The wreck of the Atlantic ( a Barque ) wrecked in Jan 1883

lying on the Ainsdale sand.

The Atlantic wreck was just one of the wrecks affected by the severe gales of January 1883, many wrecks were lost on the North West of England and the local papers report very severe weather.

According to Bland she was wrecked on the 27th January 1883 during a severe gale on passage from Liverpool to North America with a cargo of salt. The Southport Lifeboat was not launched as the crew were ashore.

Douglas Head records that the Barque was 423 tons and was built at Grimstad in Southern Norway in 1866. Her master at the time of her loss was Master K Knudsen and the owner was P B Einersen.

The locals removed the cargo of salt with carts and teh vessell became a total loss. She was built at Grimstad in 1866 and was captianed by Master R.Knudsen and owned by P B Einersen.

Douglas Head records the fact that she was Entry No 349 in "Norske Veritas Register".

The location of the Atlantic was lost for several generations, we knew she was under the Ainsdale sands, but it was only when Verdi Godwin one of Sefton's Lifeguards found a large section of the hull in the late 1980's that her final resting place was known.

The Southport Visitor recorded the event and the attached photo shows Verdi Godwin with part of the bow section of the vessel clearly showing the name board. Verdi took the trouble to draw a map of where the wreck was ( see below ) and to deposit a copy of both the map and the photo in the Botanic Garden Museum, I stumbled across this in August 2006 whilst researching wrecks in this area of the beach. The actual nameboard is deposited in the Merseyside Maritime Museum after it was presented for conservation, the work being carried out by John Kearon and some students.

My interest had been aroused in the Atlantic by the fact that 300 yards North of the Star of Hope wreck were several metal and wood objects that had emerged from the sands, objects that I considered were left over from the WW2 defences put up to stop aircraft landing on the beach. How wrong I turned out to be, these objects were the wooden and metal parts of a sailing ship firmly inbedded in the sands with the iron knees still firmly attached.

It was only when I started looking at the Star of Hope in detail that I realised the lumps of iron sticking out of the sand were in fact the metal parts of a sailing ship.

These metal parts are called "knees" and are large angular brackets not unlike large shelf brackets that attach the wooden ribs that hold the hull planking to the beams that hold the decking timbers.

Michael Stammers from the Merseyside Maritime Museum sent me a copy of his paper on knees and in this he says that Gabriel Snodgrass of the East India Company was the first to introduce iron knees to sailing ships as grown ( wooden ) knees were getting difficult to find.

By comparing the two wrecks it became clear that this wreck was about 30% wider that the Star of Hope and a good few feet longer, and this started me on the quest to find her name an almost hopeless task.

Whilst undertaking some research in the Botanic Garden Museum I saw the photograph of Verdi Godwin standing on the wreck site with the name board and beside him one of the iron knees that are still sticking out of the sands.

The following photos were taken by myself some in May 2012 but mainly on the 25th April 2008, when she was briefly uncovered and lying in the bottom of the gully, since then the sand has re-covered her and all that is showing is a few of the iron knees and some timbers.

This is a typical shot of the Atlantic covered with sand and surrounded by water.
This shows the several Iron Knees which must be still firmly attached to the ribs under the sand
Several Iron Knees.
This shows the tope of some of the ribs, these can be seen in the photos below uncovered.
A vew of the wreck showing her in the bottom of the gully between two sandbanks.
A slightly nearer shot showing what I suppose to be the bow closest to the camera.
A general shot
Here is what I suppose to be the ship's capstan, the wooden shafts still fixed to the central casting, an amazing sight.
A view taken around the area of the capstan.
A view taken around the area of the capstan also showing teh tops of the ribs
Hear is Verdi Godwin by the wreck showing a few of the iron knees close by.
This is a blow up of the previous photo and shows the name board of the Atlantic now in the Merseyside museum. Both these photos may be from teh local paper the Visiter but are held in the Botanic Garden Museum Collection.
A map lodged with the other two photographs showing teh approximate location of where the nameboard was found.
A close up of one of the main timbers in teh bow and also showing the capstan.
View of the bow.
The capstan viewed from a different position.
A general view of the bow
A general view of the bow
View of what I think is the stern.
View of what I think is the stern.
Closer views of the stern.
Closer views of the stern.
A view down what was the Starboard side
Showing the pins that were used to hold the planks to the ribs.

If you have any information on the wrecks off the Southport beach please e-mail me

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