Somali (2) was ordered for the P&O subsidiary Hain Steamship Company, built by Harland & Wolff, Glasgow, and launched on 9 October 1930. The ship was transferred to P&O ownership before it’s completion at the end of the year. A single screw was powered by a quadruple-expansion four-cylinder engine. General-purpose cargo vessel without any formal passenger accommodation.
On 26 March the Somali (2) was off Blyth, Northumberland, when the ship came under airborne attack from a squadron of German Heinkel III bombers. The following day the burning vessel was under tow when the forepart exploded violently.
|Dimensions||139.9 x 18.5 m (459 x 60.7 ft)|
The highest and most central point of the wreck is the large quadruple-expansion steam engine, which stands upright with the four cylinder heads. Forward of the engine is the imposing sight of five boilers, arranged in rows of two and three. Cargo holds contain cement and a truck tyres. The final hold was refrigerated and is notable for an abundance of metal piping. Off to the starboard side are numerous large gas cylinders and a spare propeller. A short distance further aft, the 12-pound anti-aircraft gun rests on the seabed. At the stern the remnant of the rudder lies amongst the debris with the propeller shaft close by.
The bow section has not been found.