british Ellerman-Papayanni Line Ltd. SS Ionian [+1939]
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nationality british
purpose transport
type cargo ship
propulsion steam
date built 1938
live live
weight (tons) 3114  grt
dimensions 105.4 x 15.3 x 6.2 m
material steel
engine 1 x 3 cyl. Steam triple expansion with LP turbine, three superheated single boilers, single shaft, 1 screw
power 606  n.h.p.
speed 13  knots
yard no. 1082
IMO/Off. no. 166236
about the loss
cause lost mine
date lost 29/11/1939  [dd/mm/yyyy]
casualties 0
about people
William Gray & Co., Ltd., West Hartlepool (Sunderland)
engine by
Central Marine Engineering Works Ltd., Hartlepool
Ellerman-Papayanni Line Ltd., Liverpool
no. of crew 37
about the wreck
status hull breaking down
depth (m.) 18 max. / 12.6 min. (m)
orientation 85°
visibility average
current normal
sea bed sand
marine life average
protected no
war grave no
 Racey Carl, A Century of Steamship Losses
entered by Allen Tony
entered 22/04/2006
last update Racey Carl
last update 22/08/2013
Lettens Jan01/10/2009
latitudeUK hydro member
longitudeUK hydro member
AISUK hydro member
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dist. homeportdist. homeport
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 UK Hydrographic Office
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  The Wreck today  

Lettens Jan01/10/2009

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 UK Hydrographic Office

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copyright: Racey Carl
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  Hydrographic Service UK  
Allen Tony26/06/2007Ionian was a British steam freighter built in 1939 by W. Gray & Co Ltd, West Hartlepool. She was owned by Ellerman & Buckall Steamship Co Ltd, managed by Ellerman & Papayanni Lines Ltd, Liverpool. She was on route from Candia, Crete to London and Hull carrying a general cargo including 50 tons mohair and 200 tons of currants. All 37 crew survived. The ship, which was part of coastal convoy FN-43 (23 ships) struck a mine in a barrier (9 mines) laid on 21 November by U-20 between 07:50 CET and 08:47 CET , she was abandoned 340 degrees 4 miles from Newarp Light Vessel and sank in 52 45´15N -01 56´15E.

The Master and crew of 36 were rescued by HM sloop Hastings (L.27) (Cdr. E.H. Vincent) and landed at South Shields. Another vessel that fell victim to this barrier was Willowpool
Racey Carl06/05/2009Built as the IONIAN for Ellerman Lines Ltd, Liverpool; Yard No 1082; Launch Date 01/04/1938; L. P. turbine.

The IONIAN was on passage from London to Hull with a general cargo, including currants and mohair, when she foundered and was lost after detonating a German laid mine, four miles north of Newarp Light Ship, Winterton-on-Sea.
ref. used: 
 Racey Carl, A Century of Steamship Losses
Lettens Jan01/10/2009UK hydro member
ref. used: 
 UK Hydrographic Office

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About Builders
 William Gray & Co., Ltd., West Hartlepool (Sunderland)
William Gray and Company of Central Marine Engineering Works, West Hartlepool, was a shipbuilding firm from 1874-1963. They were the largest firm of shipbuilders in the Hartlepools and also lasted longer than any other local shipbuilding firm. For a hundred years the company ensured the towns’ prosperity by giving jobs to thousands of local people.

William Gray and Co always maintained its reputation for being in the vanguard of technological and technical innovation. The company regularly topped the output for British shipyards in the last decade of the nineteenth and early 20th century. Between 1883 and 1887 the yard expanded through the acquisition of one ten acre site (Central) and a three berth shipyard (Jackson).

Towards the end of the 19th century, demand was for bigger ships which could carry more cargo. This led to the opening, in 1887, of another Gray shipyard at the end of the Central Dock. In 1890 William Gray was knighted. He was active in the civil life of Hartlepool having been the first mayor of West Hartlepool among many other achievements.

In 1896 Matthew Gray died in 1896, followed two years later by both Sir William Gray, and Thomas Mudd. This left Sir William’s younger son, William Cresswell Gray, as Chairman of the company. In 1898 Sir William Gray died. His surviving son William Cresswell Gray became director of the yards.

During WWI output was 30 cargo-liners and tramps built to private order, 13 vessels built to Admiralty order and 30 standard "WAR" tramps built for the Shipping Controller. King George V and Queen Mary visited the yard to boost morale. The yard had a 100-ton hammer head crane which was a Hartlepool landmark until it was demolished in the 1960s.

The Company went into voluntary liquidation in 1962. The various yards were either acquired, auctioned or demolished in 1963.

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Central Marine Engineering Works Ltd., Hartlepool
Central Marine Engine Works of West Hartlepool and Hartlepool
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SS Ionian [+1939]
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