Built in Moss, Norway 1927.
Cable layer. 344 gt.
Captain S. B. Johannessen. Struck a mine and sank off Elgsnes on July 11-1942.
The website "Skoleavisa.no" used to have the full story of the sinking of Landego, but the site has now been taken down. The webmaster, Per Skaugstad E-mailed me an article giving her 364 gt as per German Naval Documents, which add that she sank at a depth of 90 meters, position ca 68° 52,5` N 16° 15,4 E. Out of the German complement of 4, 2 were missing, while 7 were missing from the Norwegian complement of 14. The vessel was in the process of executing order "KKA 483" in the area Harstad West. The site also had a map of the place where the incident occurred and a letter from the Admiralty dated Febr. 16-1984, presumably to the webmaster (this letter was in English), which confirmed the depth and stated that Landego ran into a minefield layed on Jan. 24-1942 by the minelayer Cobra, giving the approx. position 68 52.5 N 16 15.4 E, also adding the precise navigational positions and type of mine (24 EMC spaced 125 metres from 68 52.1 N 15 57.7 E via 68 52.06 N 15 59.9 E to 68 52.26 N 16 01.85 E 20 EMC spaced 160 metres from 68 51.03 N 16 01.8 E via 68 50.75 N 16 03.4 E to 68 50.4 N 16 05.95 E and 13 EMC spaced 180 metres from 68 53.12 N 16 15.18 E via 68 52.4 N 16 14.9 E to 68 52.0 N 16 14.6 E). The website also had a document from the Norwegian Maritime hearings held at hotel Nobel in Harstad on July 21-1942, as well as the names of casualties and survivors, pictures of the 7 who died and a picture of the ship.
The article states that D/S Landego was requisitioned by Wehrmacht and handed over to Aussenstelle Tromsø T.B.V. to lay cables for the Germans. She had arrived Harstad on Friday, July 10, where the Germans wanted to take on board some supplies. That afternoon1st Mate Johannes A. Andreassen and the German Obermat Kawalevski went to the German authorities to let them know they were heading for Grøtavær around 11 the following day for further orders, and upon asking whether this would be ok they were given a positive reply. Landego departed Harstad the next day around 12:30, arriving Grøtavær about 14:30. Again the German authorities were contacted in order to find out where the cable was to go, whereupon they were told to go to Kasfjord to take on board a German leutenant who was to advise them on where to lay the cable. Landego's captain, therefore, assumed the route to be safe. They departed Grøtavær around 16:30, and according to the captain's statement the accident happened about 300 meters from land off inner Elgsnes, and the ship sank at a depth of about 50-60 meters. When the explosion occurred the 1st mate, Able Seamen Kåre Nilsen, Iver Iversen, Andreas Karlsen, Eilif Åvitstrand (Åvitsland?) and the captain were amidships, while Able Seaman Angell Pettersen and Alfred Oyentreych as well as the cable expert were on the bridge. Engineer Arnold Hansen was in the door to the engine room at the time.
Landego had about 100 tons telephone cables on board, and was equipped with 2 rafts, a motorboat, a lifeboat and 3 'work boats'. The lifeboat later drifted ashore, heavily damaged, as did one of the rafts, while the remaining boats and rescue equipment were destroyed in the explosion. People on land saw what had happened and immediately rowed out to the area. Survivors were in the water for 15-20 minutes before they were rescued.
Those who survived from Landego's regular crew were given work at the cable warehouse. Per Skaugstad adds that the wreck of Landego is listed as a diving site on the Internet so it has obviously been found.
Related external links:
Landego - Website for divers.
Back to Landego on the "Homefleet Ships starting with L" page.
Ofoten & Vesteraalens Dampskibsselskab had a vessel by this name in service as late as 1996, delivered as Landego on May 15-1975 to Saltens Dampskibsselskap, Bodø, 328 gt. Appears to be a local passenger/car ferry.