Wreckage of the SS Sjövik
Wreckage of the SS Sjövik

We’ve done a lot of walking along Longsands over the four months we’ve lived here, it was after all one of the things that suckered us into moving to the North East in the first place, and often when the tide is lower in amongst the rocks at the Cullercoats end you can often see something that is clearly man-made.

This week, because of the new moon, the tide has been especially low so I was able to walk out to get a closer look.

Wreckage of the SS Sjövik
Wreckage of the SS Sjövik

Not that actually getting any closer really helped me to figure out what this cylindrical, metal structure was. No, what helped was (as it so often does) was the Internet!

Turns out that this is the last remains of the SS Sjövik that was wrecked on the rocks 105 years ago.

Yorkshire Post - 20th October 1916
Yorkshire Post - 20th October 1916

SWEDISH STEAMER STRANDED

The Swedish steamer, Sjovik, went ashore on the north-east coast in foggy weather on Wednesday night. It is a somewhat serious casualty, as she was stranded amidships on the rocks, and her engine-room is full of water. The other holds are free. The Sjorvik is laden with a timber cargo, and was bound from Sweden to London. Operations have been commenced with a view to float her at the earliest possible moment. The deck cargo will have to be jettisoned to lighten her. Tugs are in attendance, and, the weather being fine, the safety of the crew is not endangered.

It appears that the “renewal of the south-easterly gale compelled the salvage contractors to suspend operations” and the remnants of the Sjövik’s boiler still visible just off Longsands suggests that all efforts to refloat her failed.