Wist u dat...
De PG Thulin ooit een hoofdrol speelde in een internationaal gebeuren, wat tot op heden nog niet echt tot klaarheid is gekomen ?
Ik vond het onderstaande op StS....
Een ongelooflijk verhaal....een beetje moeilijk lezend: spaans en engels wisselen voorturend, dus leest 'niet lekker weg'....
En dat zou met dit verhaal ook ongepast zijn.
Luistert ! En huivert !
IMO Nº: 5267902
Name: P.G. Thulin
Type: Ore/oil carrier
Launch Date: 1.10.1955
Date of completion: 03.1956
Yard Nº: 555
Length overall: 193.2
Country of build: Netherland
Beam: 25.30 Mts.
Builder: Jan Smit
Location of yard:Alblasserdam
THE CRIMINAL ATTACK
All the crew had finished dinner when the Sun was already beginning to hide.
It was good weather, heat, and the visibility was about seven miles. At 19:50 - all times mentioned in this text are local - the ARANZAZU SIERRA, sailing at a speed of 12 knots, was about 15 miles to the southwest of Hogsty Reef (Island Great Inagua, in the archipelago of the Bahamas), 60 miles to the North of the island of Cuba's easternmost point and 80 miles from Guantanamo situation 21 ° 28'N and 74 ° 00'W, while the first officer on the bridge, and the second officer, in the machine, ended their respective watch. Suddenly an engines noise was heard by stern that seemed to belong to a motorboat approached without lights. About 15 metres from the stern fired a powerful reflector that lit up the name of the Spanish merchant and its port of registry. Few minutes before the clock showed eight in the evening the unknown boat gave a pass astern and disappeared between the darkness that hung over the sea.
At eight in the evening the relay of the guard was producing. On the bridge was going to be the captain of the next four hours and machine occupy the third engineer and an Oiler. While the first officer noted in the logbook the occurrences of his guard, Captain entered the bridge starboard spoiler, as it was his custom. In the quarter of defeat changed impressions and it was at this moment when the captain learned of the strange behavior of the unknown boat a few minutes before. The radio officer also came into the bridge to inform officials of the movement of active hurricanes. A few minutes later appeared two boats, one for each side, which was not possible to fully identified by the darkness that ruled.
Captain and first officer went to the wing, attentive to the evolution of "visitors" when, suddenly and without warning, which was about twenty meters by starboard fin began to shoot bursts of 30 caliber machine gun (or 7.62 mm) and 50 (or 12.70 mm), and 20 caliber cannons and 40 mm initiating the two one last towards the bow almost simultaneously.
The surprise was total and both immediately threw to the ground for cover. The target of the shooting was all the superstructure and bridge. Several bullets reached the captain on the left thigh, chest and belly. A blast that struck the chimney caused a fire in the tank from diary of diesel oil which fed fuel to the main engine, whose swollen liquid fell on the switchboard in the engine room.
All the crew, completely surprised when they heard the shooting, tried to protect themselves, flocking to protected places or by jumping to the ground. Despite the continuous blasts of the two boats, and once spare parts of the first printing, each of which was set up to help other colleagues who were in compromising situation. Radio officer and some sailors lent support to the captain, who remained injured on the ground. Immediately the fire reached large proportions and machinists, who initially thought that it might be warning shots to stop the ship, fell to the engine room to stop the main engine, which caused that the lights turn off (by the dynamo of tail). On leaving the engine room, first Machinist received a shot in the leg but without affecting the bone. The first full pass had lasted about four minutes, and the effect was devastating. The Telegrapher decided to return to the cockpit's radio, located on the same deck of the bridge, to deliver a message of distress, but between the fire and the antenna destroyed, the transmission was not possible.
Soon began a new pass, which would last for three long minutes. The first engineer, who had climbed to the Cabinet next to the defeat, received a new shot in the belly and the other in the face. On the bridge were the two bridge officers preparing a list of needs when it hit a bullet on one of the arms of the second officer, crunching is it leaving the bone exposed. On the SIERRA ARÁNZAZU lights had been switched on again the lights through the emergency group, although the fires were progressing dangerously and could occur explosions. There was no choice but to abandon the ship. The captain was trying to crawl to his cabin to pick up the documentation of the boat when through a gap was wounded again, this time in the chest. Despite being badly wounded not surrendered and requested from the ground urgently send a distress message, while he ordered the abandonment of the ship. Shortly after the lights went out definitely.
SALVAGE OF THE CREW
The first officer ordered to lower the boats. Completed the second pass men used to go to the portside boat (number two), the more accessible in those terrible moments, since the ship was burned and the only thing that could be done was to try to save the life. Some crewmen unharmed managed to help the wounded to cover, while others were unlashing the boat and doing jump rings to fall directly into the sea. They were practically 20:10 hours when all embarked on the lifeboat. Silently, but rapidly, the wounded were first accommodated and then boarded it the rest. The boat slowly separated from the smoky SIERRA ARANZAZU. The attackers illuminated them with reflectors although not fired, and began a third pass again strafing all the superstructure, which was burning like a torch. The attack lasted about ten minutes. -Based rowing (the boat had no engine) were heading north, guided by the Polar, to move away from the boat by the danger of explosion. The wounded count was dramatic: there were three very serious and six others with minor wounds.
The rudder first officer took over. The men who were better able to rowing with force, while some attending to the wounded and others bailing the water entering the boat by several bullet holes. Unable to do anything, the captain was dying on the bow, although it had not lost the knowledge. The wind was very loose in the West and the boat moved between one and two knots heading north, according to the intention of the first officer, who had decided to go to the Bahamas. At nine o'clock in the evening, after a short agony, the captain died. His body was covered with a shirt, when the distance was still distinguished in darkness at the burning SIERRA ARANZAZU. In these dramatic moments, pray or sing "Salve Marinera" was something that was done with the greatest hope and excitement.
On the portside bow got a lighthouse. However, this was not the fate of lifeboat. The second officer had to make a tourniquet on the injured arm because it was still losing enough blood. Despite carrying several boxes of cookies and two barrels of water, nobody could take anything because in the gorges has had installed a kind of knot. At half past eleven in the evening they noticed approaching a boat which approached, stopped and turned to walk away.
A few minutes same thing happened, without determining whether it was the same boat or another different, or even if it was the two who had been attacked hours earlier the Spanish merchant. At midnight everyone still working discipline as a single man, including the less seriously injured. All collaborating without a complaint, with an admirable fortitude.
At three o'clock in the morning, the attaché realized that the third machinist had died. An explosive bullet that affected the stomach had destroyed the whole breast. Water was entering through the orifices of the bullets to the boat, so with the carton of the boxes of cookies they made wedges to stop up them. In the darkness of the night and still glow that caused the fire of the SIERRA ARANZAZU, the occupants of the boat observed the lights of a ship that turned around the Spanish merchant and then moved away. This boat was the Dutch OBO P.G. THULIN, 18.718 GRT, in voyage from Chile to Baltimore (USA), with a call at the port of Curacao, and she was carrying a cargo of iron ore. In command was Captain Groendijk, who immediately communicated by radio with the U.S. Coast Guard who had just seen an unidentified ship burning.
At dawn, and thanks to the message of the P.G. THULIN, began work in search and rescue of the shipwrecked. At seven in the morning, when the light of day was full, although there were some clouds in the sky, the castaways discovered a boat heading southwest and emerged doubt follow him or change course towards the lighthouse. Before finding the solution appeared in the sky a plane from the U.S. Coast Guard based at Guantanamo who, after locating them, began to fly in a circle on them while he threw flares of smoke in the vicinity of the boat. The ship heading southwest was none other than the Dutch obo which, since the discovery of the SIERRA ARANZAZU burning, was looking for it repeatedly. The P.G. THULIN modified her course to approach the boat life that was still pointing the plane with its continuous circular flights. The rescue was imminent and the men stopped rowing waiting anxiously the arrival of rescuers, the second officer was very weak, although the wound not lost blood, and needed urgent medical attention.
The arrival of the P.G. THULIN occurred at ten in the morning. Approached with care up to the side of the boat and threw a Jacob’s scale. The entire crew of the Dutch ship (some were Spaniards and others, South American, also spoke Spanish) collaborated to help, first wounded and then to the unharmed, operations that were carried out in half an hour. They also hoisted the lifeboat with the bodies of the two who died and the seriously injured with the accoutrements of the port side strut. The injured were admitted to the infirmary, corpses were deposited in a cold chamber, and provided dry clothes and food to the unharmed.
After asking them for what happened, indignation in the saving ship crew was widespread to learn the true causes, since they thought that the reason for the fire of the SIERRA ARANZAZU was an accidental explosion. By then, the Cuban authorities had learned of the attack in international waters to the Spanish vessel and mobilized naval forces in the area.
In the Dutch obo bridge, Captain Groendijk posed is what to do in the presence of the first officer of the attacked ship. At that very moment they learned that the second officer had died. In the end, seeing the seriousness of some injured he decided to go to the nearest port, which was Matthew Town, Inagua Island, rather than continue trip to Baltimore, his first intention. Soon alter the course path of the Caribbean port appeared three small Cuban speedboats. After hoisting the signal "K" (stop your vessel immediately), the officer who was in charge of them went up to deck and went up to the bridge. The commander of the speedboat explained to the Dutch sea captain that had the mission of the Cuban Government to collect the shipwrecked and to transport them to Cuban territory. However, the captain Groendijk rejected the proposal and informed him that the shipwrecked would remain in his boat to the port that had planned: Matthew Town.
The cuban commander returner to her speed boat and all of them continued their way. At five o’clock evening the P.G. THULIN entered to Matthew Town road.
A port boat took men of the SIERRA ARANZAZU and his lifeboat, and led them to the pier. The dutch ship, at the end of his great work, continued the trip, having provided an attention exquisite to the suffered shipwrecked, knowing that upon arrival to US. expected to give account of the rescue. The injured men and the corpses were moved to a hospital; the first ones to attend them of the wounds and the second ones to do a recognition to them.
Little was the time spent at Matthew Town because then became an aircraft of the U.S. Navy to transport the wounded and three dead bodies to the U.S. base Guantanamo Bay. At eight in the evening he left the plane with the officer's radio group in charge.
Survivors were accomodated in the hotel where they spent the night. At all times they were treated with great kindness.
The first officer was quoted in the Commissioner Office to answer several questions in relation to what happened. The interview was conducted in English with interpreter. At noon on Tuesday 15, other aircraft of the U.S. Navy moved to the nine survivors to the airport of San Juan de Puerto Rico, where the Consul of Spain, Pedro Manuel de Aristegui, received them and a number of journalists and television cameras. The attack on the SIERRA ARANZAZU would have global impact.
THE SALVAGE OF THE SHIP
But what had happened with the Spanish ship? The weather had worsened and on Monday, September 14 already noticed the change. The three Cuban boats found the freighter in flames and reported her location: latitude 21 ° 40'N and longitude 74 ° 08'W. The Cuban tugboat 10 DE OCTUBRE, of 186 GRT, under the command of Captain Armando Laguna Lomas, departed at noon from Santiago de Cuba to the indicated situation, to extinguish the fire and proceed to tow the ship, only if possible. The Cuban tug was sailing to the maximum speed that allowed the state of the sea and heading east to El Paso de los Vientos, at which time he bow to the Northeast. At dawn on Tuesday september 15 finally sighted the SIERRA ARÁNZAZU, which was still burning and expelling a intense column of smoke. Nearby was the USCGS RELIANCE (WMEC-615), a cutter of the U.S. Coast Guard, which carried out manoeuvres to obstruct the approach of the Cuban tug, at the time a plane from the U.S. Coast Guard carried out flights in circles above them. Upon contacting the Spanish ship the tug put into operation the water cannons. Some men boarded her with hoses to try to put out fires that consumed the load of the holds and the inside of the superstructure.
Controlled the fires the tug 10 DE OCTUBRE made fast her to the starboard side to tow her towards the coast at the same time that was fighting the fire. With land in sight, the towage was missed and the men had to carry out a dangerous manoeuvre to recover it.
The day15th of September, the attack on the SIERRA ARÁNZAZU had already given the round the world. Headlines such as "cowardly and criminal attack on the "Sierra Aranzazu" in the waters of the Caribbean", "Brutal attack on the Sierra Aranzazu" or "Torpedo Speedboats anti-castro fired cannons to the "Sierra Aranzazu", inadmissible piracy", appeared in different Spanish publications. At the same time that the Ambassador of Spain in USA, Marquis of Merry del Val's, urgently requested an interview with Dean Rusk, U.S. Secretary of State, Cuban exiles assumed responsibility for the attack. On the other hand, the Cuban authorities accused the U.S. Government of being responsible for the attack on the Spanish ship. In Madrid, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Fernando María Castiella, sent to call us Ambassador to deliver the note of protest by the Spanish Government. Indignation in Spain was widespread about an incident with serious political and diplomatic implications.
Shortly after arrival in the Bay of Nipe began the salvage work which lasted sixteen days, with an uninterrupted schedule from seven in the morning to nine in the evening. The first task consisted of completely quell the fire of the merchant, thanks to the great work of the men who fought hard against the smoke and heat. Such was the difficulty in the group, under the command of the Chief of rescue Jacinto Malvar, several men were wounded by minor burns or suffocation. The SIERRA ARANZAZU presented a terrible condition, listed to portside, sunk and supported on the bottom because of the large quantity of water that was inside (established by technicians in around 3,000 tonnes). After a rigorous count, in the hull and the superstructure are became counted about 800 bullet holes, some up to 15 centimeters in diameter. In recognition of the recovered remains of bullet calibers 30, 50 and 40 mm.
Thanks to the floating crane BOHEMIA, with a loading capacity of 30 tons, arriving from La Havana towed by the tug CRISTINO NARANJO, the hatch covers could be opened up with the purpose to pump out the water and remove the remains of the cargo, both the usable (rather scarce in lathe of 20 per cent of the total) as that was completely lost. It was possible to salve part of the dollies, the clthes, cognac and some garlics, and all the agricultural material. The Wednesday 30th of September, at the afternoon four and a half hours, the salvage works were completed and the SIERRA ARANZAZU left under towage her “dry dock” at Punta Cigarro to anchor in another place which allowed to finish the unloading and cleaning works. Another twenty additional days were necessary to carry out the provisory repairs to allow her in seaworthy condition. This consisted in covering the large quantity of holes throughout the hull and the repairs on the main engine. Once ready was moved to the Antilla pier waiting for her destination. She remained there a few days.
In the salvage operations of the spanish merchant ship participated the naval engineers Enrique Tortosa and Juan José Grávalos, sent from Spain by the Spanish Salvage Association (Comisariado Español Marítimo and Marítima del Norte (Sener) mrespectively.
ALL RETURN HOME
At eight in the evening of Tuesday 15 arrived by plane at San Juan, Puerto Rico the wounded and the telegrapher, meet in the Caribbean city all the survivors. The stay in Guantanamo had been very good, with a treatment and a very correct at all times. An admiral of the base greeted them upon arrival and, in spite of its strangeness, not asked about the details of the attack. The most delicate wounded were interned in the Auxilio Mutuo de Santures Hospital. Wednesday 16 arrived the mortal remains of the three deceased crew members while the first officer performed the official procedures, among which was the "sea protest" before the Consul of Spain. On Thursday, 17 departed for the Peninsula thirteen of the crew members after receiving a collective passport. Three others were wounded - Jose Luis Barrenechea, Ramon Riveiro and Ramon Ugarte - still recovering at a hospital less seriously injured. Also stayed with them the attache Guillermo Manjón.
The reception of the first group of the SIERRA ARANZAZU crew was the same Thursday 17 at quart to nine hours in the morning, at Barajas airport. Family members, friends and numerous authorities, chaired by the Undersecretary of the Merchant Navy Leopoldo Boado, gathered to receive the first 13 men. Four of them, presenting prognosis reserved by shrapnel, wounds were transferred to Madrid's Ruber clinic. 18th Friday evening departed for Spain the three wounded and the aggregate. On the same plane were the bodies of the three dead crew.
Their arrival was at noon on Saturday 19 and again they were waiting at Barajas family, friends and authorities, with the Minister of Comercio Alberto Ullastres head. Coffins, covered with the Spanish flag, were transported from aircraft to shoulder by officers of the merchant marine and the Navy until a hall of the airport, where the Vicar of the Central jurisdiction of the Navy prayed a funeral prayer. They were then introduced in separate hearses for transfer to their places of origin in order to receive Christian burial. Coinciding with the arrival of the last crew and coffins, held the Saturday afternoon a demonstration of a few thousand people outside the Embassy of the United States in Madrid. The demonstrators chanted cries as: "Killers" or "Cuba yes, Yankees no". The police, with approximately 150 men, did not go so far as to intervene and after one hour they dissolved pacifically. Days later, in the Church of San Jerónimo Real a funeral was celebrated by the victims of the SIERRA ARÁNZAZU with assistance of numerous authorities, partners of Marítima del Norte and persons related to the marine business.
The captain Pedro Ibargurengoitia García was descended from a family of merchant marine. His father, also captain, had died at sea in 1940. He was born on April 21, 1922 in Gorliz (Vizcaya). He was married to María Basarrate and had two young children. Since his entrance to the shipping company, just six months earlier, was under the command of the SIERRA ARANZAZU. He worked in the North Sea since 1958 (formerly worked in the shipping company Ybarra) and lived in Algorta.
The second officer, Francisco Javier Cabello Fernández, was born on 8 June 1934 and was single. His family was originally from Valladolid and was the fourth of six siblings, three males and three females. He lived in Vigo and he was in the shipping line from the month of August 1964.
The third engineer, José Vaquero Iglesias, was born on June 21, 1941 in Villablino (Leon). He was the second of six brothers and was single. He lived in his hometown.
It is worth emphasizing that the Cuban Government resigned from the cashing of the expenses for rescue and tow of the SIERRA ARÁNZAZU, in addition to indemnifying the crew members.
Jan DB Vos