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FERGA

Site Details

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

NPRN 274835

Map Reference SN19SW

Grid Reference SN1033393209

Unitary (Local) Authority Maritime

Old County Maritime

Community Maritime

Type of Site WRECK

Broad Class MARITIME

Period Post Medieval

Site Description Archaeological remains associated with the loss of this vessel are not confirmed as present at this location, but may possibly be in the vicinity (see also UNNAMED WRECK, NPRN 240639).

Event and Historical Information:
The FERGA was a steel-hulled steamship was built by Dublin Dockyard Co Ltd in 1916. Technical and configuration specifications are given as 791gt; 197ft length x 30ft 5in breadth x 14ft 8in depth; machinery aft; 1 deck, 5 bulkheads, quarterdeck 119ft, boat deck 9ft, forecastle 29ft; screw propulsion powered by a single steam boiler linked to a triple expansion engine made by Ross & Duncan, Glasgow; official number 139593. At time of loss, the vessel was owned by Michael Murphy Ltd, Dublin and registered at Cardiff (12 in 1916). Joseph O'Dowd was noted as the ship's manager. The intelligence files compiled by the Admiralty contain information about the incident given by the master, Thomas Henry Callister. The ship has sailed from Swansea at 8 pm for Liverpool. On 14 February 1917, the submarine was first sighted 1/4 mile soff the port quarter at 7am , at position 30 miles NE by N of Strumble Head (52 2N 5 4W). The ship was attacked some 10 minutes later with three rounds being fires. The master acted to stop the ship after the first shot was fired by the submarine, and the crew abandoned ship. The Master and his boat's crew (all except four hands) were taken onboard the submarine and their spaces in the boat taken by two Germans with bombs. A patrol boat was then sighted and the crew of FERGA were ordered back into their boat. Their vessel was then sunk by eight shots being fired into the engine room. The patrol boat, HMT NORMAN, then opened fire on the submarine which submerged and disappeared. Thomas Callister also provided a description of the officer he had seen - about 5ft 7in, age 28-30, fair, clean shaven, slight build, pale complexion. The submarine was the UC-65 and the commander Kptlt. Otto Steinbrinck. The UC 65 was built by Blohm & Voss, Hamburg and commissioned on 7 November 1916. Before being torpedoed by HM Sub C15 in the November1917, the submarine undertook 11 patrols and sunk 105 ships including the destroyer TARTAR and the hospital ship GLENART CASTLE (162 people were killed).

Sources include:
ADM 137/3980 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 1917, p206
Port of Cardiff Shipping Register 1916-1920, Glamorgan Archives, folio 1

WWW resources:
FERGA, https://uboat.net/wwi/ships_hit/2157.htm

Maritime Officer, RCAHMW, June 2019.