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History of the Atlantic Cable & Undersea Communications
from the first submarine cable of 1850 to the worldwide fiber optic network

HMS Kilmun / D/S Rask
by Bill Glover


Built in 1919 by Smiths Dock Company, Teesside

Length 170.0 ft  Breadth 29.5 ft  Depth 16.4 ft  Gross tonnage 634

One of a number of ships ordered during WWI to be used as ‘Q’ ships. Kilmun was not launched until 11 October 1919. Fitted out as a cable layer with Johnson and Phillips supplying the cable machinery, which consisted of a single paying out-picking up machine mounted on the weather deck, midway between the bridge and bows. A single bow sheave and two cable tanks were also installed, the work being completed by March 1920.

Based at Devonport, on harbour defence work until September 1946 when sold to A/S Rask (Sigvald Risanger) a Norwegian coastal trading company. Refitted at Haugesunds Slip, Bergen, Norway and handed over to its new owners in June 1948 and renamed D/S Rask.

Ran aground on 31 January 1950 off the Berwick light while on a voyage from Bergen to Newcastle upon Tyne with a cargo of herring. All the ship’s crew were rescued.

Last revised: 29 December, 2012

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