News from 1901 Oceanic II Sinks Kincora

Mark Baber

Staff member
The Times, 9 August 1901

The White Star Line mail steamship Oceanic, bound from Liverpool to New
York with mails and 1,000 passengers, arrived at Queenstown yesterday,
and reported that at about 1 15 o'clock in the morning, when off the
Tuskar in a dense fog, she came into collision with, and sank, the
cross-channel cargo and passenger steamship Kincora, 453 tons, Captain
Power, bound from Limerick to Liverpool with a general cargo and one
passenger. Seven of the crew---namely, three firemen, two trimmers, the
steward, and one seaman---went down with the vessel, which only remained
afloat for about seven minutes after the collision. The remainder of
those on board, consisting of eleven of the crew, one passenger, and two
stowaways, were rescued and landed at Queenstown.

Survivors from the Kincora, which belongs to the Waterford Steamship
Company, state that the weather was good until about 12 30 p.m., when,
as the boat was off the Tuskar, the weather became thick. The speed of
the vessel was reduced, the foghorn was constantly sounded, and every
other precaution taken to ensure the safe navigation of the vessel. At 1
o'clock the fog became even more dense, and the distant sounds of other
fog signals could be heard. A few minutes later the bow of a big
steamship was seen heading down channel, and before the crew of the
Kincora had time to alter her course the liner crashed into her, and cut
through her from the covering boards to below the waterline. The sea
immediately began to rush into the hold of the Kincora through the
opening torn in her side. Captain Cameron, of the Oceanic, who was on
the bridge, on seeing the sinking condition of the Kincora, ordered his
lifeboats away to save the crew, and had ropes thrown from the
forecastle head on to the deck of the Kincora. Fourteen of those in the
sinking ship availed themselves of the ropes, and were hauled on to the
deck of the Oceanic. By the time the last of them had been drawn up the
side the water had flooded the holds, engine-room, and cabins of the
Kincora, and while the remaining seven of the crew were looking for
means of escape the steamer suddenly listed over and went down. Two
lifeboats cruised around for an hour in the hope of being able to find
some trace of the lost men, but without success. Those rescued say that
they were most kindly treated on board the Oceanic. A collection started
in the saloon for the widows and orphans of the drowned realized £160. A
careful examination of the bows of the Oceanic was made at Queenstown
while she was embarking mails and passengers, but there was no visible
trace of the collision except for a few dented iron plates, and she was
consequently able to proceed on her voyage.

The survivors of the Kincora landed at Queenstown are Captain Power,
Chief officer Aldred, Second officer Collivett, Chief engineer Yorston,
Second engineer Martin, Donnelly, donkey-engine man, W. Kerrett, J.
Barry, J. Fitzgerald, and J. W. Jones, seamen, Quartermaster W. Rand,
Mr. J. Toppin, Manchester (passenger), and A. Mitchell and J. Connors,

The names of those lost are Collins, Enright, Dutton, McNamara, Falvey,
Sacht, and Blair. At the time of the collision the Oceanic was going
dead slow, and for some time previously had been blowing her siren.


[MAB Note: In subsequent litigation, ultimately decided by the House of Lords, both ships were found at fault for excessive speed, and Kincora also for not stopping when Oceanic's fog horn was heard.]
For anyone who is interested ... I was contacted february 2012 by an Irish TV company about this collision - My GG Grandfather was one of those killed .
Carl Freidrich Sacht ...he was born 1846 on the British Island of Heligoland ...he met Mary Ellen Jones in Garston - they married and had 2 children ...
They lived at Byron Street ,Garston,Liverpool at the time of the collision ........ I knew about the collision and to my knowledge Carl Sacht was lost at sea .... I went over to Ireland to make a film about this collision ... at the end of the first days filming I was absolutely gobsmacked when the Producer showed me Carls death certificate and then proceeded to tell me Carls body was washed ashore at Fethard on Sea on 29th august 1901 - his body was so badly decomposed it was towed by boat to the Lifeboat hut and laid out on a table ...his personal effects in his pocket showed it was Carl Sacht inquest was taken the next day and it was decided to bury Carl at the local church on 31st August ..The White Star Line / Waterford Steamship Company were both to be informed of his body being found and his burial - To our knowledge - our family were never told of his burial - I went back to Ireland in May 2012 to Carls grave to lay flowers on it with my cousin Jeanette and that was also filmed and this completed the film after 111 years Carls family finally laid flowers on his grave ...a very sad situation .....basically - we feel The White Star Line let the family down very badly and at the time The Oceanic had broken the speed record for crossing the Atlantic twice was obviously going far too fast - I have read the official inquest you believe that Captain Cameron was on the bridge at 1-12 am when the collision occured ??...I certainly don`t - I think there was a massive cover up by White Star ...the families of the 7 who died never received a penny from White Star or Waterford Steamship Company ...a very sad state of affairs