"The Hawkwood"

12th January 1913

The S.S. Hawkwood drove ashore on the morning of Sunday 12th January 1913, near Filey. She was a 1155 ton (gross) steam collier measuring 235 feet overall, and had a beam of 33 feet. There was no trace of the crew, and it is doubtful that any sign of them would be found in the South-easterly gale which swept the Yorkshire Coast during the days after the loss. At 10 a.m. the distinct shape of the steamer was observed drifting into Filey Bay. The vessel was washed round Flamborough Head and was out of control. With a heavy list, and the swell constantly breaking over her, she was steadily driven onto the shore at Speeton. The tide was receding and locals rushed to the scene. The Bridlington North Landing Lifeboat was launched and the Speeton Rocket

Company immediately turned out. Filey Lifeboat was taken along the sands but by 11a.m. the Hawkwood had struck the shore near “King & Queen” rocks, capsizing in the surf. There were no signs of life and those first on scene found two lifeboats and lifebuoys bearing the name “S.S. Hawkwood”. The vessel quickly broke up, and wreckage littered the beach.

 In the ensuing days there were rumours that the Hawkwood had been in a collision with another vessel, and that her crew had been taken aboard another vessel. On Tuesday 14th January , an inspection of the wreck was made by a member of the Salvage Association, and a mans hand was found amongst the flotsam. This rumour was quashed by a report from the Newark, a collier from Newcastle, who's crew sighted the stricken Hawkwood with all running lights lit at 3.30 a.m. on Sunday 12th. The Newark`s skipper sounded his vessels siren for some time, but got no response.

The Newark got close enough for her crew to notice that the Hawkwood`s starboard lifeboat had been let go, as the tackle was loose at the davit. This evidence would lead to the conclusion that the crew had abandoned the vessel.

 It is said that some time after the wrecking, one body was found. The Hawkwood was also to suffer a salvage attempt, the contractors using dynamite to break the vessel into manageable pieces.

 The wreck lies at Gps Ref: TA 159 – 752 and lies very near to “King & Queen” rocks. The remains are only visible at low tide when the sand is “scoured” out.

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