american SS Merak (+1918)
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nationality american
purpose transport
type cargo ship
propulsion steam
date built 1910
is nickname no
weight (tons) 3024  grt
dimensions 99.3 x 14.3 x 7.3 m
material steel
engine triple expansion engine
power 1200  i.h.p.
speed knots
yard no. 25
about the loss
cause lost gunfire - shelled
other reasons ran aground (wrecked)
date lost 06/08/1918  [dd/mm/yyyy]
casualties 0
about people
Rotterdamsche Droogdok Mij. N. V., Rotterdam
engine by
Rotterdamsche Droogdok Mij. N. V., Rotterdam
last owner
[1]Us Shipping Board - United States Shipping Board - Ussb, Washington D.C.
SS Merak (+1918)
period 1918 ~ 1918
prev. owners
[2]Van Nievelt, Goudriaan & Co Stoomvaart Mij. N. V., Rotterdam
SS Merak
period 1910 ~ 1918
call sign: 
no. of crew 43
about the wreck
depth (m.)
war grave
entered by Lettens Jan
entered 02/02/2008
last update Vleggeert Nico
last update 05/12/2013
[1] Lettens Jan06/04/2011
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  The Wreck today  

Lettens Jan02/02/2008

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 NOAA Office of Coast Survey, nauticalcharts.noa..

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Lettens Jan06/04/2011SS Merak, built by Rotterdam Droogdok Mij., Rotterdam in 1910 and owned at the time of her loss by U.S. Shipping Board, was an American steamer of 3024 tons.

On August 6th, 1918, Merak, on a voyage from New York to West Indies, was sunk by the German submarine U-140 (Waldemar Kophamel), off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina coast. There were no casualties.
Vleggeert Nico22/11/2008Sunk by U-140 (gunfire) off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina coast. She was on passage New York - West Indies.
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Lettens Jan20/08/2010On the 6th August 1918 Diamond Shoals Light Vessel No.71 (Cape Hatteras LV No. 71) reported by radio the presence of a German submarine which had chased the passing freighter Merak.

Merak ran aground on the Diamonsd shoals while zig-zagging to avoid the torpedoes.

The message however was intercepted by the German submarine U-140, and after giving the crew opportunity to abandon the lightship in the boats, LV 71 was sunk by surface gunfire.
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About Owners
Us Shipping Board - United States Shipping Board - Ussb, Washington D.C.

The United States Shipping Board was established as an emergency agency by the Shipping Act (39 Stat. 729), 7 September 1916. It was formally organized 30 January 1917. It was sometimes referred to as the War Shipping Board.

The Shipping Board's functions were to:
Regulate: commercial maritime carriers and trade practices,
marine insurance, transfers of ship registry, and the rates charged in interstate waterborne commerce.

Investigate adequacy of port and water transportation facilities,
Determine the necessity for steamship lines and the characteristics of vessels on those lines,
Develop a naval auxiliary and merchant marine, and
Subsidize private ship construction.

The Board was abolished, effective 2 March 1934.

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