Tyne and Wear HER(12987): Whitley Bay, Eston - Details
Whitley Bay, Eston
Cargo Vessel, 1487 tons and 240 feet long. Built by the Goole Ship Building and Repair Company for the Peninsula and Oriental Steam Navigation Company 1919. She was driven by triple expansion engines, giving her a speed of 11 knots. She left Hull for Blyth on 26th January 1940. Several days later one of her seventeen crew and a lifeboat were washed ashore. The wreck wasn't positively identified until 1977. The Eston is almost intact and lies in 23 metres of water, 2000 yards east of Whitley Bay at N 56 03 24 W 001 24 56. Parts of the wreck stand 10m high. Several portholes have been removed (Collings). Steel, 1,487 ton, 73.15m long, 10.97m beam and 4.8m draught. British Steamship. She was built by the Goole Ship Building & Repairing Co. Ltd at Goole in 1919 and owned at the time of loss by the Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Co. Her single steel propeller was powered by a three-cylinder, triple expansion engine using two boilers. Her machinery was built by Earles of Hull. The vessel left Hull on January 26 1940 on passage for Blyth and two days later was sighted at sea just off her destination, but then she ‘just disappeared’. Several days later a man’s body washed ashore and it was assumed that she had detonated a German laid mine and foundered. No one knows for certain. The wreck lies more or less in an east-south-east to west-south-west direction on a seabed of rocks and stone in a general depth of 22m (NMR 23m). She is about one mile straight out from the ‘Spanish City amusement park’ at Whitley Bay. It was positively identified in 1978 when someone recovered the ship’s bell on the bow section of the wreck The Eston used to be fairly substantial around 1990 and was standing up to 4m high, but the elements have taken their toll on it and it is totally collapsed and well broken up. It lies in three sections with the bows to the North and the boilers and the engine about 50m to the south, while her stern is some 60m south-west of the boilers and engine. The wreck is well dispersed and in jumbled heaps of steel frames, plates and pipes. The Ian Spokes database states that the wreck lies at a depth of 23m.
Peter Collings, 1991, The New Divers Guide to the North-East Coast, page 43; Young, R. (2001) Comprehensive guide to Shipwrecks of the North East Coast (The): Volume Two, Tempus, Gloucestershire. p. 169; Ian T. Spokes Wreck Database; National Monument Record (908768); Hydrographic Office wreck index; Maritime and Coastguard Agency: Receiver of Wreck Amnesty (23-Jan to 24-Apr-2001); 1988 British vessels lost at sea 1914-18 and 1939-45 Section IV Page(s)3' Dave Shaw and Barry Winfield 1988 Dive north east : a Diver guide No.95 Page(s)65; 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 7, Northumberland (CG); http://www.geocities.com/chrisawender/1940/januar/januar40see.html [Accessed 03-JUL-2003]; http://www.swinhope.myby.co.uk/NE-Diary/Inc/ISeq_02.html#D148 [Accessed 03-JUL-2003]; http://www.wlb-stuttgart.de/seekrieg/verluste/verluste40-1.htm [Accessed 03-JUL-2003]; Scuba world No 184, February 2005 Page(s)25 - 26