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Tyne and Wear HER(12926): Hendon Rock, Sara - Details

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Hendon Rock, Sara



Maritime Craft

Transport Vessel

Cargo Vessel




The Sara sank in 1915 after running aground. She lies in 12 metres of water, well broken up but boilers, engine and prop can still be found. Pouting, coalfish, cod and wrasse can be seen in summer months. Lobsters and other shellfish hide in the plating (Collings). Iron, 1133-ton, 68.58m long, 9.57m beam, 4.49m draught Steamship, originally called the Ant. She was built by W.Gray & Sons of Hartlepool in August of 1883 for H. Martini & Co. of Glasgow. Her iron propeller was powered by a two-cylinder, inverted-compound steam engine using one boiler. Her machinery was built by Blair of Stockton. In 1886 she was sold to G. Jamieson of Liverpool and resold in 1902 to a Norwegian Company, Aktieselsk Sara (H. Skougaard). She was then fitted with a larger engine and re-registered under the name of Sara at the port of Langesund in Norway. She had one deck, four watertight bulkheads and a superstructure consisting of an 8.2m poop deck, 15.8m quarter-deck, 17.6m bridge-deck and 9.4m forecastle. On 22 November 1915, under the command of Captain J. Jensen, she was on passage from Gothenburg for Sunderland with a cargo of pit-props. The Sara was making her way to the old South Dock entrance of the port in heavy fog, when she stranded on the Hendon Rock at 7am (This is a huge rock which is permanently submerged, some two and a half metres beneath the surface, on a low spring tide.) Four tugs attempted to re-float her on the incoming tide without success, as she had a gaping hole in her side and a severe starboard list. Eventually she filled up with water and slipped down to the bottom. One of the tugs rescued her crew at 3pm, just before she sank and put them down safely ashore. The buoyant cargo combined with the water pressure quickly burst open the hatch covers and the cargo of pit props quickly covered the ships surface and littered the beach with drift wood for many months. The wreck was discovered by the author and one of his colleagues, Rolf Mitchinson, while systematically search all of the high rocky protrusions from the seabed with an echo-sounder in 1975. At the time of discovery the wreck had been smashed up by storms and tides. The seabed to the south-west of her boiler was strewn with iron ribs, framework, decking and copper pipes, massive crushed lead pipes, varying shapes of bronze valves a brass donkey boiler lying close to the condenser and lots of intact brass portholes. The ship’s bell bearing the name ‘Ant 1883, Glasgow’ was recovered by the author in 1978. It was found lying buried in a concretion of coal-dust and small stones. All that remains of her today is the boiler standing upright close to the south-western side of Hendon rock at a depth of 8-10m (NMR 10m), twisted iron framework and at least three iron propellers lying in coal-dust concretion. Grid reference conversion made 02.02.2011 with with Lat/Long referenced as N 54 54 10 W 01 19 54




Peter Collings, 1991, The New Divers Guide to the North-East Coast, page 18; Young, R. (2000) Comprehensive guide to Shipwrecks of the North East Coast (The): Volume One (1740 – 1917), Tempus, Gloucestershire. p. 125, Ian T. Spokes Wreck Database, Inga Project, National Monuments Record; Richard and Bridget Larn 1997 Shipwreck index of the British Isles, volume 3. The east coast of England : Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk, Lincolnshire, Yorkshire, County Durham, Northumberland Section 6, County Durham; Merchant shipping losses of Allied, neutral and central powers during and shortly after World War I Page 98; Dave Shaw and Barry Winfield 1988 Dive north east : a Diver guide No.40 Page 40

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