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Tyne and Wear HER(13151): Tynemouth, Crystal - Details

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N Tyneside

Tynemouth, Crystal



Maritime Craft

Transport Vessel

Cargo Vessel

Early Modern



N 55 00 161 W 01 23 728. Iron, 2,613-ton British Steamship registered at Newcastle upon Tyne and built by J.L. Thompson & Sons at Sunderland for the Arrow Shipping Co Ltd in about 1883. Her single iron propeller was powered by a two-cylinder, compound steam engine, employing two boilers and the machinery was built by Wallsend Slipway Co. Ltd. She had two decks and seven watertight bulkheads. On 7 January 1892, the Crystal was on passage from the Tyne for New York, under the command of Captain R.B. Stannard. She had just the Tyne during a force nine easterly gale when her engine failed. Conditions were horrendous. With the mountainous seas breaking over the vessel, she foundered a few hundred metres outside of the Tyne entrance. The wreck of the Crystal lies only about 500m seaward and east of the south pier at South Shields on a seabed of dirty sand and stone, in a general depth of 15-16m. She is sitting almost in the direct shipping lane for the mouth of the river. There is a substantial amount of the wreck left, although, as would be expected after so many years, she is totally collapsed and well broken up. Bronze valves and copper pipes still attached to battered machinery can be found, while rusting steel plates, bent framework and girders lie in flattened heaps on top of each other. The ship’s 300hp engines are broken into a mashed heap. However, it is reported that there is no sign of either boiler. The ship was carrying a general cargo, which must have included large stone, mill grinding wheels, because dozens of these lie stacked up in one section of the wreck. The Ian Spokes database lists the sinking as a result of a collision. Grid reference conversion made 04.03.2011 with with Lat/Long referenced as N 55 00 44 W 01 23 43




Peter Collings, 1991, The New Divers Guide to the North-East Coast, page 54; Young, R. (2000) Comprehensive guide to Shipwrecks of the North East Coast (The): Volume One (1740 – 1917), Tempus, Gloucestershire. p. 163; Ian T. Spokes Wreck Database; National Monument Record (1365425); 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); Boswell Whitaker 1979 Preservation of life from shipwreck, volume 1 : Skuetender lifeboat Page(s)130

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