SS Ambassador 1979
N50 11.529 W3 49.782
The above image is of the ships helm from the SS Ambassador.
The wheel was recovered by Kevin Mitchell of the Scarborough Sub-Aqua Club in 1996. It is advertised for sale in November 2014 for £1950 at:
The SS Ambassador was a 300 ft Steamer carrying a cargo of 3050 tons of grain and 350 tons of fertiliser (Bone dust) from Odessa en-route to Hamburg when she hit a submerged object in the English Channel on the 19th September 1891. In March that year many ships were lost in the area due to the “Blizzard” of 1891.She had a crew of 27 hands, including the master, Mr. James Aikman and all got off the ship before she sank. Similar ship shown to the right.
She was owned by “Hall Brothers SS Co”, Newcastle in 1888. They were Founded in Newcastle in 1864 by the brothers John and James Hall. James was a forward looking ship owner and was the first to set up a Merchant Navy training establishment with the ship Wellesley moored at North Shields. He was also instrumental in instigating load lines in ships. By 1867 the brothers owned 16 sailing ships and 3 steamers. The last sailing ship was sold in 1886 and the company then traded worldwide with steamships. Six ships were lost to enemy action during the Great War and four in WWII. In 1968 the company entered short sea trading with the delivery of 1,400 ton coasters but in 1979 the company went into voluntary liquidation and the short sea traders were sold off.
Details of the SS Ambasador:
Type: Transport cargo steamship
Built by: Hall Brothers SS Co. Newcastle
Weight: 2573 tons
Dimensions: 91.4m x 11.9m x 7.3m
Engine: 1x 3 cyl. triple expansion engine, single shaft, 1 screw, 2 boilers
Power: 220 hp
Yard Number: 66
IMO/Off. no.: 95253
Fate: Hit submerged object and sank
The Tyne Iron Shipbuilding Co. Ltd was set up by William J. Bone in 1876. The main types of ships built were tramps, colliers and some tankers. The yard grew from an initial four acres to include all of the land east of the Cleland’s yard. It was one of the leading Tyneside yards. The yard built nine tankers for Hunting & Son of Newcastle
She is upright in 50m of water, 8m proud of the seabed lying East West with her bows to the west. She has an iron propeller.
Her position is: 50:11:529 N – 03:49:782 W
Select the image below to take a tour of the wreck with Richard Knights
The board of trade enquiry number 15929 found the captain not guilty of any wrongdoing and in summing up stated:
“From the evidence, the Court is of opinion that the vessel could not have struck any known rock marked on the chart, and can only conclude that she must have struck upon some sunken wreckage or waterlogged vessel.
(Signed) JOHN J. HUNTER, Justices. “