The steel steamship Vestfos was launched from the Christiana yard of Nylands Verksted (Yard No 198) in 1909. She measured 254.0′ x 38.0′ x 16.4′ and her tonnage was 1388 gross tons, 826 net tons. She was powered by a triple expansion steam engine by Nylands Verksted delivering 152 net horse power.
She was ordered by A/S Manchester (Thor Thoresen) of Christiana. In 1918 this company changed it’s name to Skips A/S Thor Thoresen Linje before updating the ship’s name to Vestfoss in 1939.
In late February 1940 Vestfoss was loaded with a cargo of coal at Partington on the Manchester Ship Canal. By the 1st March she was off Copinsay, Orkney en route to her home port of Oslo when she was attacked by German aircraft. The German pilot flew low over the ship on his first pass waving his arms indicating that they crew should abandon ship before he attacked. As a result none of the crew of nineteen were injured in the attack but as soon as they pulled clear in the ship’s boats the bomber returned to attack. On his next pass one of his bombs struck the Vestfoss between hatch 1 and 2. He then circled and made a final pass dropping a second bomb which again scored a direct hit on the ship. This second bomb caused much more damage than the first leaving the ship in flames. Satisfied the German bomber turned and headed for home. The crew were picked up shortly after by the steam trawler Star of Liberty. At first the Vestfoss was taken in tow and it was hoped she could be beached before she sank but after two hours, with water gaining and the ship settling the tow was detached and the Vestfoss slipped below the surface.
The wreck of the Vestfoss lies in position 58° 58.660’N, 002° 22.731’W oriented 069/249 degrees. She lies in 79 metres with a least depth clearance of 73 metres. Divers report that she is sitting virtually upright and is almost in tact except for some severe damage to the stern section. She was positively identified in 2010 when local divers recovered Thoresen Line crockery from the wreck.