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HMS LYNX

Built 1912 London & Glasgow Shipbuilding Co

950 tons Acasta-class Destroyer

266.0 ft x 27.0 ft x 9.0 ft

2 shaft Parsons Turbines, 4 Yarrow boilers, 24,500 shp giving 29 knots.
8th August 1915  Sunk after striking a mine,
24 miles SE of Wick.

 

HMS Lynx

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From Bob Baird’s : Shipwrecks of the North of Scotland

(Birlinn, 2003. ISBN 1 84158 233 6).

 

HMS LYNX was one of the Grand Fleet destroyers on patrol in the Moray Firth on the night of 8-9 August 1915.  An enemy minefield was known to exist, but its exact extent was not accurately known.

 

Three destroyers normally patrolled together, but HMS MIDGE was the only other destroyer on the patrol line with LYNX at the time. The torpedo boat destroyer, HMS OSPREY had been sent to deliver orders to the minesweeping trawlers, and she arrived later.

 

At 10.40 pm on 8 August, LYNX received a message that was sent to all of the destroyers on outer patrol in the Moray Firth, ordering them to keep at least five miles to the eastward of the N-R line (Noss Head to Rosehearty), and well clear of the minefield.

 

She struck a mine and sank at 06.10hrs on 9 August. Her Captain, Cdr.J.Cole was lost with 73 of his crew. There were only 26 survivors.

 

At the time LYNX was blown up there was no information that the minefield extended north of latitude 58°, but LYNX had been warned  by HMS FAULKNOR that it was feared the minefield extended across the Firth.

A signal made at 12.30pm on 8 August only directed LYNX to pass north of latitude 58°. She was sunk in latitude 5808N.

 

There was no evidence to show the exact position at the time of striking the mine, but survivors were picked up by the SS VULCANO about 8.30am in 580700N, 023830W.

 

The MIDGE had correctly interpreted the order to keep well outside the N-R line, but the Court took the view that it would be wrong to censure the late commanding officer of LYNX for not having taken the same view, and that recent sweeping had shown mines were laid eight miles outside the N-R line.

 

The explosion apparently occurred in front of No.1 boiler room, wrecking and severing the fore part of the ship, as far aft as No.1 boiler room.

 

A second violent explosion also occurred in the vicinity of No.1 boiler room, between 5 and 10 minutes after the first explosion. The Court of Enquiry was of the opinion that this was caused by the after part of the ship drifting against a second mine.

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SS VULCANO

Italian steamship

Navigazione Generale Italiana Line - G.Ravano

Built 1913 Cantieri Navali Riuniti

5,398 grt; 3,450 nrt; 394.3 ft x 51.7 ft x 27.3 ft

335 nhp; triple-expansion engines

Registered Genoa, Italy

18th October 1927 : Whilst on voyage from Quebec to Italy with wheat grain, she was rammed by SS UNION and sank off of Rimouski (Father Point), St. Lawrence River. No loss of life.

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Thanks to Bob Baird for

his kind permission to

include his text on the Loss of HMS LYNX.

 

 

 

Raymond Forward