News from 1901: Runic II tows Dunottar Castle to Dakar

Mark Baber

Dec 29, 2000
The Times, 27 November 1901

The following message has been received at Lloyd's from Captain Steele, of
the Lismore Castle, s., dated Dakar, 25th, 4 30 p.m.:-

"Spoke Dunottar Castle, 100 miles south of Cape Verd, thrust shaft broken,
close to forward coupling. Cannot repair. In tow of Runic, Lismore Castle
taking mails and some passengers from Dakar."

A further message from Dakar states that the Dunottar Castle, in tow of the
Runic, reached there at 6 o'clock on Monday evening, all well. The bulk of
the mails and periodicals have been transferred to the Lismore Castle, and
the owners have telegraphed to Madeira and Teneriffe directing the Braemar
Castle and the Galician, which both left Southampton on Saturday last, to
proceed to Dakar to take forward to South Africa the remaining passengers
and the balance of the mails of the Dunottar Castle.


Mark Baber

Dec 29, 2000
The Times, 18 March 1902

This was an application to the Court, by way of motion, asking for the
apportionment between the owners, master, and crew of the steamship Runic of
a sum of £4,500, which had been agreed by the owners of the Dunottar Castle,
her cargo, and freight to be paid in respect of salvage services rendered to
them off the West Coast of Africa on November 24 and 25, 1901. The Runic is
a steamship of 12,482 tons gross register, with a crew of 149 hands, and
about 7 30 a.m. on November 24, when she was in about latitude 10 6' N. and
longitude 17 94' W., in the course of a voyage from Liverpool to Australia,
via Cape Town, with a general cargo and 438 passengers, she fell in with the
Dunottar Castle in distress. The Dunottar Castle is a steamship belonging to
the Union-Castle Line, of 5,465 tons gross register, and in the early
morning of the same day she had broken her crank shaft and become disabled.
When the Runic came up it was agreed that she should attempt to tow the
Dunottar Castle to Dakar, on the West Coast of Africa. The vessels were made
fast, and towage was commenced about 11 25 a.m. The Dunottar Castle was
eventually brought to a safe anchorage at Dakar by 5 50 pm. on November 25,
having been towed a distance of 280 miles. The weather during the tow was
very fine, and a speed was maintained of about nine-and-a-half knots. The
value of the Runic was £175,000; of her cargo, £133,113; and of her freight
at risk, £273---in all, £308,386. After the service was completed it was
agreed that a sum of £4,500 should be accepted by way of award. The value of
the Dunottar Castle, her cargo, and freight was not stated.

Mr. DAWSON MILLER, for the plaintiffs, asked for an apportionment of the

MR. JUSTICE GORELL BARNES, in giving judgment, said that the principal
matters to notice were the large values of the Runic and her cargo, and the
responsibility which her master had to take upon himself in deciding to
render this service. The services themselves appeared to have been of an
easy character and rendered in fine weather, but extra work was thrown on
the men in the engine-room department of the Runic. The Runic was delayed
two-and-a-half days by the service, and this might be a matter of some
importance in the case of a vessel carrying a large number of passengers. In
all the circumstances of the case, he should give £3,750 to the owners, £300
to the master, and £450 to the crew, according to their rating, with this
qualification---that the non-navigating members of the crew should only
participate as if they were rated at one-third of their actual rating, while
the engine-room staff should share as if rated at one-and-a-half times their
actual rating. The costs of the application should be paid by the owners.


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