Action at Heka

Action at Heka
Part of the War of the Velaran Succession
Leander & Genereux.jpg
Date21 February 1770
Location
near Heka, Sea of Velar
Result Arimathean victory
Belligerents
 Arimathea  Isles of Velar
Commanders and leaders
Arimathea Captain Tarmüz Roskenti
Trellin Admiral Gharat Reqriu
Isles of Velar Captain Kinira Salúfora  
Strength
ship of the line Mahkiyda third-rate Kaanteyr
gun sloop Surniak
Casualties and losses
74 killed, 102 wounded 46 killed, 63 wounded, Kaanteyr captured

The Action at Heka was a naval engagement in the War of the Velaran Succession, fought on 21 February 1770. The Trellinese admiral Gharat Reqriu, aboard the Arimathean seventy-four Mahkiyda under Captain Tarmüz Roskenti, was returning to Mar'theqa to face a court-martial when the ship was attacked by the smaller Velaran ship Kaanteyr and the gunboat Surniak.

Background

The Mahkiyda was one of a number of ships that had been part of the blockade at Parthenope, but it had been recalled after the combined navies' defeat by blockade-runners on 29 January. Admiral Gharat Reqriu, the Trellinese commanding officer, had also been recalled for a court-martial to account for his fleet's dismal performance. Taking advantage of currents and believing the navy under Admiral Tizarek Er'hani to have cleared the straits between Vodros and Napocis, Roskenti brought the Mahkiyda south instead of the more direct route northwest, which was still patrolled by Velaran warships. A storm on 19 February carried the ship east, towards Semeria, and the following day they were within sight of the coast.

The battle

In the afternoon on 21 February, Mahkiyda passed within sight of the city of Heka, which sent out the third-rate Kaanteyr and the gun sloop Surniak to pursue. Unfamiliar with the waters off Semeria, Mahkiyda was taken by surprise and it was soon clear that they were losing the battle. Twenty minutes into the combat, Roskenti was wounded by a Velaran marksman and taken below decks, leaving Reqriu in command of the ship. Up to now the Arimathean ship had been attempting to outrun the smaller vessels; Reqriu had it turn quickly about and run down the Kaanteyr. The Kaanteyr, which had been closing on the larger ship, could not manoeuvre in time and was soon being boarded. Its crew resisted, and its captain, Kinira Salúfora, was killed in combat, upon which his first officer surrendered. The Surniak fled the battle and Reqriu put the Velaran warship in tow.

Aftermath

Both ships had taken heavy casualties - Mahkiyda had 74 dead and 102 wounded, Kaanteyr 46 dead and 61 wounded with the rest being taken prisoner, and a further two wounded on the Surniak. Kaanteyr was towed to Vacoas, where it was recommissioned into the Navy of Arimathea as Kaha Antei. Reqriu was praised on return to Mar'theqa for his quick thinking and returned to the campaign. Mahkiyda was assigned to anti-piracy near the Eth Bandig, and the captain and crew were awarded thirty pounds of silver for their service.