A SALVAGE SQUABBLE. DRASTIC ACTION BY ADMIRALTY
(From Our Own Correspondent.) LONDON, Ist March. An extraordinary situation has arisen in, connection with the salvage of submarine A3, sunk at the beginning of February off the Isle of Wight, and it is apparent that a comical battle is proceeding between the Admiralty and Dr. Carlo Iberti, of the Sea Salvage Company, who was originally entrusted with the salvage operations. Dr. Iberti was given the contract to raise and deliver the A3 into Portsmouth Dockyard, and on Saturday night he received a communication from the Com-mander-in-Chief at Portsmouth saying he had been advised by the Admiralty that the Sea Salvage Company wae to cease operations and hand over the work of salving tho submarine to the dockyard authorities. The doctor forcibly expressed his indignation at the order, as he said the work was almost finished. "It only remained for my divers to fix one 9in wire hawser round the submarine," he said, "and then all was in readiness for me to lower my elevators, and, given favourable weather at slack water on the next two tides, I should have towed the submarine into Portsmouth. Dockyard." Dr. Iberti refused to withdraw from the scene, denying that the Admiralty had any right to terminate his agreement. The Admiralty's forces assembled in fctaxmg array and made war on the company. As fast as«the rope •for guiding the divers to thesunken submarine was dropped into position it -was cut by the Admiralty's forces. Seven times wa« the rope lowered by Dr. lberti's orders ; seven times were the divere prepared to descend ; seven times was the rope- cut. Tired lof playing thie game as dusk came on, Dr. Iberti retired for the night. The next day hostilities were resumed, and on this occasion the master of the tug was warned of the consequence of hk conduct. OPINION AT PORTSMOUTH. This is the course of events since the A 3 was sunk in collision with H.M.tJ. Hazard off the Culver Cliffs, Isle of Wight. February 3. — Salvage operations commenced by the Admiralty. Lighters for lifting submarine arrive from Portsmouth Dockyard. February 4.— Dr. Carlo Iberti offers to raise the submarine with apparatus (his own invention) he has installed on board the Sea Salvage. February 6. — Admiralty accept offer and contract ie signed. February 11. — Sea Salvage steamer arrives at Portsmouth Harbour to coal. February .. 13.— Sea . Salvage steamer with Dr. Carlo Iberti on board leaves Portsmouth to begin operations at scene of disaster. February 24.— Dr. Carlo Iberti receives a letter from the Commaiider-in-Chief of Portsmouth Dockyard, stating that he must remove his snip from the ecene of operations and hand over the work <ai salving the A 3 to the dockyard authorities. February 25. — Dr. Iberti refuses to do so, and makes several attemp & to continue hi* work, but its stoppod by the Admiralty. It is the opinion of many marine experts at Portsmouth that Dr. Iberti, as his operations have been impeded by bad weather, should have been' allowed to finish his task, which appears to have been almost completed. Now that "Yard Craft No. 94," built for raising submarines,, has arrived on the scene, the Admiralty felt that it could dispense with his services. Dr. Iberti's contract says nothing about its termination, but stipulates that he shall be paid £100 a day for seven days, and that no further payment shall be made until the submarine is delivered at the dockyard to fhe • satisfaction of t*Ee Commiander-in-Chief. Then £1000 shall be paid, in addition to the £100 daily for seven days. Though Dr. Iberti had spent twelve daya in the salvage work, the weather had only allowed him to work , effectively • on two of those- days. If he is not allowed to finish the raising the £1000 . cannot be earned. . . NarvaJ opinion in Portsmouth is thafc the Admiralty's action is perfectly justified. It is recalled 'that the company have had no chance of carrying out their contract in face of the terrible weather conditions that have prevailed, but the point is that when the contract'was entered into it was not known that the big lighter was on its way from Chatham. It was at once appreciated that the dockyard staff was perfectly ablo to raise the submarine, and the Admiralty decided that in these circumstances no good purpose coold be served by continuing to pay the Salvage Company.
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Evening Post, Evening Post, Volume LXXXIII, Issue 84, 9 April 1912
SUBMARINE A3. Evening Post, Volume LXXXIII, Issue 84, 9 April 1912
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