Danlayer Elk

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    invisible officer

    My newest mini project was a small trawler, the model based on the HMT Elk. FY4.24. Built in 1902 at Beverley by Cook, Welton & Gemmell.it had a tonnage of just 181 ts. 10 Knots. 33.1 m long

    It first operated from Grimsby. 1914 – 18 it was hired as minesweeper by RN. She was post war operated commercially under various owners at Grimsby, Hakin and Plymouth.

    1939 Elk was taken into RN service as a danlayer. Despite the shortage of guns it got a WW I 6 pdr gun.

    Danlayer worked with minesweeping flotillas to mark the cleared way in shallow areas, not suitable for anchor buoys. The dan was a long pole moored to the seabed and fitted to stand vertically, the top being out of water. British ones had usually a coded flag on top.

    I show it together with my Isles class trawler, at least 5 of these got used as danlayers later in WW II. They surely never met because Elk ran 27th November 1940 on a mine at entrance to Plymouth sound. Fortunately the 10 men crew survived.

    The Elk was re-discovered by divers in 1981 upright on a sandy bed. The wreck is sometimes visited today by divers. Anything suitable as souvenir or sellable is long taken away. The steel hull is now breaking down.

    In many countries a similar device is used until today, In Germany called the Pricke. Some 7 m long wooden poles with brushwork on top. It is used to mark the ways in the Wattenmeer / tidewater. Normally just one side of the way is buoyed with Pricken. The brushwork bound to top tell the side. Coming from sea one widening on top is port, widening below they are starboard. Distance to be kept is 5 m. They normally do not survive Winter ice and have to be replaced often. But with the often changing ways that’s no disadvantage.

    invisible officer

    And the usual ………

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