Loading...
 
 
Latitude 50° 21.070 N
Longitude 004° 07.542 W
Depth 5m
Accuracy 10m
Location Description Jennycliff Bay
Reference NMR 1520902, UKHO 17899
Craft type Coaster
Date built 1962
Year of loss 1984
Manner of loss Foundered
Outcome Salvaged, Abandoned
Construction Steel
Propulsion Oil
Nationality United Kingdom
Departure port Porthoustock, Cornwall
Destination port London
Hull length 61.9m
Hull beam 8.6m
Hull displacement 637 gross tonnes
Cargo Granite chippings
Crew 7
Built Niestern Sander, Appingedam
Owners J.R. Rix & Sons Ltd., Hull

Fylrix

The MV Fylrix was a general cargo ship of 637 gross tons built by Niestern Sander in Appingedam, Holland, in 1962.  She had a length of 61.9m, a beam 8.6m and a depth of 3.7m and was owned by J.R. Rix & Sons Ltd. of Kingston-upon-Hull.  On 21st November 1984, the Fylrix had just picked up a cargo of granite chippings at Dean Quarry at Porthoustock in Cornwall and was on her way to London.  When she was 10 miles south west of the Eddystone lighthouse the weather was poor with the wind blowing a severe gale and the ship started to develop a list to starboard.  The cause of the list was reported as being due to her cargo shifting but a later account said that the starboard side hatch combings had large holes on the upper side due to corrosion and she was taking on water.

With the list increasing the captain decided to head for Plymouth, the ship got lower in the water and the sea started to break over her hull so the captain radioed for help.  Three of the crew were evacuated using a helicopter from RFA Engadine taking them to the frigate HMS Brilliant, leaving the Master,  Chief Officer and an Engineer on board.  The Fylrix was escorted into the Sound by the frigate and she anchored in Jennycliff Bay. The starboard list increased so the vessel was abandoned the following morning, the lifeboat taking off the remainder of the crew just before she went under.

The wreck initially lay on her starboard side in 5 metres of water with her port side exposed at half tide, easily accessible the wreck was quickly stripped of all objects and fittings by sports divers.  The bronze propeller was removed over the winter by an enterprising team who made a shifter large enough to undo the nut holding the propeller onto the shaft, using a big lifting bag to turn it.  The huge prop was slid off the shaft and moved by lifting bag away from the site to be recovered later on.  The propeller eventually made its way to the Charlestown Shipwreck Museum in Cornwall.

By February 1985 the ship had been declared a constructive total loss and in April she was sold to the salvage company P.R. Eurosalve.  A big storm in 1987 did a lot of damage to the wreck as well as destroying the café on Jennycliff beach.  By 1988 the hull was slowly being flattened by divers from Plymouth Ocean Projects at Fort Bovisand who used her for underwater explosives training courses.  The Fylrix has remained a hazard to navigation ever since, in the past an expensive motor boat hit the wreck and on another occasion a bilge keel yacht was left high and dry on her side when the tide went out.

Diving was banned after the death of a diver inside the wreck but an enquiry to the Plymouth Queens Harbour Master in 2012 confirmed that the ban has now been lifted.

email If you have any more information about this ship then please contact us.

Images

M.V. Fylrix (SHIPS Project Archive)

One of the Fylrix's life rings (Ives Collection)

Video

References

ShipsNostalgia, http://www.shipsnostalgia.com

Charlestown Shipwreck Museum, http://www.shipwreckcharlestown.com