GERMAN MINES OFF IRELAND.
BRITISH STEAMER AND 14 LIVES LOST.
The existence of a German mine field of unknown extent 20 miles north of Tory Island was notified yesterday and an Admiralty warning was issued that shipping passing round the North of Ireland should not pass within 60 miles of the island. The presence of the mines was tragically made known by the news of the foundering of the British steamer Manchester Commerce after striking a mine in the region named.
The following telegram has been received by the Liverpool Chamber of Commerce :-
Mine field reported 20 miles north of Tory Island extent unknown. Warn all outward bound ships to make Skerryvore Lighthouse before going to westward.
Senior Naval Officer, Rathmullen
In confirmation of this telegram the following communication has been received from the Senior Navel Officer. Liverpool :-
I have been instructed by the Admiralty to warn shipping passing round the North of Ireland of the fact that German mines have been laid in those waters. Shipping should therefore not pass within 60 miles of Tory Island. Will you kindly make this known as speedily as possible to all concerned ?
A Lloyd's telegram from Belfast states that the Fleetwood trawler City of London put into Carnlough Bay, Co. Antrim yesterday morning and reported having picked up 30 of the crew of 44 of the Manchester Commerce which foundered after striking a mine, latitude not being stated. The captain and 13 men perished. The survivors are going on to Fleetwood on the trawler and are due there early this morning The Manchester Commerce was outward bound from Manchester.
A report unconfirmed from the coast says that the disaster happened after midnight but this is not regarded as likely Carnlough being only 19 miles from the mouth of Belfast Lough on the north channel and 12 miles from Maiden Lighthouse. A later telegram stated that the Manchester Commerce was supposed to have struck a mine near Tory Island on Monday afternoon.
The Manchester Commerce, belonging to the Manchester Liners (Limited), was a steamer of 5.383 tons, built in 1899, and represented a value of about 55,000. There are indications that her cargo from Manchester for Montreal was not a particularly important one. It would have been insured against war risks at very low rates.
The Times, Wednesday, Oct 28, 1914