Fast Search

You are Here: Home / South Shields, Oslo Fjord

Tyne and Wear HER(12947): South Shields, Oslo Fjord - Details

Back to Search Results


S Tyneside

South Shields, Oslo Fjord

South Shields


Maritime Craft

Passenger Vessel





Built as a liner of the Norwegian-American line. 18600 tons. She was converted into a troop ship in 1940. She hit a mine near the entrance to the Tyne on 1st December 1940. She was towed and beached stern first at N55 00 10.8 W001 23 43.5. She now lies on sand in 12 metres of water marked by a red buoy. There is much evidence left - huge ribs, plates and girders covered in anemone and sponge. Rows of sinks can be seen, but some of the taps have disappeared. In 1990 the wreck was salvaged. The huge engines and bow section are impressive. Silverwear has been recovered marked with the shipping line's crest, and portholes and a telegraph. In 1943 the Chandris sank on top of the Oslo Fjord (Collings). Steel, 18 673 ton, luxury passenger liner, the pride of Norway when she was built in 1938, 171.68m long, 22.35m beam, 10.38m draught. She was designed to carry 310 crew and 860 passengers (152 First Class, 307 Tourist Class, 401 Third Class). She was built for the Norske Amerika Line by Deutsche Sch & Mschb A.G. Weser at Bremen. Her two huge bronze propellers were powered by four 28 cylinder oil engines. She had a cruiser stern, four decks, a 92.1m bridge-deck and a 13.4m forecastle. She is the largest merchant ship to be wrecked off the east coast of Britain! She was converted into a troop-ship after the invasion of Norway in 1940. On December 1st 1940 she detonated a magnetic/ acoustic mine off the mouth of the River Tyne, the Cullercoats life boat rescued 40 crew and the stood by until the vessel was beached in the shallow bay half a mile south of South Shields. There she stayed for three years until the elements took hold and the top of the vessel broke up. The bow end of the ship lies approximately 600m out from Herd Sands approximately 6m below the surface and is still fairly substantial, though now totally collapsed except for part of the bow section. Another 100m out is the ‘impressive’ engine block. In 1991 the wreck was ‘absolutely brilliant’ with the detritus of life all around including cutlery, toilets and other fittings. However sea storms and divers in the past decade have taken their toll. The Spokes and NMR database records this vessel as a diesel liner and a troopship (two separate entries) lying at a depth of 14m. Grid reference conversion made 23.11.2010 with with Lat/Long referenced as N 55 00 161 W 001 23 917




Peter Collings, 1991, The New Divers Guide to the North-East Coast, page 28-30; Young, R. (2001) Comprehensive guide to Shipwrecks of the North East Coast (The): Volume Two, Tempus, Gloucestershire. p. 135; Ian T. Spokes Wreck Database; National Monuments Record (908737); Hydrographic Office wreck index; 990 Publications Ltd 990 Issue 1, Autumn 1998 1 Page(s)54-57; Maritime and Coastguard Agency: Receiver of Wreck Amnesty (23-Jan to 24-Apr-2001); 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 (CF); 1989 Lloyd's war losses: the Second World War 3 September-14 August 1945, Volumes I and II Page(s)165; Dave Shaw and Barry Winfield 1988 Dive north east : a Diver guide Page(s)47-53; Regional Capacity Building Project: Maritime Recording Form: Teesmouth Sub-Aqua Clubhouse Page(s)72-77

Back to Search Results