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Post by aukepalmhof » Wed Apr 08, 2009 9:11 pm

Built as a river passenger vessel under yard No. 801 by Cammell Laird & Co. Ltd. Birkenhead, U.K. for Cia. Argentina de Nav. (Nicolas Mihanovich) Ltda. Buenos Aires.
Launched under the name CIUDAD DE BUENOS AIRES, one sister the CIUDAD OF MONTEVIDEO.
Tonnage 3.864 gross. Dim. 111.13 x 13.60 x 7m., maximum draught 3.35m
Powered by 2 steam turbines (Lloyds Register 1955/56 gives 4 turbines) manufactured by the shipbuilder, 5.825 hp, geared to two shafts, speed 18 knots. Service speed 16 knots.
Two decks.
Accommodation for 720 passengers. An Argentinean book gives 363 first class and 174 third class passengers.
November 1914 delivered to owners.

She was a modern ship for her time, and built for the night service between Buenos Aires and Montevideo.
She was the first turbine driven ship what arrived in the River Plate.

1942 Sold to Cia de Argentina de Nav. Dodero S.A., Bunos Aires.
1949 Sold to Cia de Navegación Fluvial Argentina S.A. Buenos Aires, when the Perón’s Government condemns Dodero’s fleet.
1957 Was she in the service between Buenos Aires and ports on the River Parana.
1955 Her tonnage is given by Lloyds as 3.754 gross, 2.177 net, 987 dwt.

27 August 1957 she sailed from the South Basin in Buenos Aires bound for Rosario, with on board 78 first class, 63 third class passengers, and 89 crew.
During the night she was running in thick fog with a zero visibility.
After the passengers had finished their dinner and were retiring to their cabins, the CIUDAD DE BUENOS AIRES was slowly approaching the main channel, passing the outlet of the Paraná Cuazú, almost before the Juncal Island. (near Km 123) in the Martin Garcia Channel.
At the same time a cargo vessel of the Moore McCormack Lines the MORMACSURF (7.980 tons) from Rosario bound for Buenos Aires was nearing the same position. The bow of the MORMACSURF hit the starboard side of the passenger vessel. The CIUDAD DE BUENOS AIRES got immediately a list when water started to flow inside the passenger vessel. Panic broke out on board the CIUDAD DE BUENOS AIRES but also acts of heroism took place that night.
The impact was so severe that many people were knocked to the deck or throw from their bunk, the lights gone out, and in the pitch dark they ran for the corridors.
Many pipes in several parts of the vessel were broken and more water poured into the ship.
According to survivors, the crew demonstrating much courage and urged the passengers to keep calm, and to assist them when necessary.
Many of the victims were crewmembers, among them the two pursers on board, Raúl Cainzos and Jorge Criscuolo who until the last moment handed out lifejackets, even those of themselves.
Captain Silverio Brizuela tried to save lives till the last moment, until according a sailor he went to his cabin, and that was the last, I did see of him.

The American ship immediately lowered lifeboats and dinghies were thrown overboard, a gangway became a raft, and flares were launched to illuminate the area. Some lifeboats of the CIUDAD DE BUENOS AIRES were also launched, and the MORMACSURF send a Mayday ( SOS signal) by radio.
After the Mayday was received rescue immediately started, numerous boats left from San Fernando, San Isidro, Tigre, Campana and Zárate, and from Carmelo a salvage boat and a corvette sailed to the scene.
The tugboat LAURA with her tow PANCHO arrived on the scene of the disaster and both vessel rescued people from the water.

The CIUDAD DE BUENOS AIRES sank 19 minutes after the collission; she got a heavy list over port side before she sank.
Many people on board were hanging from the structure of the vessel, and when they could not more hold on fell in the cold water or on a lower part of the deck.
The lifebuoys floated of the vessel when she sank, many people in the water took hold of it, but by the strong current drifted away and were lost in the fog.

Most of the survivors were brought to Nueva Palmira and Carmelo, others were swimming to Martin Garcia, but there was much confusion and despair by the rescued people over their family or friends, not knowing if they were rescued by some boats and where landed.

74 People were drowned or went missing in the tragedy.
The CIUDAD DE BUENOS AIRES was almost cut in two parts during the collision, and after she sank only two wooden poles and the radar mast were seen above water.
Divers from the Argentinean Navy did their utmost to find the bodies that were still in the sunken vessel, but many bodies disappeared taken by the current.

Mr. Rosner from which most of this info comes, was at that time pilot at Buenos Aires, and when piloting a vessel in the approach channel to Buenos Aires a few days after the sinking saw in the distance some bodies floating across the channel.

Argentine 2006 25c + 25c sg?, scott?

Source: Mostly translated from by Mr. Rosner. Register Of Merchant Ships Completed in 1914.
ciudad de buenos aires.jpg
ciudad de buenos aires.jpg

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