SS Iberian (1900)

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History
Name: Iberian
Owner: Leyland Frederick & Co. Ltd.
Port of registry: United Kingdom Liverpool, United Kingdom
Route: Manchester - Boston
Builder: Sir James Laing & Sons, Ltd.
Yard number: 576
Launched: 1900
Completed: 1900
In service: 1900
Out of service: 30 July 1915
Identification: 113367
Fate: Torpedoed and sunk
General characteristics
Type: Cargo ship
Tonnage: 5,223 GRT
Length: 133.2 metres (437 ft 0 in)
Beam: 14.9 metres (48 ft 11 in)
Depth: 9.1 metres (29 ft 10 in)
Installed power: triple expansion engine
Propulsion: Single screw propeller
Speed: 12 knots

SS Iberian was a British cargo ship that was torpedoed by SM U-28 in the Atlantic Ocean 9 nautical miles (17 km) south west of the Fastnet Rock (51°15′N 9°36′W / 51.250°N 9.600°W / 51.250; -9.600Coordinates: 51°15′N 9°36′W / 51.250°N 9.600°W / 51.250; -9.600) while she was travelling from Manchester, United Kingdom to Boston, United States with a rich cargo.[1]

Construction[edit]

Iberian was constructed in 1900 at the Sir James Laing & Sons Ltd. shipyard in Sunderland, United Kingdom. She was launched and completed in 1900. The ship was 133.2 metres (437 ft 0 in) long, with a beam of 14.9 metres (48 ft 11 in) and a depth of 9.1 metres (29 ft 10 in). The ship was assessed at 5,223 GRT. She had a triple expansion engine driving a single screw propeller and the engine was rated at 470 nhp.[2]

Sinking[edit]

While Iberian was travelling from Manchester, United Kingdom to Boston, United States with a rich cargo. She was spotted by SM U-28 in the Atlantic Ocean 9 nautical miles (17 km) south west of the Fastnet Rock, Ireland. SM U-28 fired a torpedo at the Iberian which hit her stern killing 7 crew. Iberian sank stern first beneath the waves, officers from the U-boat reported that the steamer sank so swiftly that its bow stuck up almost vertically into the air before finally sinking shortly after the attack.[3]

Mysterious sea monster[edit]

However 25 seconds after Iberian sank beneath the waves at a depth estimated to be 915 metres (3,002 ft 0 in), her boilers exploded and send not only pieces of debris to the surface, but also a gigantic aquatic animal.[4]

At that moment SM U-28's captain, chief engineer, navigator, helmsman, engineer officer and an able seaman were in the conning tower of the submarine. They all witnessed a crocodile-like creature writhing and struggling 25 metres (82 ft 0 in) high into the sky among the debris of the ship after Iberian's boilers exploded. The crew stated that the aquatic crocodile was about 20 metres (65 ft 7 in) long, with four limbs resembling large webbed feet, a long pointed tail and a head which also tapered to a point. Unfortunately the crew were not able to take a photograph, since the animal sank out of sight after just ten or fifteen seconds.[5]

The creature however was never seen again after this encounter and to this day there have not been any questions answered about the creature's whereabouts or origin.[citation needed]

Wreck[edit]

Iberian sank 9 nautical miles (17 km) south west of the Fastnet Rock, Ireland at a depth of about 104 metres (341 ft 2 in) (51°15′N 9°36′W / 51.250°N 9.600°W / 51.250; -9.600).

References[edit]

  1. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Ships hit during WWI: Steamer Iberian". German and Austrian U-boats of World War I - Kaiserliche Marine - Uboat.net. Retrieved 15 January 2016.
  2. ^ "Iberian Cargo Ship 1900-1915". Wrecksite.eu. 22 October 2009. Retrieved 15 January 2016.
  3. ^ "U-28 Creature". Unknownexplorers.com. 2006. Retrieved 15 January 2016.
  4. ^ "Baron Von Forstner and the U28 sea serpent of July 1915". 11 December 2009. Retrieved 15 January 2016.
  5. ^ "U-28 Abomination". Cryptopia.us. 2002. Retrieved 15 January 2016.