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Tyne and Wear HER(14006): Tynemouth, Wandsworth - Details

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N Tyneside

Tynemouth, Wandsworth



Maritime Craft

Transport Vessel

Cargo Vessel

Early Modern



Stranded and lost on Battery Rocks whilst entering Tynemouth in wind conditions ESE force 8. The wreck lies off the North Pier in an area known as The Priory, close to the foundations of the old breakwater, which are visible at low tide. (1) Date of loss stated as 07-JAN-1897. (1) SS WANSWORTH [sic]. Just off the wall of the Tyne North breakwater, some 75m before the lighthouse, lies the midships of the wreck of the 1754-tonnes WANSWORTH. The site is near the antiquity called The Priory at GR 375695. The foundations of the old breakwater are visible at low water and the wreck, which sank on 7th January 1897, can be located here. (2) 1897 January 8th. During a severe storm the steamship WANDSWORTH, owned by Watkins of London, wrecked on Spanish Battery Point. The lifeboats BEDFORD, coxswain John L Burn, and JAMES YOUNG, coxswain Thomas Gibson, were launched. The crew of 22 were rescued by the Tynemouth Volunteer Life Brigade. (3) ...reported in the Shields Daily Gazette for Friday, 8th January, 1897:- "The strong south-east gale which came away early on Wednesday continued throughout yesterday, and consequently a tremendous sea was running on the coast...At about a quarter past eight at night, a steamer was sighted making for the harbour. She cleared the pier ends quite satisfactorily, but had barely passed the bar when she was seen to be in difficulties. It is stated that she failed to answer her starboard helm. Whatever the real cause of her sudden incapacity might be, she found it impossible to regain her course, and commenced to drift steadily before the gale, towards the north shore... "The ship had settled with her head upstream on the rocks directly eastward from the Spanish Battery, on almost the exact spot where the schooner PEGGY struck, over five years ago. "Immediately after giving the alarm, Mr E Jones, Chief Officer of the Coastguard, and his staff, assisted by Captain John Anderson and other members of the Tynemouth Volunteer Life Brigade who were present, had the rocket apparatus conveyed down to the shore. The tide was about two hours' ebb...It was impossible to approach nearer than some 150 yards off the side of the vessel, the intervening space being filled with rough broken water. A firm position being found from which to fire, a rocket was directed beautifully over the vessel. The line was caught by a stay, and the crew had some difficulty in securing it; when at last they did so, it was found that it had become fouled in the rocks. The same fate attended a second, and a third, rocket...a fourth rocket being discharged with an aim as true as that which had characterised the three preceding ones, the line fell amidships...after the lapse of some time, everything was clear and a few minutes before 11 o'clock, a youth was hauled through the surf and landed...It was not until then that it was learned that the steamer was the WANDSWORTH, Captain Watkin, of London. There were 22 hands all told, the majority being foreigners. After the first man had been rescued, the work went on smoothly...until all were brought ashore. One of the men bore in his arms a dog which gave token of being exceedingly thankful for its rescue..." (4) Built: 1878 (1) Propulsion: Screw driven, 3 cylinder triple expansion engine (1) Boilers: 1 (1) Lloyd's Classification: A1 (1) Master: R B Gwatkin (1); Watkin (4) Crew: 22 (3) Owner: Watts, Ward & Co., London (1); Watkins (3)




Larn, R & B, (1997) Shipwreck index of the British Isles, Volume 3. The east coast of England: Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk, Lincolnshire, Yorkshire, Co.Durham, Northumberland, Section 6, County Durham, Dave Shaw and Barry Winfield 1988 Dive north east : a Diver guide no.65, p56, Boswell Whitaker 1979 Preservation of life from shipwreck, volume 1 : Skuetender lifeboat P133, Boswell Whitaker 1980 Preservation of life from shipwreck, volume 3 : Tynemouth Volunteer Life Brigade P94-8, National Monuments Record (1366538)

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