Ships hit by U-boats

Rio Azul

British Steam merchant

Photo courtesy of Stuart Smith

NameRio Azul
Type:Steam merchant
Tonnage4,088 tons
Completed1921 - Blyth Shipbuilding & Dry Docks Co Ltd, Blyth 
OwnerThompson Steamshipping Co Ltd, London 
Date of attack29 Jun 1941Nationality:      British
FateSunk by U-123 (Reinhard Hardegen)
Position29° 00'N, 25° 00'W - Grid DG 8316
Complement42 (33 dead and 9 survivors).
RoutePepel - Freetown (18 Jun) - Middlesbrough 
Cargo6700 tons of iron ore 
History Completed in July 1921 
Notes on event

At 19.36 hours on 29 June 1941 the Rio Azul (Master Thomas Vickers Sutherland) in convoy SL-78 was hit near the bridge by one stern torpedo from U-123 about 200 miles southeast of the Azores. Hardegen assumed that the ship was a Q-ship but this was not the case. She broke in two and sank in a short time. The master, 31 crew members and one gunner were lost. Six crew members and three gunners were picked up from rafts by HMS Esperance Bay (F 67) (Capt G.S. Holden, RN) on 14 July and landed at Scapa Flow, Orkneys.

On boardWe have details of 34 people who were on board

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