german Hamburg Amerikanische Packetfahrt A.G. - Hamburg-Amerika Linie - HAPAG MV Rhakotis [+1943]
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nationality german
purpose transport
type ocean liner
propulsion motor vessel (diesel)
date built 1928
is nickname no
weight (tons) 6753  grt
dimensions 137.6 x 18 x 10.4 m
material steel
engine diesel engine
power 1316  n.h.p.
speed 13  knots
yard no. 102
IMO/Off. no. 5606810
call sign
about the loss
cause lost gunfire - shelled
date lost 01/01/1943  [dd/mm/yyyy]
casualties  max.90rank: 544
about people
Deutsche Werft A. G., Betrieb Finkenwärder, Hamburg
engine by
MAN (Maschinenfabrik Augsburg-Nurnberg) , Augsburg
last owner
[1]Hamburg Amerikanische Packetfahrt A.G. - Hamburg-Amerika Linie - HAPAG, Hamburg
MV Rhakotis [+1943]
period 1935 ~ 1943
IMO/Off. no.: 5606810
call sign: 
prev. owners
[2]Hamburg Amerikanische Packetfahrt A.G. - Hamburg-Amerika Linie - HAPAG, Hamburg
MV San Francisco
period 1928 ~ 1935
IMO/Off. no.: 5606810
call sign: 
no. of crew 165
about the wreck
depth (m.) 4900 max. / -- min. (m)
war grave
entered by Vleggeert Nico
entered 09/06/2008
last update Vleggeert Nico
last update 05/03/2012
[1] Lettens Jan05/08/2010
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  Hydrographic Service UK  
Lettens Jan30/09/2010The blockade runner Rhakotis arrived from Yokohama at Singapore on 15 October and took aboard a cargo of tin, rubber, zinc ore, lard, rice, tea, quinine bark, coconut oil and pearls valued at 50.000 yen.

From Singapore she proceeded to Batavia and departed for Europe on 5 November. After sailing around the Cape of Good Hope into the Atlantic, she was approaching the end of her voyage when, on 1 January 1943, she was sunk in position 45°N - 11°W, upon interception by the HMS Scylla.
ref. used: 
 Cressman R. J., Official Chronology of the U.S. Navy in WWII
Lettens Jan30/09/2010From the 3rd steward Mr. J. C. Edmead verbatim account

One of the lifeboats of the City of Cairo was rescued by the German merchant Rhakotis on 12th December, 5 weeks after the sinking.

From the original 54 survivors on this lifeboat, only 3 were still alive: quartermaster Angus MacDonald, third Steward Jack Edmead and passenger Diana Jarman. All the others perished.

Unfortunately, Rhakotis herself was sunk on 1st January by gunfire from the Royal Navy cruiser HMS Scylla. J. C. Edmead again survived and his lifeboat was picked up by a Spanish trawler on January 5th.
ref. used: 
 Maclean Hugh A.,
Lockett Graham07/10/2014With the Rhakotis sinking, the other surviver from the City of Cairo, quartermaster Angus MacDonald, took to a different lifeboat than third Steward Jack Edmead. MacDonald had a far more adventurous journey home. He was picked up along with 79 crewmembers of the Rhakotis by U410 a type VII U-boat of 517 tons. The U-boat then headed on the surface for St. Nazaire. With three times her normal complement she was unable to submerge for more than short periods and thus vulnerable to attack.

This happened twice on the run to port. First by a Wellington which dropped 4 depth charges, later by a Whitly. U410 limped into the submarine pens at St. Nazaire on 4th January, MacDonald was then taken ashore for interogation and then into captivity at Wilhelmshaven.
ref. used: 
 Barker, Ralph, Goodnight, Sorry For Sinking You
Lettens Jan28/08/2008UK hydro member
ref. used: 
 UK Hydrographic Office

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About Owners
Hamburg Amerikanische Packetfahrt A.G. - Hamburg-Amerika Linie - HAPAG, Hamburg

Established in 1847. Also called HAPAG, Hamburg-America Line). In 1970, the company merged with the Norddeutscher Lloyd (North German Lloyd) of Bremen to establish the current-day Hapag-Lloyd, which itself is owned by TUI AG. HAPAG for the first time, introduced a sandwich to their passengers with meat in it. This inspired later businessmen to sell this (until then) unknown food in the US, creating the 'Hamburger'.

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About Builders
 Deutsche Werft A. G., Betrieb Finkenwärder, Hamburg
founded by Albert Ballin. Founding shareholders were Gutehoffnungshütte (GHH), Allgemeine Elektricitäts-Gesellschaft (AEG) und die HAPAG.
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MV Rhakotis [+1943]
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