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Tyne and Wear HER(15045): South Shields, Herd Sand, Monitor (Moniter) - Details

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S Tyneside

South Shields, Herd Sand, Monitor (Moniter)

South Shields


Maritime Craft

Sailing Vessel





The Monitor stranded 17-JAN-1915. Owner: J R and M A Weide, Riga Built: 1902 Builder: I Mangus Where Built: Haynasch Crew: 7 Master: Abolin or F Ahdel NB: The nationality of the vessel is given as both Russian (Riga then being part of a Russian Grand Duchy) and Latvian, the modern nationality of the port of Riga. In mid-January, a further casualty took place, which is reported in the Shields Gazette on Monday 18th January 1915. "In the tremendous seas which raged on the north-east coast yesterday, the Blyth-bound, Russian three-masted schooner MONITOR had a remarkable experience before she was finally wrecked, alongside the South Shields pier. The alarm guns were fired by the coastguard at South Shields at 4.30pm and gave the warning of a vessel in distress, and when it was seen that there was no hope of the crew saving their ship, the lifeboats from North and South Shields were launched. The MONITOR, a wooden vessel, was first seen struggling in a monster sea north of the harbour, endeavouring to clear the Tyne pier entrance, and to stand out to the open sea till the weather moderated, but the fierce gale had too much hold of the vessel, and being unable to find steerage way, was driven ashore. Witnessed by thousands of people, the MONITOR was caught by a succession of seas and washed bodily inside the end of the South Pier, swung completely round and struck the breakwater broadside on. The vessel's career from that point on was extraordinary. When the hull heeled over, by the action of the seas, her masts struck the mammoth crane, and her bows scraped alongside the pier. In this manner the MONITOR was carried over the rocks, from the pier end, almost midway, and deposited on a bed of rocks. The crew, seeing their chance of escaping, when the vessel's bowsprit almost touched the pier, scrambled over the bows onto the stonework...They got safely ashore, with the exception of one man, who was bruised, but not seriously, while clambering from the wreck to the pier. "The six Russian seamen were taken to the Brigade House, where they were given hot coffee and dry clothing, but the master of the MONITOR remained on board the vessel. In the meantime, members of the Volunteer Life Brigade hurried to the scene, with the rocket van containing the apparatus. The latter, however, was not required, as the master, in response to urgent signals, made his way along the bowsprit, and was assisted ashore by the Brigadesmen. The MONITOR belonged to Riga, and was commanded by Captain F Ahdel." (Whitaker 1980)




National Monuments Record (1366112); 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)147; Boswell Whitaker 1980 Preservation of life from shipwreck, volume 2 : South Shields Volunteer Life Brigade Page(s)157-8

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