The HMS Pioneer & HMS Orwell Disaster.


HMS Orwell; British Torpedo Boat Destroyer, built 1898 at Cammell Lairds.
380 tons, maximum draught 11 feet, 6,300 indicated horse power, 30 knots with triple expansion engines.
 Fit with one 12 pounder gun,  five 6 pounder guns and two torpedo tubes.


On the night of January 30th 1903, when the light forces of the Mediterranean Fleet were engaged in training exercises off the coast Corfu, the light cruiser "Pioneer" (2,200 tons) collided with the Destroyer "Orwell" slicing off the Orwell's bows to the bridge. The bow section sank immediately - the stern section eventually sank in shallow water. 15 men of the crew of 60 drowned in the accident. The Orwell was later raised by the Admiralty and a new forepart refitted.


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