OLENA HERASYMENKO CLASS OCEAN LINER - AN UNLUCKY GEM OF THE REPUBLIC OF BARELIN
The collapse of the isolationist regime of hetmanate in Barelin, caused by the Great War and a revolution as its aftermath, has been marked by a lot of changes in political life of the country. From now on, Barelin was finally facing outwards, and new democratic government initiated a chain of reforms to get in line with the other major nations of the world. The economical reform implicated the change in state regulation - institution of new anti-monopoly laws and start of the program of governmental funding of some perspective enterprises.
The Dvorichanskiy Lloyd was a minor shipping company, most importantly, servicing the Dvorichniy-Oberstadt line, being the only company providing passenger service between Barelin and Norland. It was destined for DL to get in the whirlpool of political intrigues followed by deterioration of relations with the former ally of Barelin, Kingdom of United Provinces (which didn't really want to have any sort of relationship with republicians) and improvement of realtions with the former enemy. With Norland.
Dvorichanskiy Lloyd got an immediate government funding, which allowed it to finish its liner SS Vranishnya Zirka
("Morning Star"; 19 202 GRT) that was in construction for five years alredy suffering from endless delays. Most importantly, DL also got additional financial help to build a new class of liners, meant to be the symbol of the downfall of the isolationism policy - they were meant to service the lines between Barelin and the most important ports of the world.
A preliminary pencil sketch made during desisning process intended to show what will the new liner look like.
The desingers of Zhmerynka Shipyards worked with a help of Norland specialists. It was decided to go for mid-to-high luxury level in favor of making a relatively cheap ship affordable for a wide group of travellers. All three liners would be named after women; however, the origin of their name is unknown. Three liners - SS Olena Herasymenko
, SS Anastasiya Kostyuk
and SS Anastasiya Savenko
- were intended to cruise between Dubanivsk and Oberstadt (Norland), La Somnolienta (Fandalgo) and Northwark (Kingdom of United Provinces) respectively. First one was immediately laid down on Zhmerynka Shipyards, second one was ordered to Aushafenwerft GmbH. SS Anastasiya Savenko
was to be laid on Zhmerynka Shipyards too, but only after her sisterships are worked out (for possible gradual design changes).
SS Olena Herasymenko
succesfully completed her trials reaching the design speed of 22 kts and exceeding it by half of knot. She was put on Dubanivsk-Oberstadt line.
SS Olena Herasymenko prepares for her maiden voyage.
SS Olena Herasymenko as built
It was her seventh voyage when she went of course January 15th 200 miles away from Dubanivsk harbor. The lighthouse on Akonitoviy Peninsula was temporarily shut down because of electricity shortage (as soon as elecric supply was restored, light bulb burned out due to overvoltage) and first mate Osadchiy failed to navigate correctly. Instead of following the safe fairway, SS Olena Herasymenko
was steaming dirctly to the dangerous area of Prolisok Banks at the speed of 20 knots. She was more than 50 kilometers off course, when her bottom hit an underwater rock at 17:28 PM penetrating it on the length of more than 80 meters and also making a long hole in the middle of her port side bottom plating. Osadchiy immediately gave the order to close the waterproof doors, ordered all engines to stop, sent third made Shapoval to carry out a damage inspection and called captain to the bridge. The conclusion of damage inspection was unpomising: the liner will be able to keep afloat for not more than one hour. Captain Kovalenko immediately ordered to lower the lifeboats. SS Olena Herasymenko
gained one degree of tilt roughly every five minutes, but remained on horizontal keel. Soon after first lifeboat was lowered at 18:03 and the sun went down, liner started to quickly gain tilt to port and trim by bow, and lifeboats were lowered in rush, without fully feeling them with passengers (the intent was to return back after the ship is sunk and not to let her take lifeboats to the bottom of the sea with herself). In total, 11 of 18 lifeboats were lowered down with 474 passengers on them (out of 1080
possible). At 18:44 the ship blacked out. In next twenty minutes, SS Olena Herasymenko
capsized while her stern was rising and quickly sunk, taking around 800 lives (total amount of victims is 813; 482 were saved - 37%, mostly women and children). Survivors were picked up by Barelinic steamer SS Tarniv
and SS Empire Halldale
of Kindgom of the United Provinces.
First page of the «Orchard City Weekly News», January 16th.
Specail thanks to @Shigure. Making this newspaper would have been an impossible task without his help.
Her sistership, SS Anastasiya Kostyuk
, was 60% ready when investigation found out design flaws, which made flooding protection almost useless. She was finished anyways. Unlike lead ship of her class, SS Anastasiya Kostyuk
had a different boiler arrangement (with same power output), a fully enclosed promenade deck... And two additional lifeboats (now total lifeboat capacity was equal to 1200 people). She was the longest survivor of her class: SS Anastasiya Kostyuk
served Dvorichanskiy Llody for 14 years already when she sunk 250 miles to the south-west of Fandalgo coast after fire in coal bunker went out of control. The death toll of SS Anastasiya Kostyuk
was equal to 1091 people out of 1536.
SS Anastasiya Kostyuk
Specifications of Olena Herasymenko
Dimensions: 203,7x24x8,5 m
Displacement: 30 692 t normal, 32 424 t at full load
Tonnage: 28 533 gross-register tons
Propulsion: four triple expansion steam engines 11 250 h.p. each = 45 000 h.p.
Speed: 22,5 kts maximal, 20 kts cruise
Capacity: 1387 passengers (952 - third class, 360 - second class, 75 - first class)
Last one of the Olena Herasymenko
class, the SS Anastasiya Savenko
, was completely redesigned internally. First of all, she got the most reliable flooding protection of all ships of her class. Secondly, she got turbine propulsion. SS Anastasiya Savenko
made 29 voyages between Dubanivsk and Northwark, when she suddenly rammed a mine (a wandering remnant of Great War mine warfare) 94 miles away from the closest shore. Well, she was not designed to withstand an underwater explosion of 300 kilograms in TNT equivalent. She sank in 11 minutes, but 733 people managed to survive out of 1880 onboard (39%, the highest survivng rate of all class).
As soon as Anastasiya Savenko's
stern disappeared below the waters, the story of Olena Herasymenko
came to an end. The most symbolic class of the young republic was lying on the bottom of the sea together with 3051 souls that never reached the shore they wanted to.
SS Anastasiya Savenko
Specifications of SS Anastasiya Savenko
Dimensions: 203,7x24x8,5 m
Displacement: 31 069 t normal, 33 935 t at full load
Tonnage: 28 112 gross-register tons
Propulsion: four steam turbines 20 000 h.p. each = 80 000 h.p.
Speed: 26,05 kts maximal, 22 kts cruise
Capacity: 1211 passengers (768 - third class, 360 - second class, 83 - first class).