In memory of SS Flying Enterprise

70 years ago this month.
The loss of the SS Flying Enterprise in a storm off Cornwall UK. An epic struggle against the sea resulting in her sinking.

Video from the time:

Captain Kurt Carlsen passed away 37 years after the loss of Flying Enterprise, and as was his wish he was buried at sea at the wreck site.

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I recommend the book. Good read.

There is not much I recall from the time of my first year in elementary school, but the ‘Flying Enterprise’ disaster.

Each day, during lunch, my parents listened to the radio news and, during those days, a reporter in an English port was always speaking about the latest developments.

Living far from the seas, I could not really understand what happened, but it was dramatic…
The reporter came in over a short wave radio link with its limited bandwidth and parasitic noise, and he was always very excited.

These days he would probably be arrested and held in jail while the bureaucrats decided if there was any money to be made from the event.


I also remember following this event on Norwegian radio news, even at the tender age of 8-years old

It was a gripping story that was closely followed in Ålesund, maybe because nearly everybody here had a relation to the sea, being a fishing and sealing town, with a large part of the population being seamen.

PS> The Danish background of Capt. Kurt Carlsen may have been an added factor.

The weather story

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Fresh out of the Coast Guard trainee boarding agent for American Export Isbrandtsen Lines 1970 Captain Carlson was still sailing. Flying Enterprise II in the India service. She was a C 2 as I remember Quiet unassuming gentleman always greeted visitors to his office with a smile. Everybody boarding the vessel, Customs Stevedores Surveyor and young Agent knew the story, we never asked him about it. Just took care of ships business that’s all he expected.


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