U-143

Early on the morning of 08/01/1919, the surrendered German~Submarine U-143 grounded on the Hook Sands during a southerly gale, and as daylight came she was seen surrounded by broken water with seas frequently sweeping over her. She had been on her way to Japan as an item of war reparations., escorted by the Japanese destroyers KANRAN & KASHIWA, but had approached the coast for shelter as her engines were giving trouble. The destroyers could not approach the sands because of their deep draught and the British naval drifter WHITE OAK, called Portland to assist, since she was also unable to help. Poole ifeboat HARMER was towed to the scene by WHITE OAK. The Japanese naval officer asked the lifeboat Coxswain to take wires from the submarine and take them to COMMERCE a waiting tug. The tow was unsuccessful so stronger wires were taken to the destroyers. The Japanese refused to abandon the submarine. HARMER stood by but was later called to rescue ZWALUW. The U-143 remained stable but the Japanese were radioed to abandon the submarine. The 28 crew were taken to the destroyer KANRAN. A week or so later the submarine was tow off and re-floated. Farr: p123-124


Day of Loss: 8

Month of Loss: 1

Year of Loss: 1919


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