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MARGARITA

Manylion y Safle

© Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey licence number 0100022206

NPRN 274837

Cyfeirnod Map SN08SW

Cyfeirnod Grid SN0036884851

Awdurdod Lleol Arforol

Hen Sir Arforol

Cymuned Maritime

Math o Safle LLONGDDRYLLIAD

Dosbarth Cyffredinol ARFOROL

Cyfnod Ôl-Ganoloesol

Disgrifiad o´r Safle Archaeological remains associated with the loss of this vessel are not confirmed as present at this location, but may possibly be in the vicinity.

Event and Historical Information:
The MARGARITA was a steel-hulled steamship built by Ailsa Shipbuilding Co Ltd, Glasgow, in 1902. Technical and configuration specifications are given as 375gt, 146nt; 143ft 6in length x 24ft 1in breadth x 11ft 6in depth; machinery aft; 1 deck, weather deck, 4 bulkhead, quarterdeck 46ft, boat deck 10ft, forecastle 26ft; screw propulsion powered by a single steam boiler linked to a compound engine producing 71hp. At time of loss, the vessel was owned by Zillah Shipping & Carrying Co Ltd, and was registered at Liverpool. The intelligence files collated by the Admiralty contain first hand account of the capture of the ship by the master - he ship was on charter to Weaver and Co, Swansea. It had left Liverpool at 1am on 14 February 1917 bound for Swansea with a cargo of wheat. The master was Thomas Richard Clugston. The submarine was sighted 20 miles SW by S from Bardsey Island on 14 February 1917 at 5.30pm. It was stopped on the surface under the stern of SS GREENLAND which it was attacking by gun fire (see NPRN 274836). Despite altering course and increasing speed to 8 1/2 knots, the submarine turned to attack the MARGARITA and, after firing two rounds, the master ordered the ship to be stopped and the crew to abandon the vessel. The MARGARITA was then boarded by three of submarine crew in ship's boat (the master, one able seaman, and one fireman pulling the boat). The ship was looted - the clocks from the engine room and main cabins were taken. Condensed milk and soap were also taken. The remainder of the MARGARITA's crew (6 members) were detained on the submarine until the scuttling charges had been set. After the sinking, the entire crew drifted about in their boat until picked up by HMD 2294 EBENEZER. The master was able to provide a description of the submarine - no guardwires, one periscope, painted lead colour, paint appeared old and sides rusty; one young officer was seen in conning tower age about 25; six German ratings were seen in total, all were wearing leather coats and sou-westers except the officer who was in uniform. The submarine was the UC65, under the command of Kapitänleutnant Otto Steinbrinck. Between the 10 and 15 February 1917, the U-boat sank or damaged 10 vessels in the south-western approaches and St George's Channel off the coast of Wales.

Sources include:
ADM137/3980 Home Waters Ships Attacked February 13 - 20 1917, The National Archives, Kew
Gater, D, 1992, Historic Shipwrecks of Wales, pg130
HMSO, 1988, British Vessels Lost at Sea 1914-18 and 1939-45, pg33
Larn and Larn Shipwreck Database 2002
Mercantile Navy List 1915, pg376

WWW resources:
https://uboat.net/wwi/ships_hit/7212.html
https://www.wrecksite.eu/wreck.aspx?139770

Maritime Officer, RCAHMW, February 2019.