Tiger (HMS), disaster, April 1908

From Wightpedia

HMS Tiger was a torpedo destroyer of the Royal Navy which sunk about 18 miles south of the Isle of Wight after being in collision with the cruiser HMS Berwick during night exercises in April 1908.

Built by John Brown, Clydebank, the high speed, HMS Tiger torpedo destroyer had left Portsmouth with other destroyers to engage in a night attack exercise upon the battleships and cruisers of the Portsmouth Division of the Home Fleet. South of St Catherine's Point, the ships were running without lights and the destroyers were endeavouring to manoeuvre undetected within torpedo range of the larger battleships and cruisers[1].

It was while manoeuvring in front of HMS Berwick that HMS Tiger was struck by the larger vessel and was cut in two. The bow section quickly sank, the stern stayed afloat long enough for 22 of her 55 man crew to be rescued; the captain did not survive.

The Court Martial on the loss of HMS Tiger was conducted on board HMS Victory at Portsmouth. The finding were that HMS Tiger was working with another torpedo destroyer, HMS Recruit, 'attacking' the battle squadron, and at one point, instead of following HMS Recruit, HMS Tiger altered her course across the bows of HMS Berwick which struck her. The Court further found that no blame could be attributed to any of the survivors, nor was there any evidence why the course of HMS Tiger was altered.[2]

  1. Isle of Wight Times - 9 April 1908
  2. Hampshire Telegraph - 11 April 1908