Unsolved Murders

Carl Martin Lundin

Age: 47

Sex: male

Date: 17 Jan 1938

Place: Sandquay, Dartmouth Harbour

Source: www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

Carl Martin Lundin was found dead in Dartmouth Harbour.

He was an unmarried Swedish seaman and had gone missing from the Swedish steamer Mansuria, operated by Svenska Lloyd, in Dartmouth harbour on the night of 6 January 1938.

His body was later found floating in the shallow water by a passenger that was standing on the slipway of the floating bridge ferry at Sandquay which was close to where the Mansuria had been moored on 6 January 1938.

He had been a member of the crew on the Mansuria but had met with an accident and was returning home as a Consular passenger.

At the time the Mansuria had been undergoing repairs to the bridge of the vessel. It had been on a voyage from Oporto to Gydnia in Poland and had called at Dartmouth for bunkers and repairs after encountering terrific sea on New Year's Day 45 miles north west of Cape Finisterre that had carried away portions of its bridge and sundry fittings. Another seaman on the ship had been injured in the high seas and had been admitted to Dartmouth Cottage Hospital when the ship arrived suffering from fractured ribs.

It was said that after the Mansuria had completed its bunkering operations it had gone to the Sandquay works of Messrs Philip and Son Ltd where it was moored close to the floating dock for repairs to be effected.

The Mansuria had been carrying a general cargo.

Then, during the evening, Carl Lundin and five other men came ashore to visit Dartmouth. It was said that access to the docks was gained by means of gangways by the floating dock and then through the shipyard.

They had gone to the Floating Bridge Inn where they had stayed until 10pm and had then gone to a fish and chip shop.

They returned to the ship towards midnight and it was thought that Carl Lundin had fallen into the harbour. They were said to have made their return in a straggling party with Carl Lundin having been in the middle.

It was heard that two of the men that had been walking ahead said that they heard a cry, but said that when they returned to investigate they couldn't find anything. The three men that had been at the back of the party said that they heard nothing.

Carl Lundin was reported missing the following day to the Dartmouth police who visited the ship and made enquiries but the Mansuria resumed her voyage to Poland on 8 January 1938.

At the inquest, the Coroner read statements taken by the crew before it left for Poland on 8 January 1938 which stated that they had had a little drink but were not drunk and had not been quarrelling. They stated that Carl Lundin had been sober and that he was quite capable of looking after himself.

The landlord of the Floating Bridge Inn also said that a party of sailors had called on the evening of 6 January 1938, staying between 8pm an 10pm, adding that they had been perfectly orderly and friendly.

A coal porter from Church Close in Dartmouth said that he had met the Swedish sailors in the Floating Bridge Inn and had invited them to visit a fish and chip shop where they had tea and food until 11.30pm after which he went back to the ship with them. He said that Carl Lundin had been ahead with the rest of the sailors and that when he reached the ship he said goodbye to his friends and went back home, noting that he had no idea that Carl Lundin had gone missing.

He noted that he thought that the lighting at the shipyard should have been better.

The doctor that carried out the post-mortem said that death was due to drowning and said that there were no marks of violence on Carl Lundin.

The Coroner said that there was no evidence of foul play and said that in his opinion Carl Lundin had fallen into the harbour accidently and returned a verdict accordingly.


*map pointers are rough estimates based on known location details as per Place field above.


see Western Times - Friday 21 January 1938

see Western Morning News - Monday 17 January 1938

see Western Morning News - Saturday 08 January 1938

see Western Morning News - Tuesday 18 January 1938