Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 90.djvu/900

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A Sunken Ship That Earned a Fortune

How the Walkiire was scuttled, bought for $29,000, raised and sold for $825,000

���The vessel was only slightly damaged, so her captors opened her seacocks aiid sunk her to prevent further attack. Only her two masts, stack and flying bridge remained visible above water

��THE German freighter Walkure was loading phosphate rock at the Island of Makatua when the war broke out; then she was captured by the French gunboat Zelee and taken into the harbor of Papeete, Tahiti. Later on the two German warships (the Gneisenau and Scharnhorst) appeared at Papeete, sank the Zelee, wrecked the town, and punctured the Walkure above waterline with a few small shells. The French decided to pre- vent further damage in later attacks on the Walkure by opening her seacocks. She sank in fifty-four feet of water.

The Walkure is built like some old French war vessels and some Scandinavian freighters. Her sides rise out of the water for about twelve feet, curve squarely inward a distance of ten feet, forming w h a t i s

known as the "harbor deck," then rise some eight feet to the main or turret deck.




��How the cof- ferdam was attached to the ship and how the tow boat worked

��Because she was thus built she was salved in a novel way.

She is a single -screw steel vessel, 350 feet long, 49 feet beam, and 24 feet depth. Her gross tonnage is 3,836; net 2,403; dead weight capacity, 6,700. She has triple ex- pansion engines with an indicated horse- power of 1,800. Her bunker capacity is 1,300 tons. Her speed on trial trip was 10.5 knots.

At the time the vessel met her fate, she was 3,670 miles from San Francisco and was sunk about 300 feet from shore, resting on a sloping bottom with a slight list and with some ten feet of water over her turret deck forward and about thirty

feet aft. Only her two masts, stack and flying bridge re- m a i n e d visible. For nearly a year she lay thus. Eventually she was put up for sale by a French prize court and was purchased by Mr. John A. Hooper of San



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