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Tyne and Wear HER(12991): St. Mary's Island, Jane Clark - Details

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N Tyneside

St. Mary's Island, Jane Clark

St. Mary's Island


Maritime Craft

Transport Vessel

Cargo Vessel

Early Modern



The wreck lies at right angles to the reef onto which she ran aground. The stern section sill has the prop and shaft in place. A second prop lies within the hull. A solitary boiler stands 12 feet high off the starboard side. Built in 1883 by Workman, Clark and Company in Belfast. On route from Drontheim (Trondheim?) to Swansea on 24th December 1894, she ran ashore at St. Mary's Island. Weather conditions were foggy. She was carrying a cargo of copper ore. The owners were S.S. (steam ship) Jane Clark and Company, J. Bruce, Baptie and Company, Glasgow Managers. Lloyds list the captain in 1893 as J. Kerr. Richard Larn (author) says that at the time of the sinking the captain was H. Park and there was a crew of 14. The ship was registered in Glasgow. Lloyds register records damage repairs carried out in 1893 but the ship was certified 100A1 (in good condition) in November 1893 at Cardiff. Dimensions - 208 feet x 29.1 feet x 14.1 feet. 803 tons. The quarter deck was 114 feet and the fore deck 27 feet. She had a 7 inch bar keel. The Jane Clark was an iron single screw schooner rigged steamship. She had 1 iron deck, 4 bulkheads cemented. Two cylinder compound engines by V. Coates and Company Ltd of Belfast. 24 inch and 48 inch diameter cylinders with 36 inch stroke generating 96HP. 1 single ended steam boiler with two corrugated furnaces. The shell, screwstays, endplates, furnaces and combustion chamber of the boiler were made of steel. The longitudinal stays were made of iron. Water ballast - double bottom aft 53 feet, 120 tons. Fore peak tank 63 tons, aft peak tank 20 tons. Ian Spokes (diver) reports that the wreck lies in 7-10m of water off the east side of St. Mary's Island. The stern is largely intact, with a single cast iron propeller still attached. It is possible to follow the prop shaft forward past a second spare propeller on the remains of the deck. The engines are still in position. The boiler is now off the north side of the wreck by about 5m. Forward of the engines, little remains of the wreck. There is a gully further west, separated from the wreck by an area of reef, which has some more scattered plating and girders. This may be part of the bows of this wreck. Peter Collings records this wreck as the Janet Clark. Ian Spokes says that there is no such ship listed in Lloyds register and that the correct name is Jane Clark (Collings & Spokes). Iron-hulled, 406-ton (Spokes database records the weight as 803T and the length as 208 x 29.1 x 14.1?), 40m long, British steamship, registered in Glasgow. She was owned at the time of loss by J. Bruce of Glasgow and built on the Clyde in 1883. Her single iron propeller was powered by a two-cylinder, compound-steam engine that used one boiler. On 24 December, 1894, the vessel was on passage from Drontheim in Norway for Swansea, under the command of Captain H. Parker, carrying fourteen crew and a cargo of copper-ore and iron pyrite, when she stranded at St. Mary’s Island during dense fog and a light south-westerly wind. The voyage should have taken just a few days, but severe gales set in shortly after she left port and the weather conditions delayed the ship for ten days, during which time food ran out and her crew had to go hungry. The storm is said to have worsened and waves breached the vessel, carrying away her wheelhouse, bridge equipment and compasses. Sixteen hours prior to stranding she was completely at the mercy of the wind and weather. She drove ashore around 03:00 and despite attempts to refloat her, broke in to and was totally lost that evening. The wreck lies at a right angle to the reed and is now totally collapsed, broken up, decayed and rather dispersed in a general depth of 5m (NMR database records the depth as 7m). The fore section is well smashed up and partially obscured by boulders and a jungle of kelp, while the stern-end with the propeller, is said to be almost complete and clear of the rocks in deeper water. Her boiler stands upright and separate,




Peter Collings, 1991, The New Divers Guide to the North-East Coast, page 46; S.S. Jane Clark - info provided by Ian Spokes, diver, 6 June 2000; Young, R. (2000) Comprehensive guide to Shipwrecks of the North East Coast (The): Volume One (1740 – 1917), Tempus, Gloucestershire. p. 170, Ian T. Spokes Wreck Database, Inga Project, National Monuments Record (1196271); 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)

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