loss of this vessel are not confirmed as present at this location, but may possibly be in the vicinity.

Event and Historical Information:
The AFTON was a steel-hulled steamship built by D J Dunlop & Co, Port Glasgow, in 1911. Technical and configurations specifications are given as 1156gt, 486nt; 242ft 4in length x 34ft 2in breadth x 16ft depth; 2 x decks, passenger and boat deck 151ft, forecastle 47ft; screw propulsion powered by single steam boiler linked to a triple expansion engine producing 226hp. At time of loss on 15 February 1917, the vessel was owned by William Sloan & Co, Glasgow, and was on passage from Bristol to Belfast and Glasgow. It had left Bristol, 11pm on 14 February 1917. The master was master Peter Whyte and intelligence accounts collated by the Admiralty contain his statement - 'About 1pm 15 February I heard a peculiar noise in the water and looking over the side I observed a torpedo passing about six yards ahead of us. Five minutes later a shot was fired from an enemy submairne on the starboard quarter, striking our hull amidships on the starboard side.A second shot struck us a little further aft and a third exploded among the boats… At the time the torpedo was fired, a vessel, presumably one of the Cork SS Co was on my port beam distant about half a mile and heading in the opposite direction. When firing commenced she was probabaly 1 1/4 to 2 miles distant. The torpedo which missed me passed within a few yards only of this vessel's stern. When the enemy boarded the ship then proceeded into the cabin and removed chart, clocks, barometers, portable lamps, knives, forks and such provisions as were handy. I may add that the commander of the submarine was polite throughout. He stated that he was sorry to do such dirty work but that he had to do his duty. He also instructed me to have another boat lowered and to obtain as much clothing as possible for my men.' The U-boat number was UC- 65 was commanded by Oberleutnant zur See Otto Steinbrinck. All of the AFTON's crew made it into the lifeboats, with only two being slightly injured. The recorded location of the sinking was 23 miles north by east of Strumble Head.

Sources include:
ADM 137/3980 Home Waters Ships Attacked February 13 - 20 1917, The National Archives, Kew
Goddard, T, 1983, Pembrokeshire Shipwrecks, pg 104
Larn and Larn Shipwreck Database 2002
Lloyds Register of British and Foreign Shipping, 1 July 1915 - 30 June 1916, number 302 in A
Mercantile Navy List, 1915, page 8.
Northern Whig- Monday 19 February 1917, Page 8.

WWW Resources
U-Boat - https://uboat.net/wwi/ships_hit/81.html.

Maritime Officer, RCAHMW, May 2019.