british Gas Light & Coke Co. (Stephenson Clarke & Co) SS Phare [+1917]
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nationality british
purpose transport
type cargo ship
subtype/class coal cargo ship (collier)
propulsion steam
date built 1906
live live
weight (tons) 1282  grt
dimensions 71.63 x 10.52 x 4.6 m
material steel
engine Steam triple expansion by N.E.M.E. Co. Ltd. Newcastle, one single boiler, single screw
armament 1 x 15 pounder stern gun, 1 No Lewis gun
power 166  n.h.p.
speed 10  knots
yard no. 133
about the loss
cause lost torpedo
date lost 31/10/1917  [dd/mm/yyyy]
casualties  max.14rank: 645
about people
Blyth Shipbuilding & Drydock Co. Ltd., Blyth
engine by
North Eastern Marine Engineers Ltd., Sunderland
last owner
[1]Gas Light & Coke Co. (Stephenson Clarke & Co), London
SS Phare [+1917]
period 1915 ~ 1917
prev. owners
[2]Jonsson J. P., Landskrona
SS Grovelea
period 1912 ~ 1915
[3]Christensen Alfred - Dampskibsselskab Nordsoen - Dampskibsselskab Urania, Copenhagen (København)
SS Lady Furness
period 1906 ~ 1912
captain Thomas Henry Craig / A. Smith
no. of crew 18
about the wreck
status well broken up
depth (m.) 25 max. / 21 min. (m)
position on seabed upright
visibility average
current normal
sea bed hard ground
protected no
war grave no
 Racey Carl, A Century of Steamship Losses
entered by Lettens Jan
entered 27/08/2008
last update Racey Carl
last update 31/10/2010
Lettens Jan01/10/2009
latitudeUK hydro member
longitudeUK hydro member
AISUK hydro member
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dist. homeportdist. homeport
ref. used
 UK Hydrographic Office
position disp.
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  The Wreck today  

Lettens Jan01/10/2009

UK hydro member
ref. used
 UK Hydrographic Office

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copyright: Racey Carl
 copyright: Racey Carl copyright: UK Hydrographic Office copyright: Unknown - onbekend - inconnu copyright: Unknown - onbekend - inconnu 
 copyright: Unknown - onbekend - inconnu copyright: Unknown - onbekend - inconnu copyright: Unknown - onbekend - inconnu copyright: Unknown - onbekend - inconnu 
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  Hydrographic Service UK  
Racey Carl03/03/2009The Gas, Light and Coke Company steamer PHARE was carrying 1700 tons of gas coal out of the Tyne for London. She was following the buoyed channel in clear weather with a choppy sea. At 3 p.m. she was between the C and S buoys, on a line 60 yards inside them, when a torpedo was sighted. The helm was put hard over but the torpedo struck abreast of the after bulkhead of the engine room well below the water line.

The crew of 18 rushed to the starboard lifeboat, but before it could be lowered the vessel turned over to port and the boiler burst. The master and crew jumped into the water and supported themselves on spars and debris. Two hours later they were picked up by the armed trawler CALVIA and landed at Scarborough. Of the 18 crew only 4 survived.

Hydrographic reports at the time of loss give the position of the ship between 2.5 and 3 miles north of Scarborough, between and inside "can buoy ´C´ and can buoy ´S´". These were the swept channel markers in position during the WWI.
ref. used: 
 Racey Carl, A Century of Steamship Losses
Racey Carl28/10/2009Built for A. Christensen, Copenhagen as LADY FURNESS; Yard No 133; Launch Date 06/09/1906; In 1912 renamed GROVELEA; In 1915 renamed PHARE; Vessel torpedoed by UB-35 at 3.00 p.m on 29/10/1918, the torpedo struck abreast the after bulkhead on the port side of the engine room well below the water line. The explosion caused the boiler to burst she sank quickly turning over to port as she went down; 18 crew, 14 lives lost.
ref. used: 
 Racey Carl, A Century of Steamship Losses
Allen Tony26/06/2007Phare was a 1,282grt defensively-armed British Merchant ship. On the 31st October 1917 when 2½ miles N ½ E from Scarborough she was torpedoed without warning and sunk by submarine. 14 lives lost.
Racey Carl31/10/2009The UB-35 sank 42 ships for a total of 47,742 tons, 2 ships damaged for a total of 642 tons, 4 ships taken as prize for a total of 5,753 tons ( On his final patrol with UB-35, Oberleutnant Otto von Schrader torpedoed and sank the British steamer PHARE off Scarborough on 31/10/1917. Two days later the Swedish steamer BUR was torpedoed and sunk to east of Scarborough.

The same day the JESSIE was attacked by gun fire from UB-35, three miles NE of Flamborough Head, and later beached to become a total loss. On the 04/11/1917 the Norwegian steamer GIMLE was torpedoed and sunk off Ravenscar, 8 miles north of Scarborough.
ref. used: 
 Racey Carl, A Century of Steamship Losses
Lettens Jan03/12/2010UK hydro member
ref. used: 
 UK Hydrographic Office

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About Owners
Gas Light & Coke Co. (Stephenson Clarke & Co), London

The Gas Light and Coke Company (GLCC), World’s First Public Supplier of Gas, were formed in 1812, the year of Napoleon’s great retreat from Moscow. In 1868, the GLCC received the Royal Assent to build a gas works along the side of the River Thames between the entrance of the Barking Creek and the Royal Victoria Dock.

Existed from 1812 - 1949. Not sure if the flag is correct. -- NORTH THAMES GAS BOARD from 01/05/49

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About Builders
 Blyth Shipbuilding & Drydock Co. Ltd., Blyth
The site of the Blyth yard has a long and illustrious history. It has been occupied by a number of different companies, and has produced a wide range of vessels; from small wooden sailing ships to cargo-liners to large tankers. In 1811 shipbuilding began on this site on the south bank of the river Blyth. This area is known today as Wimborne Quay. In 1880 the first two iron ships were built at Blyth for the Russian Government. In 1883 the yard was turned into a limited liability company Blyth Shipbuilding & Dry Docks Co. Ltd. The fifth ship built by the yard was for Stephens and Mawson of Newcastle. Daniel Stephens was the senior partner and he eventually became Director and then Chairman of the Blyth Shipbuilding yard. Between 1920-25 the yard built seven colliers, four 'corrugated' tramps which were notable because they had two or three horizontal bulges running along the hull. These gave a better flow of water to the propeller, making the ship faster. In 1924/5 the yard built a number of 'Arch-decker' colliers, designed by Ayre and Ballard. This design was different because the upper deck was arched from stern to stern. The longitudinal arch gave extra strength so that long, unobstructed holds as stringers and hold pillars were unnecessary. The yard manufactured seven of these types of vessel. In1925 Daniel Stephens died aged 80. The yard closed in May due to the collapse of the freight market. A receiver was appointed. In 1926 Robert Stanley Dalgleish, a Newcastle shipowner purchased the yard in November. The yard's name was changed to Cowpen Dry Docks and Shipbuilding Co. the yard was amalgamated with Ritson's Shipbuilding and Engineering Co.

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North Eastern Marine Engineers Ltd., Sunderland
North Eastern Marine Engineering Co of South Docks, Sunderland was formed in 1860. Engine builders in Sunderland and Wallsend, Newcastle-upon-Tyne. By 1889 the company's works at Sunderland and Wallsend have supplied 100 vessels afloat with their triples fitted. In 1925 sees the Application of Superheated Steam to Marine Engines at both Wallsend and Sunderland. Also now manufacturing marine engines, turbines, marine oil engines, boilers, condensers, feed and ballast pumps, evaporators, feed-water cleaners and heaters, circulating pumps etc. In 1938 became North Eastern Marine Engineers Co. (1938) Ltd., Sunderland.

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SS Phare [+1917]
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