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OLINDA

Site Details


NPRN 271908

Map Reference SH39SW

Grid Reference SH3327694141

Unitary (Local) Authority Maritime

Old County Maritime

Community Maritime

Type of Site WRECK

Broad Class MARITIME

Period Post Medieval

Site Description The wreck is covered in kelp and lies within an area of rocky gullies swept by strong currents.

Event and Historical Information:
The OLINDA was a an iron-hulled steamship which was also barque-rigged. The ship was built by John Reid & Company, Port Glasgow, in 1853 for a cost of £35,000. Technical and configuration specifications are given as screw propulsion powered by a compound engine. The OLINDA was one of three similar steamships ordered by the newly formed South American and General Steamship Company which had been founded in 1852 to run the first fleet of iron screw steamers to South America. Contemporary newspapers described the OLINDA as 'Built for the conveyance of passengers and goods to Lisbon and the Brazils . . . She is universally pronounced to have been among the best appointed and furnished ships that ever left the British coast.' The ship was only on its second voyage, having left the Mersey on 26 January 1854 under the command of Captain Haram. The OLINDA was carrying mail, a mixed cargo valued at some £50,000 and 20 passengers. The ship had taken on an experienced pilot for the beginning of the voyage leaving the Mersey. A southwesterly gale was developing and it was too rough for the pilot to disembark and so he remained onboard and in charge of navigation. A report in the North Wales Chronicle stated that the pilot 'kept close to the Anglesey coast instead of standing outside the Skerries'. Consequently the OLINDA drove onto the Harry Furlong's Rocks (about 200 yards from the high water mark) at 8.45 pm on the 26 January 1854, where the ship suffered serious damage to her starboard bow. The wind and tides turned to ship around through 180 degrees and, at the same time, the rocks make even more holes in the ship's lower plating. The crew fired the ship's gun to signal of distress. Its blue lights were seen by the Rev James Williams, founder of the Anglesey Association for the Preservation of Life from Shipwreck, at 9.30pm. As a consequence, the Cemyln lifeboat was launched. The lifeboat's crewmembers included the Reverend's son and Augustine Vincent, of the P&O Steam Navigation Company. The lifeboat rescued eleven women and children. The remainder of the passengers and crew utilised the OLINDA's own boat or waded ashore at low tide. The loss was investigated by the Board of Trade who found the pilot at fault. The mail, ship's chronometer and other valuables were recovered, but the vessel itself was too damaged and was abandoned. The ship was valued at £35,000.

Sources include:
Admiralty Wreck Return 1854 pg31 (391)
Carnarvon and Denbigh Herald, 4 February 1854 and 11 February 1854
Evans, D E, 2007, Troubled Waters, pg51-8
Larn and Larn Shipwreck Database 2002
Lloyds List, 28 January 1854
North Wales Chronicle, 28 January 1854
North Wales Chronicle, 11 February 1854, issue 1405
North Wales Chronicle, 18 February 1854, issue 1406
UK Hydrographic Office Wrecks and Obstructions Database. © Crown Copyright and database rights. Reproduced by permission of the Controller of Her Majesty’s Stationery Office and the UK Hydrographic Office (www.ukho.gov.uk).
Wynne-Jones, I, 2001, Shipwrecks of North Wales, 4ed, pg75-8

Maritime Officer, RCAHMW, June 2008.