Ships hit by U-boats


British Steam merchant

Lurigethan under her former name Celaeno

Type:Steam merchant
Tonnage3,564 tons
Completed1916 - NV Rotterdamsche Droogdok Mij, Rotterdam 
OwnerG. Heyn & Sons Ltd, Belfast 
Date of attack26 Jan 1941Nationality:      British
FateSunk by U-105 (Georg Schewe)
Position53° 50'N, 15° 40'W - Grid AL 6987
Complement51 (16 dead and 35 survivors).
ConvoySLS-61 (straggler)
RoutePort Sudan (7 Nov) – Durban (3 Dec) – Freetown (1 Jan) – Hull 
Cargo2459 tons of cotton seed and 871 tons of general cargo 
History Completed in December 1916 as Dutch Celaeno for Mij. Zeevaart NV (Hudig & Veder), Rotterdam. 1933 sold to Britain and renamed Lurigethan for Ulster SS Co Ltd (G. Heyn & Sons Ltd), Belfast. 
Notes on event

At 11.15 hours on 23 Jan 1941 the unescorted Lurigethan (Master M. Kennedy), a straggler from convoy SLS-61 due to bad weather, was bombed and set on fire by a German Fw200 aircraft of I./KG 40 in 53°46’N/16°00’W, about 280 miles west of Galway Bay, Ireland. 15 crew members and one gunner were lost. The survivors abandoned ship in the lifeboats, but a boarding party later returned aboard in an attempt to save her. They managed to extinguish the fire amidships, but the fire in the cargo of cotton in #4 hold was out of control, the engine room was wrecked and the ship was slowly settling by the bow. The wireless operator rigged a temporary aerial and sent emergency messages that were heard by Milos, another straggler from the same convoy, which picked up 14 men from two lifeboats about four hours after the attack and landed them at Oban on 27 January.

HMS Arabis (K 73) (LtCdr J.P. Stewart, RNR) was detached from convoy HG-50 to assist Lurigethan and eventually found the remaining survivors and the drifting and still burning wreck, picking up the men and staying in the vicinity to wait for a tug to arrive. During the night of 25/26 January, U-105 was attracted by the glow of the fire and while investigating the scene spotted the escort nearby, which was unsuccessfully attacked with a spread of two torpedoes at 02.07 hours. The U-boat then left the area after firing one torpedo that hit and sank the Lurigethan at 03.20 hours.

Revisions February 2002 by Rainer Kolbicz:
The abandoned ship sunk by U-105 during the night of 25/26 January was earlier identified as Heemskerk, but this ship had been bombed on 20 January and was seen to sink the next day by HMS Arbutus. The description of the wreck and the date of the sinking prove that the ship finished off by U-105 was the Lurigethan
On boardWe have details of 17 people who were on board

If you can help us with any additional information on this vessel then please contact us.

Return to Allied Ships hit by U-boats