Wreck of the "Newcastle City" identified

From the Maritime Journal

The wreck of the 19th century British steamship Newcastle City has been located in the Atlantic Ocean and positively identified by an exploration team from Quest Marine Services led by Captain Eric Takakjian.

The Massachusetts USA based company located the remains of the shipwreck south of Nantucket Island.

The Newcastle City was lost on a voyage from South Shields in England to New York with a general cargo that included several tons of antimony ingots. During the early morning hours of December 23rd 1887, the ship struck an uncharted shoal south of Nantucket Island, severely damaging the hull. The ship slowly filled with water and sank several hours later.

After an arduous row of over six hours, the entire crew of 26 and one lone passenger reached safety aboard the Nantucket Lightship, where they remained for two weeks until being brought ashore by the lighthouse tender Verbena.

The Newcastle City was a transitional type passenger/cargo steamship built in Newcastle in 1882. Although powered by a compound steam engine, the iron hulled ship was also rigged as a brigantine. This was a common practice during the time when steam was replacing sail as the primary means of motive power for ships in the late 1800s.

The wreck was located after several years of historical research followed by field investigations during the 2006 and 2007 seasons.

Several interesting sonar targets were identified late in 2007, one of which appeared to be a likely target for the Newcastle City.

Dives conducted on the suspected sonar target on August 24th of last year confirmed the target to be that of the wreck of an iron hulled steamship slightly less than 300’ in length.




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