HM Submarine A3


The Ship

Sank off IOW after colliding with HMS Hazard. 2 February 1912

2 February 1912 HM Submarine A3 sank off Isle of Wight after collision with HMS Hazard

Whilst on exercise off the Isle of Wight HMS A3 surfaced directly in the path of HMS Hazard. The collision caused a large hole to be torn in the side of the submarine sinking her almost immediately.

"The Commander-in-Chief regrets to announce that owing to a collision between His Majesty’s Ship Hazard and the submarine A3, the latter sank near East Princess Buoy about noon today. It is feared that the submarine was completely flooded, in which case there is very little hope of the officers and crew being saved, though salvage appliances have been sent out."

The 190 ton A3 was 105ft long, and was launched in March 1903. She was taking part in exercises on the eastern side of the Isle of Wight on 2 February 1912 with other submarines and HMS Hazard, her depot ship.

A3 dived when over the Princessa Shoal and shortly afterwards Hazard felt a hit under her hull near the stern. The 14 crew of A3 died within a minute as a 2m gash was ripped in the hull near the conning tower.

It was five weeks before the weather allowed the submarine to be raised and she was finally dry-docked in Portsmouth, where the bodies were removed for burial in the Royal Navy Cemetery.

On 17 May the A3 was towed out to sea by the naval tug Seahorse. The Dreadnought HMS St Vincent opened fire at 1800m with her 4in guns. The third shot sank A3 .

The wreck does not strictly qualify as a war grave but should be treated as such by divers. The remains are in 38m and it lies upright with a slight list to port. The conning tower hatch has been removed. A3's position is 50 31.41N; 02 11.25W.

My Postcards

Postally used 8 Jul 1905. In retrospect this was perhaps not such a good title for this card.
Postcard series: Valentine's, Naval Series


Postally used 5 Mar 1905. One of a series of postcards sent to Miss Jones.
Postcard series: Valentine's, Valentine's Naval Series


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