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SUBMARINE A3.

A SAYAC.F. SQUAHISLE. DRASTIC ACTION UY ADMIRALTY. (Kuoii Oun Own ComrEsrosnKKT.l LONDON, March 1. An fxtiii-ordinary situation has arisen in connection wil-h tlic salvage of_ submarine A3, sunk at tho beginnuig oi 1- cl.ruary off the Isle of Wight, and it is apparent that a Mimical battle is procecdinp between the Admiralty and Dr Carlo Iberti, <,{ the Sea Salvage Company, who was originally entrusted with the salvage operations. , t , , Dr Ihcrti was given the contract to raise and deliver the A3 into Portsmouth Dockyard, and on SjvtuiOay he received a communication from the Com-mander-in-Chief at Portsmouth saying he had been advised bv the Adiiuniltv that Ihe Sea Salvage Company was to cease operations and hand over the work of salving the 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 lix one Sin wire hawser round" the suumarine," lie saut, •' ami 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. Ihe Admiralty's forces assembled in strong array, and made war on the company, m fast as the rope for guiding the divers to the sunken submarine was dropped into position it wa6 cut by the Admiralty s fortes. Seven times was the rope lowered by l)r lborti's orders; seven times were the divers prepare!! to descend ; seven times was the rope cut. I ired of placing this game as dusk came on, l)r Iberti retired for the night. The noxt day hostilities were resumed, and on this occasion the master of the tug was warned of the consequences of his conduct. This is the course of events sincc the A3 was sunk in collision with 11.M.5. Hazard oil the Culver ClitFs, Isle of Wight: — February 3.—Salvage operations commenced by tin* Admiralty, Lighters for lifting submarine arrive from Portsmouth Dockyard. February 4.—l)r Carlo Iberti offers to raise the submarine with apparatus (his own invention) he lias installed on board the Sea Salvage. February 6—Admiralty accepts offer, and contract is 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 oi disaster. February 24.—Dr Carlo Iberti receives a letter from the Commander-in-Chief of Portsmouth Dockyard stating that Ik must remove his shin from the scene of operations, and hand over the work of Halving tho A3 to the dockyard authorities. February 25.—Dr Iberti refuses to do so, awl makes several attempts to continue bis work, but is stopped 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 l>een allowed to finish his task, which appears to have been almost completed. Now that "\ard Craft No. 94," built for raising submarines, has arrived on the scene, tho Admiralty felt that- it could dispense with his scrvioes. l)r 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 the satisfaction of tho Commander-in-Chief. Then £1000 shall lie paid, in addition to the £100 daily for seven days. Though Dr Iberti had spent. 12 davs 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. Naval opinion at Portsmouth is that the Admiralty's action is perfectly justified. H is recalled that the company has had no chance of carrying out its contract in face of the terrible weather conditions tlsit have prevailed, hut the |Kiint is that when the contract was entered into it was not known that the big lighter w;ts on its way from Chatham. It was at once appreciated that tho dockyard staff was perfectly able to raise the submarine, and the Admiralty decided that in those circumstances no good purpose could he served by continuing to pay tho Salvage Company.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ODT19120410.2.90

Bibliographic details

Otago Daily Times, Otago Daily Times, Issue 15424, 10 April 1912

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SUBMARINE A3. Otago Daily Times, Issue 15424, 10 April 1912

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