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Count Dohna and His SeaGull ©

Ships - Bonheur

Bonheur, a Norwegian steamship, was sunk by a sea mine on January 7, 1916, 60 miles to the west of Strathy Point, Northern Scotland. SMS SeaGull set the minefield.
During the war it was a frequent practice to report the wrong location for a ship lost in waters adjacent to the United Kingdom. While it is believed a mine sank Bonheur, the reported location is 30 miles west of the minefields set by SeaGull. German submarines did not patrol this area during the first two weeks of the month as the area was reserved for operations by SeaGull.
Bonheur was a Norwegian steamship built by Nylands Verksted, Christiania, Norway in 1898. She was owned by the Bonheur Company and operated by the Fred Olsen Line, Christiania. She was of 1,158 tons and 219 feet in length.
Bonheur translated from the French means "happiness".
Bonheur was sailing from Frederikstad, Norway for Garston, England, with a cargo of planed boards. Loss of life in her sinking is not known but 15 members of the crew were saved. Newspaper accounts of the time reported she was torpedoed by a submarine.
The Fred Olsen Line replaced the loss in 1918 with a steamship also named Bonheur, a ship of 5,630 tons. On December 23, 1918 while on her maiden voyage she struck a mine off Coquet Island, England and sank with the loss of two lives. Sea mines remain a serious hazard to navigation even after a war ends.
Christiania is now known as Oslo, Norway.

Sea Mines
Ship Tonnage


THE SEA RAIDERS, by Edward Keble Chatterton.
THE GRAND FLEET 1914-1916, by Admiral Viscount Jellicoe of Scapa.

Last Revision: March 4, 2007.
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