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Manager: Wallem & Co. A/S, Bergen
Delivered from Seattle Constr. & Dry Dock Co., Settle, Washington in May-1917 as Golden Gate to Knut Knutsen O.A.S., Haugesund. "Våre gamle skip" gives tonnages as 4796 gt, 3016 net, 7627 tdwt, 381.4' x 53.1' x 27', triple exp. (Seattle Constr.). Temporarily requisitioned by Britain, back to Knut Knutsen in 1920, owner D/S A/S Golden Gate. In 1928 she became the first ship in the company's Den Skandinaviske Syd-Pacific Linje. Sold to Wallem & Co. in May-1936, renamed Goviken.
Captain: Georg Heldal
Please compare the above voyages with Arnold Hague's Voyage Record below.
(Received from Don Kindell - His source: The late Arnold Hague's database).
Errors may exist, and her 1940 voyages are missing.
As can be seen when going to Page 1 of the archive documents, Goviken was in Hong Kong when war broke out in Norway on Apr. 9-1940, having arrived from Calcutta that same day. Her 1941 voyages also start on this document.
According to Arnold Hague, she took part in the Aden-Suez Convoy BN 20 in March-1941. The Norwegian Norma and Ramø are also listed in this convoy, which left Aden on March 17 and arrived Suez on the 25th; this agrees with what can be found on the archive document. A direct link to more information on this convoy has been provided within the Voyage Record above.
Goviken had unloaded a cargo in Alexandria in the summer of 1942, and after departure she was attacked by a bomber, but due to her effective defense the bombs landed in the sea and she was not hit. Exact date not known - her voyages in this period are shown on Page 2. She was less fortunate on June 29 that year, however, when she was hit by a torpedo from the Japanese submarine I-20 (T. Yamada) while en route from Aden (June 17) to Lourenco Marques, position 13 15S 41 35E*. She had 750 tons salt for ballast. The torpedo struck in the after part, blowing the propeller and the starboard lifeboat away. Goviken sank within 20 minutes.
No. 1 lifeboat was launched and held 26 Chinese, 3 British gunners and the 2nd mate, the latter having been picked up from the water, because he had sent out SOS before going to the boat, which was already away from the ship. No. 2 boat was also lowered with 2 Chinese and the 3rd mate, but the line suddenly broke so this boat drifted off leaving 20 men on board. 1 of the British gunners and 1 Chinese crew transferred from No. 1 to No. 2 boat and the latter was then rowed up to the ship, whereupon the 3rd engineer lowered himself down by a line and had been taken into the boat when another torpedo suddenly came from the starboard side and passed No. 2 boat and the stern of the ship at a distance of 10 meters before exploding about 100 meters from the port quarter. At this point, the Chinese panicked and started to row away from the ship against the 3rd mate's orders, and it being a very heavy boat made of iron the 2 Norwegians were unable to row back to the ship against the wind and seas, the 3rd engineer already being exhausted from his swim, and the 3rd mate also exhausted from having rowed back to get the 3rd engineer. The British gunner could not help because he had been injured when he was thrown from the gun platform and down on deck when the torpedo struck. The result was that No. 2 boat drifted further and further away from the ship, and soon both boats were out of sight of the remaining 19 on board.
Orders were then given to lower a small boat and the smallest motorboat, with 10 Chinese in the former, and 5 Chinese, the 1st and 2nd engineers, the 1st mate and the captain in the latter. When this boat had drifted clear of the ship's side it suddenly capsized due to the heavy seas, but those who had been in it were able to keep afloat on their lifevests. Shortly afterwards the 1st engineer was seen floating face down in the water; they turned him over but he was not alive. Later that night they lost sight of the 1st mate. The others looked for rafts and debris all night, but nothing but oil could be seen, nor did they see any of the lifeboats.
At dawn on June 30, 8 men were swimming near the capsized, sunken motorboat. 1 man from the other boat, Trimmer Chang Ah Chin had joined the 7 floating on their vests, telling them his boat had also capsized. Around noon, 2 of the Chinese drowned from exhaustion (Carpenter Lam Hong Poo and Stoker Sang Chin Mei).
Later that afternoon the survivors saw a ship with a course in their direction, and when it was about 200-300 meters away their calls for help were heard and at about 16:00 the captain, the 2nd engineer and 4 Chinese crew were rescued by the Swedish M/S Eknaren, after having been in the water for 18 hours. However, already the next day they were back in lifeboats after that ship had also been torpedoed (Japanese I-16, July 1). My Guestbook has a message with some more information from Gunnar Kryger, who was on board Eknaren at the time. The 2nd engineer reached land on the coast of Mozambique in one of Eknaren's lifeboats, then travelled to Lourenco Marques by plane, before continuing by train to Durban 3 days later, with arrival July 13. The captain and the 4 Chinese were picked up by D/S Mundra, which in turn was torpedoed by the Japanese sub I-18 (Otani) on July 6, and again the 5 men from Goviken found themselves in a lifeboat (J. Rohwer says Mundra was sunk on July 8 - this is incorrect). 2 Chinese, Able Seaman Chang Chin Sang and Quartermaster Lam Hing Yen were landed in Durban on July 8 after the sinking of Mundra, having been picked up from a lifeboat by a Norwegian whale catcher. The former was injured and was taken to a hospital in Durban. Captain Heldal and the remaining 2 Chinese, Quartermaster Lan Kwan and Trimmer Chang Ah Chin arrived Durban on July 7 with the British D/S Dundrum Castle. The captain had injured his foot which had subsequently become infected and also had to spend quite some time in a hospital in Durban.
The 3rd mate, the 3rd engineer, a British gunner and 3 Chinese had been picked up from No. 2 lifeboat in the morning of June 30 by D/S Rockley (should this be Rodsley?) which landed them in Cape Town on July 9, while the 2nd mate, 2 British gunners and 25 Chinese crew had been picked up from No. 1 lifeboat in the afternoon of July 1 by the British D/S Phemius which landed them in Cape Town on July 10. The maritime hearings were held there on Aug. 6-1942 with Captain Heldal, the 2nd and 3rd mates, and the 3rd engineer appearing.
Related external links:
Back to Goviken on the "Ships starting with G" page.
The text on this page was compiled with the help of: "Nortraships flåte", J. R. Hegland, "Våre gamle skip", by Leif M. Bjørkelund & E. H. Kongshavn, "Sjøforklaringer fra 2. verdenskrig", Volume I (Norwegian Maritime Museum) and misc. for cross checking details (ref. My sources).