Sunday, 9 July 2017


The Canberra Times, Friday 3 January, 1930
A strange tale of an explosion heard at sea, off Yarmouth, England, on the night of Sunday, July 7, 1929, adds another grim skeleton to Davy Jones' cupboard.
The captain of the Swedish steamer "Anne Berg" was in the chart room working out his course to pass a lightship, when he was struck motionless. "I heard a tremendous explosion reverberate across the water," he said; "the helmsman shouted to me and Ijumped up to the wheelhouse. I was just in time to see a vessel, about four miles away across the port bow, disappear into the sea. She went down at an angle of about sixty degrees, and I saw only the head and foc'sle of the ship. The rest of her had already gone down. We steered at full speed to the spot, reaching it in twenty minutes. 
There was no sign of wreckage - not a piece of wood or oil or anything. I reckoned from what the helmsman told me, that she was a ship like our own, Swedish, and about 3,000 tons. We sent out an SOS and North Foreland wireless station told us a gunboat and a mine sweeper were rushing to the spot. We gave the exact position. About midnight, the British mine sweeper 'Selkirk' came alongside and hailed us, and we told her by Morse lamp that she was in the correct position. We said we had seen nothing, and asked if we might proceed, and the 'Selkirks' commander wirelessed: 'Yes, thank you very much.' "
The gunboat and the mine sweepersearched the sea for hours without result.

The assumption that an exploding steamer would leave significant wreckage in the vicinity is not always the case, as this report illustrates.

Furthermore, explosions were not only heard but felt at a distance of 4 miles. Captain Bruce's assumption that the Waratah exploded was false.

An explosion produces a mushroom cloud of smoke, NOT a dazzling red flash of light

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