Wisps of smoke were still rising from the blackened, heavily listing hulk of the British cable ship 'Ocean Layer', filmed by VISNEWS June 21 as it was towed slowly into Falmouth Bay by three tugs, escorted by the German salvage ship 'Wotan'.
CV Tug pulling 'Ocean Layer'
LV PAN ALONG...... Ditto listing.
LV Bow of 'Ocean Layer'.
CU Tug pan " "
LV German tug 'Wotan' alongside 'Ocean Layer'.
NEARER V..German tug 'Wotan'.
BACK V..Tug and 'Ocean Layer'.
NEARER V..of 'Ocean Layer' pan to tugs.
LV 'Ocean Layer' listing.
LV 'Ocean Layer' ..smoke rising from her.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Wisps of smoke were still rising from the blackened, heavily listing hulk of the British cable ship 'Ocean Layer', filmed by VISNEWS June 21 as it was towed slowly into Falmouth Bay by three tugs, escorted by the German salvage ship 'Wotan'.
So bad is the 'Ocean Layer's' condition that the owners, Submarine Cables Ltd. refused to accept her. The company's chairman Dr.John Aldington, said after inspecting the wreck: "She might sink if a storm blew up. Her condition is worse than anything I remotely conceived. In my view it is more than a writs-off."
The 'Ocean Layer' was abandoned in mid-Atlantic last Sunday night after a fire which started in the crew's quarters rapidly spread to all parts of the ship. The 95 man crew were picked up by the German ship 'Flavia'.
Nothing has escaped the ravages of the blistering heat. The entire centre part is buckled, her head is well down, and 6 ft. of water in her holds is giving her a 15 degree list to port. The deck is covered with a six inch layer of white ash - remains of burnt fibre-glass; and the modern floating laboratory is completely gutted.
Before the Falmouth harbour master will accept her into the harbour, the fires will have to be extinguished and the water pumped out.
In a tribute to Captain Ross, master of the 'Ocean Layer', Dr.Aldington said: "He was guilty of considerable understatement of what he and his men did. It was a miracle that he did not lose a large percentage of his crew".
To-day the master of the salvage ship 'Wotan' refused the offer of help from 15 members of the Cornish Fire Brigade who have been standing by, in putting out the fires and pumping the holds free of water. After towing her for 700 miles he said it was his responsibility under International Maritime Law to do these things himself.