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BERMUDA SHIPWRECKS  Pollockshields Wreck
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POLLOCKSHIELDS
By Capt. Dan Berg

Photos: Pollockshields aground courtesy Bermuda Archives. Underwater images by Peter Phillips. Mike Burke with recovered shell casings photo by Dan Berg

Originally built as the Herodot, the Pollockshields was a 2,744 gross ton, 323 foot by 40 foot steamer that was powered by 281n.h.p. triple expansion engines. She was built in 1890 by Reiherstieg Schiffswerft, Hamburg, for Deutsche Dampfs Ges. In 1903 she was sold to the Hamburg American Line and renamed Graecia. In 1904, World War I broke out, and this fine ship was outfitted as a German naval supply vessel. In August of 1914, she sailed from New York to the Azores. On October 10th of the same year, she was captured by the H.M.S. Argonaut. Taken over by the British Government, she was re-named Pollockshields and registered in the ownership of Tyack & Branfoot, Newcastle.

On August 22, 1915, with a crew of 37 and a cargo of 350tons of ammunition including shells, gunpowder and provisions for WW I, the Pollockshields left Cardiff, Wales. On September 2nd, the steamer ran into a dense fog and hurricane force seas. By September 7, 1915, the fog lifted and as soon as the crew could see, they knew by the color of the water that they were in trouble. Ten minutes later, the ship struck a reef near Elbow Beach. According to the New York Times, all hands were mustered on the upper deck; life belts were given out, but they were one short. The captain sent boson Young below to get one. By this time, seas were sweeping over the deck making the job difficult. Young made it below only to find the doors locked. He got back and offered to go again if the Captain would give him the keys, but Captain Earnest Boothe said, "No boson that wouldn't be fair. You went down once, and now I will have a try." Captain Boothe was struck by a wall of water that swept him overboard. The last time anyone saw him alive was on top of a great sea within ten feet of a sharp coral reef. The rest of the crew reached shore safely later that day after the heroic efforts of life savers on the beach. Rescuers made five trips in a whaleboat through the heavy surf to take the crew ashore. The whole thrilling event was witnessed by guests of the Elbow Beach Hotel, then named South Shore Hotel.

For years, the Pollockshields engine protruded above the waves inviting tourists to swim out to her. So many of these swimmers were getting cut up on her coral covered wreckage that in 1960 the government hired Teddy Tucker to blow the legs off her engine. This took away the visual attraction and temptation of the wreck.

Today the wreck of the Pollockshields can be found scattered in20 to 40 feet of water on a coral bottom. Loads of live ammunition and shell casings can be seen in amongst her wreckage. This wreck can be snorkeled to from the beach, but we recommend Scuba from a dive boat due to a powerful surge which is present on rough days.
 

 

The information listed above was taken with permission from the Book:
BERMUDA SHIPWRECKS,  ISBN # 0-9616167-4-1
A Vacationing Divers Guide to Bermudas Shipwrecks,
by Dan and Denise Berg, 6x9 softcover,73 pages.
Retail $14.95

 

 

 

Now also Available as an instant download printable PDF eBook

 
BERMUDA SHIPWRECKS ebook
A Vacationing Divers Guide to Bermudas Shipwrecks

Buy Now  only $9.95
4.5 MB instant download, printable  PDF file

by Dan and Denise Berg, 6x9, 73 page downloadable ebook. From the first quarter of the 16th century, Bermuda became a landmark for Spanish ships sailing back to Spain from the New World. The desire to sight Bermuda to confirm their position often ended their voyage as they wrecked on Bermuda's outer reefs. To this day Bermuda's treacherous reefs have taken their toll on shipping. The reefs have claimed vessels ranging from ocean lines to small fishing boats. Bermuda Shipwrecks is the most comprehensive, accurate, illustrated collection of information, photographs, sketches and stories ever written about the legendary wrecks around Bermuda. Bermuda Shipwrecks includes over 100 illustrations comprised of 61 sensational color photos, 17 rare b&w historical images, 19 stamps, 4 sketches plus one map. Bermuda Shipwrecks contains a wealth of enlightening information that gives the readers a nostalgic glimpse into the history and present condition of over 55 of Bermuda's most popular Shipwrecks. 

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All photographs, sketches, images and text

Copyright Capt. Dan Berg / Aqua Explorers Inc

2745 Cheshire Dr
Baldwin NY 11510
E-Mail Wreckvalle@aol.com

 
 
 
 
 
   


 
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