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Tyne and Wear HER(12989): Whitley Bay, Mars (Ida) - Details

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N Tyneside

Whitley Bay, Mars (Ida)

Whitley Bay


Maritime Craft

Transport Vessel

Cargo Vessel




A Swedish steamship, 266 feet long and 1877 tons. She was enroute from Kopmanholnen to London when she struck a mine on 20th December 1939. She lies in 23 metres of water. Salvage has produced evidence of her identity (makers plates etc) (Colings). Steel, 1,877-ton 80.97m long, 12.85m beam, 5.38m draught Swedish steamship, registered in Stockholm. She was built as the ‘Ida’ by Bergens Mek. Vaerks, Bergen, in 1924 and owned at the time of loss Rederi A/B Iris. Her single screw propeller was powered by a three-cylinder, triple-expansion, using two boilers and she had one deck. On 20 December 1939, the Mars was on passage from Kopmanholmen for London with a cargo of rough wood pulp, when she detonated a German-laid mine. After the explosion the vessel foundered almost immediately and all of her crew of seven went down to the bottom with her. The wreck lies orientated in an east-north-east, west-south-west direction on a seabed of hard sand, stone and shingle in a general depth of 27m (Spokes recorded the depth as 23m). She is quite substantial, but totally collapsed and well broken up with the highest point being around 4m at her boilers and engine amidships. The wreckage covers a 90mx30m area of seabed. The boilers are upright and exposed close the remains of her three cylinder steam engine and brass condenser; her bows and stern are both still recognisable. Grid reference conversion made 18.01.2011 with with Lat/Long referenced as N 55 03 49 W 001 24 11




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. 173; Ian T. Spokes Wreck Database, Inga Project, National Monuments Record MONUMENT NUMBER: 908772; Hydrographic Office wreck index; Winston Ramsey 1987 The Blitz, Then and Now, Sept 1939 - Sept 1940, Wednesday December 20 1 Page(s)61; Scuba world No 184, February 2005 Page(s)24-25; 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

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