Holidays: Just about everything closes down on public holidays, so plan accordingly. New Year’s Day (Jan. 1); Epiphany (Jan. 6); Good Friday (Apr. 9); Easter Monday (Apr. 12); Labor Day (May 1); Ascension (May 20); Corpus Christi (June 19); Assumption Day (Aug. 15); Austrian National Day (Oct. 26); All Saints’ Day (Nov. 1); Immaculate Conception (Dec. 8); Christmas (Dec. 25); Boxing Day (Dec. 26).

Festivals: Vienna celebrates Fasching (Carnival) during the first 2 weeks of February. Austria’s most famous summer music festivals are the Wiener Festwochen (mid-May to mid-June) and the Salzburger Festspiele (late July to late Aug.).


On arrival, however, they discovered that the crew and passengers had already been taken on board the Pelican. The coxswains of the three lifeboats were each asked if they would put two crew members on board the steamer to help connect a tow line and this they did, returning to their lifeboats once the job had been carried out. The tow with the Sea Giant got underway at 0930 hrs and the two ships headed for the shelter of the Farne Islands, where they waited while the Holy Island lifeboat returned to her station. The salvage vessel Iron Axe arrived on the scene and the salvage officer and two seamen were put on board the still-burning steamer by the Boulmer lifeboat Clarissa Langdon (a Liverpool class motorised lifeboat). The tug began to tow the damaged ship south with the intention of trying to save her by beaching her. At midday, the Clarissa Langdon took off the salvage vessel’s officer and returned him to the Iron Axe, to which it was proposed to transfer the tow, while the two lifeboats remained on standby in case any assistance was required. They were at this stage some one and a half miles off Beadnell village. The Clarissa Langdon began to approach the Somali and begin the transfer, but when she was about 60 m from the steamer, an almighty explosion, thought to be the magazine going off, occurred in the bow section of the Somali. The force of the blast was so tremendous that it blew the bow section completely off and columns of smoke and pieces of debris were sent thousands of feet into the sky. The shock waves even caused structural damage in local houses and premises around the Beadnell area and many windows were shattered even in Seahouses, nearly five miles to the NW.

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