The Rothermere

At 15:30 GMT the Rothermere was hit by a torpedo on its port side blowing the bottom out of the port lifeboat.

The crew had difficulty lowering the other lifeboats but eventually got one in the water, this was initially swamped, the oars were lost and they had to bail out. Most of the crew started to leave the ship on rafts while the officers collected supplies to replace those washed out of the boats.

About 15 minutes after the first hit a second torpedo struck the Rothermere on the other side (starboard), this was where the crew were disembarking. The ship then sank within three minutes.

Luckily a second lifeboat floated free of the ship as it sank and men from the rafts were able to get into this boat. This second boat was able to give some oars to the first life boat. Twenty two men were killed including the Captain George McCartney who was still working on the ship after the second torpedo struck he was last seen jumping from the ship into the water.

The thirty four survivors spent three days in their lifeboats before being picked up by a small ship, the Icelandic vessel Brunafors; they were landed in Iceland on 27th May.

Tower Hill Memorial
The Tower Hill Memorial does not include the names of the Royal Navy personnel that were lost with the ship. ConvoyWeb has a full list.

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