Sjøforklaring 1939 - 1945
Informasjonen nedenfor vedr. skip i Nortraships flåte er direkte avskrift av orginalkilden "Sjøforklaringer fra andre verdenskrig (1940 - 1945)". Informasjonen her er fra sjøforklaringer holdt under og rett etter krigen og kan derfor avvike noe fra den øvrige kvalitetssikrede informasjonen i Krigsseilerregisteret.
NORWEGIAN MILITARY SURGEON TELLS STORY OF TEN SUB-ZERO DAYS IN LIFEBOAT
Blond, thirty-year old surgeon lietutenant A. Egede-Nissen, of the Royal Norwegian Navy Air Force, described the experiences of the crew of the torpedoed Norwegian motor-tanker "Nyholt", who spent ten days in sub-zero weather in a lifeboat in the North Atlantic before they were discovered by a Lockheed Hudson convoy bomber, and were brought in to a Canadian port on January 27.
The first torpedo hit the ship at ten-thirty in the evening. The ship only listed slightly and was able to proceed at at fairly reasonable speed against a hevay wind until two-thirty in the morning, when it was hit by a second and a third torpedo, and the men were ordered into the boats. Only one of the lifeboats saw the submarine, and then because they collided. The men in the lifeboat had to push their boat free of the submarine. And still the ship itself didn't sink, and they could see the submarine shelling the ship for three quarters of an hour, before they drifted out of sight.
They had successfully got out four lifeboats. The men on two of the lifeboats were brought on board the large motor lifeboat, and later on the captain, who had left the ship as the last man off by jumping into the water, was exchanged into the motor lifeboat, where he could be taken better care of. The remaining boat set sail. There were fifteen men on board, and they have not since been heard from In the motor lifeboat, the Arctic weather put nine out of the 24 men practically out of action, and the rest had to fight so as not to succumb to the cold. The surgeon-lieutenant said that he himself very nearly frose to death during their last night out. He had not slept for more than one hour in a reclining position during all the nine days, and had lain down next to the engine box under the covering of a sail, and was awakened by somebody knocking against him when he realized that he was passing out. Next to him was another man in the same situation whom he awakened, and whose life was probably saved in that manner.
The surgeon-lieutenant was enthusiastic about the now-famous Norwegian rubberized twill lifesaving suit, of which some 15.000 have been furnished to Norwegian merchant vessels, and another 8.000 are on order from the United States Rubber Company. Those members of the crew who had the lifesaving suits were literally saved from freezing to death by this lifesaving suit that covers the whole body, and protects the wearer from wind and moisture, while allowing him to move about and work. The captain, who had not put on the lifesaving suit before he abandoned ship, died before they reached land. In spite of desparate efforts of other members of the crew (the second mate lying on top of him and trying to keep im warm). A forty-five year old Scottish member of the crew who didn't have the suit with him froze to death. So did two further members of the crew. The surgeon-lieutenant said that in one case the lifesaving suit undoubtedly saved the life of a member of the crew, although it had become wet inside. His observations confirmed the experiences of shipping men both in this war and the last, that quite as many losses of men are due to exposure as to injury or drowning.
On the ninth day out, the spied a Locheed Hudson bomber returning from convoy duty. They exchanged signals with some difficutly. The bomber then started to circle and contiued to circle round the lifeboat, clearly to give the boys courage, and dropped a lifebelt with provisions attached to it, two thermos bottles, food and sandwiches, which were to have been the lunch of the crew of the bomber. This was at ten A.M. on January 26. Four and a half hours later a destroyer arrived. They were taken aboard, and were given the most magnificent reception, the surgion-lieutenant said, and the best possible medical care. But the captain, who was the last to leave his ship, died before they reached land.