At the stern the two high speed bronze props, partially embedded in a scour in the seabed beneath the wreck are an impressive sight. It is thought to be a German submarine that did it, or, possibly, a torpedo fired from one of the refitted German trawlers, which cruise all round painted with British port letters and flying the British flag. There was no time to lower her lifeboats. At the start of the First World War she was part of the 8th Destroyer Flotilla based at Rosyth in the Firth of Forth. She measured 370.0’ x 38.8’ x 15.2’ and displaced 2987 tons. It was 385 feet long, was armed with 15 guns as well as two torpedo tubes and could go at speeds of 25 knots. Pathfinder (1904) On 5 September 1914 U-21, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Otto Hersing, torpedoed and sank the scout cruiser HMS Pathfinder, leader of the Eighth Destroyer Flotilla, off St Abbs Head on the south east coast of Scotland.This was the first time that a submarine had sunk a ship using a motor powered torpedo. Friday 5 September 2014, 10:30pm. The hull is in tact from the stern to the bridge area. [2], Pathfinder was laid down at Cammell Laird's Birkenhead shipyard on 15 August 1903, was launched on 16 July 1904 and completed on 18 July 1905. She was originally to have been named HMS Fastnet, but was renamed prior to construction. On 6 September The Times declared that 58 men had been rescued but that four had died of injuries. He might have been successful had it not been for the sharp eyed crews of two gun batteries near the bridge who spotted his periscope and opened fire chasing the German boat back to open water. Hit by a torpedo fired by the German submarine U-21, she was to gain the unfortunate … She lost 259 of her crew with only 9 surviving. The huge wreck of HMS Pathfinder lies in position 56°07.593’N, 002°10.048’W (WGS84) in 62 metres of water and rises 8 metres above the seabed. Despite the events of 5 September having been easily visible from shore, the authorities attempted to cover up the fact that Pathfinder had been sunk by a torpedo, insisting instead that it had struck a mine. H.M.S. 100 years to the day the loss of HMS Pathfinder was marked by diving groups from around the UK with a British Sub Aqua Club group led by David Lock laying a wreath on the wreck, and families of crew travelling to mark a moment in history which is barely remembered. For a hundred years, HMS Pathfinder … Off St Abbs Head, she was struck by a … At 1545 lookouts spotted a torpedo wake heading towards the starboard bow and the officer of the watch, Lieutenant-Commander Favell, attempted to take evasive action by ordering the starboard engine be put astern and the port engine at full ahead while the wheel was turned hard a port. After five days of waiting for equipment to arrive and a force 8 gale to blow itself out, we finally left the port of Aberdeen, Scotland and headed south to search for the HMS Pathfinder, the second ship to be torpedoed by a submarine (the USS Housatonic was the first) and the first by a German U-boat. The track of the torpedo had been noticed in the calm sea by the Chief Boatswain’s Mate who shouted a warning – but, despite a desperate order to the engine room to reverse the starboard engine, it was too late. The … On 5 September 1914 U-21, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Otto Hersing, torpedoed and sank the scout cruiser HMS Pathfinder, leader of the Eighth Destroyer Flotilla, off St Abbs Head on the south east coast of Scotland. There is significant confusion regarding the numbers of survivors. The impact of the torpedo itself ignited the forward magazine and the resulting huge explosion ripped open the hull of the British ship. Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. It is not known if this lack of speed contributed to her loss but obviously a British capital ship travelling at this speed would become a prime target for German U-boats. Video: Tribute to the first ever casualty of the U-Boats: Divers lay wreath on the wreck of HMS Pathfinder 100 years after submarine sent it to the bottom Tribute to the first ever casualty of the U-Boats: Divers lay wreath on the wreck of HMS Pathfinder 100 years after submarine sent it to the bottom. Not long after completion, two additional 12 pounder guns were added and the 3 pounder guns were replaced with six 6 pounder guns. HMS Pathfinder went down off St Abbs Head in the Scottish Borders on 5 … Thankfully, at around 5:15pm, two destroyers reached the scene and began to pick up the remaining crew – Captain Leake was among the 58 survivors. 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