18th January 1908 –
Suevic returns to service

SUEVIC-1901_01On 18th January 1908, White Star’s Suevic returned to commercial service after rebuilding following grounding on 17th March 1907. She had been built at Harland & Wolff, Belfast, and was launched on 8th December 1900. A twin-propeller steamship, she was designed for the Australian service, with refrigerated capacity for 100,000 carcasses of mutton, plus 20,000 bales of wool. She was requisitioned in 1900 for use as a troopship during the Boer War.

Suevic and rocksOnce released, she settled into her regular commercial service. On 2nd February 1907 she sailed from Melbourne for Liverpool, with planned stops at Cape Town, Tenerife and Plymouth, before arriving at London. Leaving Tenerife on 13th March, by 17th March she was approaching The Lizard, sailing in thick fog, but was off-course, and ran onto Maenheere Rocks. Suevic‘s own boats and two lifeboats rescued the passengers. A specialist salvage team was sent out, and passengers’ luggage was saved, and most of the wool and grain aboard was removed.

Suevic separatedSuevic was hard aground, and eventually the decision was taken to use a series of 30 small charges of dynamite to separate the damaged bows from the rest of the vessel. The operation was successful, and the stern section was towed to Southampton.

Suevic bow launchIn the meantime, a new bow section was built from the original plans, at Belfast, and then towed stern-first to Southampton. On 4th November 1907 the two sections were joined up successfully. The rebuilt ship left Southampton on 8th January 1908. Her later service included transporting Australian and New Zealand troops during the Great War. In 1928 she was sold to Norway and converted into a whale factory ship, Skytteren. On 1st April 1942, while attempting to escape the Nazis, she was scuttled.