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MINED IN THE NORTH SEA.

LOSS OP THE PATHFINDER. 232 MEN PERISH IN FOUR MINUTES. Within view of the brown headland of St. Abb's and the golden ’ cornfields along the Berwickshire coast, the scout cruiser Pathfinder (Captain Francis Martin Leake) was blown Tip by a mine laid by a dastardly enemy in the North Sea. The disaster occtured under a tranquil sky and in a placid sea on Saturday afternoon, September 5, and in four minutes the trim ship had disappeared. The mine hud shuck her, apparently, in a vital part, probably near .he magazine. Of her crew of 300 men only 58 were resorted The cruiser had been patrolling the Kcrwickshire coast for sonic day?, and at the moment of disaster was steaming briskly in the regular trading toiito betwien England and Scotland. Almost midway between two coastal landmarks —St. Abb’? Hi ad and May Xsbmd — wml IQ miles oft the mainland, t.be deadly mine was encountered. T ' l?hl ' r ; men on a trawler three . nvles away . fit the shock of the great, explosion, and peasants in the yellow fields and Kimpie to.k in i« straggling villages were startled and puzzled by the cloud of steam and smoke at _ h J The crew of a Grauton trawler raw ihe I a 1 finder poised momentarily on her jcforo she plunged, a battered wrec.r, into it calm North Sea. In less than hye mmu.oi; the* cruiser bad gone from the lace * t

waipm. The dismayed fishermen and countrv folk were quick' to spring to the aid of the survivors. In a few minutes the coastguards and trawlers were hurrying to tho men clinging to the drifting wreckage. A motor lifeboat-—ibe I*iaher Lassie meed from St Abb's coastguard station, and was presently followed by six cteam drifters out of Evcniouth. Then there hurried at top 1 speed' a torpedo destroyer, which had been operating five miles away, probably m conjunction with the Pathfinder. She was at iho scene of the explosion in ft quarter or an" hour, and a little later was joined by another three destroyers, motor lifeboats, trawlers and lifeboats. It was later announced that 58 men had been rescued. They wc taken on tbo torpedo destroyers to Queens ferry. Of that number, 16 were inured, 4 of whom died on the way to the t - rrrv Altogether about 90 of wounded and dead were picked no by the torpedo deslroy--1 The sirv'vcrs' iuelnd'd several officers and Captain Leake, the commander U '< understood ib.it the loss ot htc totalled 232 av.tsi ;yu cuonuoMS. amount of wreck- ' age. showing the tremendous force of tbo explosion. The enii.'Ti., indeed, was P'3'J 1 - ,■ 1 11 v blown to pieces , .V memento of tbo disaster was the ship's Bible and ortinr 01 , r ;i, service. Miuiv cve-witncsses slated ■ha- Iho cruiser disappeared .». about tour nmnues n-'ter tbo exp'mion, which shot up n,.m column of smoko, flame, and steam. I The hiiuric of dm oitii were ot a serious I '

The prevailing belief of tho coastal men about St. Abb’s is that the mine which the gunboat struck had drifted out of the North Sea, as trading vessels had passed daily over the same area r or about a fortnight. Several fishermen declared that prior to tho disaster they saw a trawler in the area where the mine \v~Ets encountered, but little credence was given to the statement. The Pathfinder was the leader of a patrol destroyer flotilla. She was built at Birkenhead in 1904, and was one of eight vessels intended to act as scouts for battle squadrons. She was of 2,940 tons displacement, and vras capable of attaining a speed ot 25.3 kuotv. Her mam armament of nine 4in guns and two The cost of construction was £2IO,ODD.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD19141030.2.72

Bibliographic details

MINED IN THE NORTH SEA., Evening Star, Issue 15637, 30 October 1914

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626

MINED IN THE NORTH SEA. Evening Star, Issue 15637, 30 October 1914

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