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Tyne and Wear HER(13812): Sunderland, Ravensbourne - Details

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Sunderland, Ravensbourne



Maritime Craft

Transport Vessel

Cargo Vessel




Steel, 1,240-ton, 70.1m long, 10.87m beam, 4.72m draught, British Steamship registered at the port of London. She was built at Campbeltown in 1916 by the Campbeltown Shipbuilding Co and owned by the South Metropolitan Gas Co. Her single steel propeller was powered by a three-cylinder, triple-expansion steam engine that used two boilers. Her machinery was built by D. Rowan & Co at Glasgow. She had a superstructure consisting of a 24m quarter-deck, a bridge-deck of 14.6m and a 7.9m forecastle. She also was armed with a 2.72 kg (6lb) stern-mounted deck gun. On 31 January 1917, the Ravensbourne was steaming south at 9.5 knots on passage from Newcastle for London, with a crew of nineteen, when she detonated a German-laid mine at 10:40pm. A violent explosion rocked the midships section on the port side, blowing a massive hole into the engine room that killed the chief engineer, the second engineer and a donkeyman. The surviving crew abandoned ship in the starboard boat, as the vessel immediately began to sink, the port boat having been totally wrecked in the explosion. They had just cleared away from her, when the Ravensbourne went down, eight minutes after striking the mine. The Danish steamship Ajax picked up the sixteen survivors soon after and landed them on the Tyne quay at 5pm. The wreck, believed to be that of the Ravensbourne is quite substantial and lying on a seabed of sand and stone in a general depth of 44m. The bridge structure and hull have collapsed down around the two boilers and are carpeted in lots of soft corals. However, the stern-end stands fairly intact with her deck gun and propeller still in place and lots of twisted steel plates; framework and copper pipes protrude from midships section, around the engine area. Lengths of her twisted and warped deck-railings lie criss-crossed over the wreck-site and a number of intact portholes can be seen amongst the debris. The NMR also has this ship listed under South Tyneside (NZ 46 SW 59, 1002342, 5 miles east of Souter Point)




Young, R. (2000) Comprehensive guide to Shipwrecks of the North East Coast (The): Volume One (1740 – 1917), Tempus, Gloucestershire. p. 143, Ian T. Spokes Wreck Database, Inga Project, National Monuments Record (908717 and 1002342); Hydrographic Office wreck index 09-MAR-1993; United Kingdom shipwreck index [pre publication typescript]; 1990 Lloyd's war losses, The First World War: Casualties to shipping through enemy causes 1914-1918 Page(s)88; A J Tennent 1990 British merchant ships sunk by U boats in the 1914-1918 war Page(s)211; 1988 British vessels lost at sea 1914-18 and 1939-45 Page(s)31; 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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