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Latitude 50° 20.714 N
Longitude 004° 15.272 W
Depth Foreshore
Accuracy 5m
Location Description Freathy Cliff, Whitsand Bay
Reference NMR 925512
Craft type Steam coaster
Date built 1872
Date of loss 27 February 1903
Manner of loss Wrecked
Outcome Partly salvaged
Construction Iron
Propulsion Steam / Sail
Nationality United Kingdom
Departure port Dieppe, France
Destination port Barry Port, Wales
Hull length 66m
Hull beam 9m
Hull tons 934 grt
Armament None
Crew 14, all saved
Built Short Brothers, Sunderland
Master ?
Owners R. Hugues, Liverpool

Daisy (Ex. Emerald)

The steam coaster Daisy was originally the Emerald, built in 1872 by the Short Brothers shipbuilders in Sunderland, England, and she was one of the first iron-hulled ships to be built by the company (6).  The Emerald was 66m long (217.8ft) with a breadth of 9m (29.5ft) and a depth in hold of 5m (16.5ft), with two decks and five watertight bulkheads.  The ship’s official number was 62649 and she was 934 gross registered tons, built for her original owners Wheatherley & Co.  The ship had two compound steam engines, direct-acting with surface condensers, producing 98 horsepower combined, but she was still also rigged as a schooner.

Between 1877 and 1882 she was operating from the port of Sunderland on the Baltic and coastal trade under the command of captain Andrew Scott.  On 13th May 1895 the Emerald rammed and sunk the British steamship Maritana of Sunderland in thick fog off the north-west coast of France.  The master of the Emerald, Mr. David Robb, was found to be at fault by the Board of Trade as the Emerald was not navigated with proper and seamanlike care.  At some as-yet unknown date the Emerald was renamed the Daisy.

Now belonging to Richard Hughes & Co. of Liverpool, she was on a voyage from Dieppe to Barry Port in ballast when shortly after midnight on 27th February 1903, the Daisy was driven ashore at Freathy in Whitsand Bay, Cornwall.  The Daisy had been sheltering in Plymouth Sound the day before but the stormy weather had moderated so her captain left port and headed down the English Channel.   A few hours into the voyage a severe south-westerly gale sprang up, the captain attempted to turn around and return to the safety of Plymouth Sound but the ship became unmanageable in the rough seas and she was eventually blown on shore in Whitsand Bay. 

Daisy wreck

The Daisy ashore in 1903

The Looe lifeboat Ryder was called to the scene, the first service call for the new vessel since her arrival in 1902.  There was a very strong wind, it was very dark and with heavy rain when the Ryder launched at 2:40 in the morning.  The lifeboat made its way under sail through the heavy weather towards the stranded ship.  Some way into the journey the recall signal was seen, as by then the 14 men on board the Daisy had been recovered from the shore by rocket apparatus and breeches buoy.  The lifeboat made its way back to Looe and Coxswain Toms reported that the new lifeboat had behaved very well, in spite of the heaviest sea that he had ever experienced, the Ryder at times nearly standing on end.

The Daisy ended up on the beach lying parallel to the shore, broken in three places and with both masts overboard.  Over the next few days the ship was broken up by the heavy seas and her fittings washed ashore.  The local representative on the scene considered her not worth the expense of salvaging and recommended that she was put up for sale as scrap.  The engines and boilers appear to have been salvaged but a large part of the ship disappeared under the sands of Whitsand beach.

Visiting the Daisy

Daisy

The site 1st (left) and 4th (right) March 2014

The remains of the Daisy can be found on the seaward side of the rocks at Freathy Cliff, just to the east of Sharrow Point, at the foot of the path that leads down the cliff at Freathy.  The wreck is usually completely buried in sand but it uncovered briefly in the fierce storms if February 2014.  Roger Collins from the Rame Peninsula History Group alerted the SHIPS Project to the appearance of the wreck on the beach on 1st March, but three days later when we visited the site the sand had already stared to bury it.

The remains of the ship still lie parallel to the shore, heeled hard over on her port side and lying up against the rocks.  The photograph of the ship from 1903 shows the bow separated from the main body of the wreck  Amongst the wreckage can be seen many iron plates held together with large rivets, the frames of the ship, bollards, wooden decking, a Sampson post, remains of wire rigging, the chain locker and a broken hawse pipe.  The four bladed propeller with one blade broken off can also still be found.

Approximately 1km further west along the beach lie the remains of the dive tender Emma Christ and 2km to the west lie the remains of the steam trawler Chancellor.

Photographs courtesy of Bill Honey.

References

News: Wreck on Whitsand Beach Identified

Wreck: Chancellor

Link: Rame Peninsula History Group

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