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Tyne and Wear HER(12969): South Shields, Hercules - Details

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N Tyneside

South Shields, Hercules

South Shields


Maritime Craft





A small tug of 82 tons. Sits upright on the sea bed in 25 metres of water. N 55 00 59 W 01 22 984. Steel, 82 tons, 26m long and a single steel propeller powered by a three cylinder, triple expansion steam engine that employed one boiler. The Hercules foundered on 22 November 1940 with the loss of her crew of five after detonating a German-laid mine, three-quarters of a mile east of Tyne entrance. She had been towing a number 116 hopper barge, full of rubbish to a spoil ground when she blew up and sank almost immediately. The crew were apparently killed in the explosion. The barge was only slightly damaged and was recovered by another vessel. Some confusion surrounds this vessel’s position as two precise wreck positions have been given. However the location is straight out from the Tyne and is partially buried, standing 2.5m at the highest point. The deck and superstructure have gone, however the engine block and hull sides are prominent. The Spokes and NMR databases suggests two depths for the wreck – 25m and 27m. Grid reference conversion made 23.11.2010 with with Lat/Long referenced as N 55 00 545 W 001 23 109




Peter Collings, 1991, The New Divers Guide to the North-East Coast, page 33; Young, R. (2001) Comprehensive guide to Shipwrecks of the North East Coast (The): Volume Two, Tempus, Gloucestershire. p. 142; Ian T. Spokes Wreck Database; National Monuments Record (908743); Hydrographic Office wreck index; 990 Publications Ltd 990 Issue 1, Autumn 1998 1 Page(s)55; 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)158; 1988 British vessels lost at sea 1914-18 and 1939-45 Section IV Page(s)13; Dave Shaw and Barry Winfield 1988 Dive north east : a Diver guide Page(s)46

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