Date(s) - Aug 25, Sun
Load from 08:30, ropes off 10:00
This Danish built, Belgian owned 5965 ton cargo and passenger liner was one of the first large ships to be sunk by mines just 2 weeks after the start of WWII. She struck a mine laid by a type 1A U-boat on 15 September, 1939 when she was returning from New York to Antwerp and had been requested by the ship’s owners to divert to Weymouth for inspection. She was only built 2 years earlier. On board were a crew of 49 and 8 passengers. The explosion beneath number 2 hold lifted the ship out of the water and broke its back forward of the bridge. All crew and passengers were rescued by the Greek steamship Atlanticos. The Alex Van Opstal sank soon after, falling across a cable and put number three submarine detection loop, part of the harbour’s defence system, out of action. Distance from Weymouth 8 miles.