Click on shipwrecks name (blue underline) to view info on ship
AENEAS (troopship) – She was owned by the British government and used to transport troops to garrisons across the British Empire during the Napoleonic Wars. On 23 October 1805 Aeneas was wrecked on the coast of Newfoundland with terrible loss of life. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aeneas_(troopship)
MV ADMINISTRATRIX – In the second quarter of 1948, the Canadian cargo ship ADMINISTRATRIX, built in 1930, on voyage from St. John’s, Newfoundland to Grand Bank, Newfoundland with an oil load, was lost after a collision, 25 ENE from Cape Race Read more at wrecksite: https://www.wrecksite.eu/wreck.aspx?284730
RJ OWENS – The Deputy Minister of Customs, Mr. H. W. LeMessurier, C.M.G. received the following message from the Sub-Collector at St. Mary’s. Schooner R. J. Owens, Connolly master, owned by Ryan Bros. bound from Sydney to Trinity, lost and broken up at Shag Rocks, two miles from Peter’s River. Captain and crew landed here by Delorey’s schooner. Crew had narrow escape. http://www.newfoundlandshipwrecks.com/Miscellaneous/Other Vessels.htm
WILLIAM – (Feb. 1850’s. In the fifties the brig William, Capt. Eagan, on a passage from Poole to Trinity became a total wreck near Torbay. The disaster occurred at 9 o’clock in the night in the month of February. Capt. Eagan went on deck and said to the mate William White, “it is very thick weather, Billy, and my reckoning will be run down in ten minutes and I am going to heave to for the night.” White looked out under the mainsail, saw land, and cried out “Hard down, land O!” and scarcely had he spoken when the man on lookout forward cried, “land.” The vessel not having sufficient head-way, and the sea rough, mis-stayed and went on the rocks. Capt. Eagan turned to White and said “Billy, if any man can reach the shore you are the man.” White jumped in the water with a line, and failed twice, but on the third attempt he reached the rock with the line in his mouth. He made the line fast on shore and all the crew, with the exception of William Wiltshire escaped. They did not know where they were, and walked a considerable distance until they found a resident’s house in Torbay. Their clothes were frozen and some of them were terribly frost bitten. They were well treated by the hospitable people of Torbay. Capt. Eagan lived for many years afterwards and brought in many loads of seals. There was a mural tablet erected to Wiltshire in the old St. Paul’s Church at Trinity, and is probably still to be seen in the Mortuary Chapel. http://www.newfoundlandshipwrecks.com/Miscellaneous/Other%20Vessels.htm and https://www.heritage.nf.ca/articles/society/st-pauls-anglican-church.php
BEACON LIGHT – Before July 31, 1911. The wrecked crew of the Bishop’s schooner, Beacon Light of Wesleyville, were brought up by the Solway from Labrador and boarded the Dundee at Trinity to be taken to their homes. The Beacon Light was lost while beating into Independent Hr. She mis-stayed and fell on a rock. All the gear was saved. The Evening Telegram, July 31, 1911. SCHOONER LOST – Capt. Edward Bishop’s schooner Beacon Light was lost at Independent, Labrador, last week. All the gear was saved. http://www.newfoundlandshipwrecks.com/Miscellaneous/Other%20Vessels.htm
LADY SHWARTZ – Date uncertain, maybe 1905 – the Lady Shwartz grounded on the south side of St.Mary’s Harbour. She had been carrying coal and to this day, that area of the beach is called “The Coal Pits”.
SS COMMERESKIE – An AMAZING read==would be the SS Commereskie, lost (scuttled,actually) by an unscrupulous Captain. Davey Dobbin “The Diver” donned his diving suit,and when he dove on the wreck, he discovered many passengers locked inside the passenger lounge and a woman tied-to the mast–the Captain’s wife. 1800’s. http://ngb.chebucto.org/Articles/dobbin.shtml
GRACE D. DAY – Before October 23, 1917 The schooner Grace D. Day, master, Herbert Bryant, went ashore during last night’s gale at New Bonaventure, Trinity Bay, and is likely to become a total wreck, word to that effect having been received today by Mr. Stone, Minister of Marine and Fisheries… http://www.newfoundlandshipwrecks.com/Miscellaneous/Other%20Vessels.htm
AGNES R. – Before May 28, 1914 – News reached Mr. H. W. LeMessurier, of the Customs Department today, that the schooner Agnes R. owned by Ryan Brothers of Trinity, was lost and that the crew had a very narrow escape with their lives. The Agnes R., Richard Walker, master, was bound from Brigus to Trinity and at ten o’clock on Tuesday night last she struck a large piece of ice near the Horse Chops and sank. The crew had a close call. They saved themselves by rowing to Green Island where they reached at noon yesterday after having an anxious time of it. http://www.newfoundlandshipwrecks.com/Miscellaneous/Other%20Vessels.htm
MONT MURRAY – Lost on September 1955 – The 149 ton Mont Murray, owned by Captain Blackwood, sank 58 miles southwest of St. Pierre in September 1955 after foundering at the onset of a hurricane. The captain and his crew were rescued by the trawler Red Diamond IV just before the Mont Murray went under. https://wrecksite.eu/wreck.aspx?246918 and http://www.newfoundlandshipwrecks.com/Miscellaneous/Other%20Vessels.htm
WALTER G. SWEENEY – Lost October 31, 1961 – In the Spring of 1961, Capt. Miller, hero of the Llewellyn II rescue, purchased the Walter G. Sweeney for fishing that summer and for freighting in the fall. On the morning of Tuesday, October 31, the Walter G. Sweeney was crossing the Gulf, 50 miles east of Scatarie, en route to P.E.I. A strong head wind had been encountered all night and shortly after daylight, engineer Sam Power informed Capt. Miller that the vessel was taking on water and the pumps were at full capacity. Shortly afterwards, Capt. Miller issued a mayday; his vessel was sinking and in need of immediate assistance.
The oceangoing tug, St. John, out of Sydney, responded to the call and arrived at the sinking vessel by mid-afternoon. The rising water in the Sweeney’s engine room had killed the engine so the tug put one of its pumps aboard her and when the leaking vessel could “hold her own” it was decided to try to tow her to Sydney.
Capt. Miller and his crew stayed on the Walter G. Sweeney as they were being towed but late that afternoon, a weather forecast called for storm force winds. The tug’s captain advised Capt. Miller they should board the tug. A couple of hours later the storm hit. From the safety of the tug, the crews of both boats watched the Walter G. Sweeney settle dangerously deeper in the water. Eventually, when they were about 50 miles off Cape Breton, they decided to cut the tow line and within minutes the Walter G. Sweeney sank. With that, the third vessel involved in getting coal to Trinity in the Fall of 1960 was now at the bottom of the ocean. http://www.newfoundlandshipwrecks.com/Miscellaneous/Other Vessels.htm
LLEWELLYN – September 30, 1881
LOSS OF A SCHOONER – PASSENGERS AND CREW SAVED
A random correspondent of the Telegram records the loss of the schooner Llewellyn on the north side of Trinity Bay. It appears that this vessel, which had left St. John’s on the 30th ulto. Struck on Shag Rock, near Ireland’s Eye and in less than ten minutes was under water. The passengers and crew, nine all told, barely escaped with their lives, losing all their property, the night being dark with heavy wind blowing at the time. The Messrs. Cooper at Northwest Arm, by whom the craft was hired, lost all their winter’s supplies. The Rev. Mr. Lumsden, a newly arrived Wesleyan Minister who was a passenger on board lost his entire stock including clothing and some valuable books. After the unfortunate occurrence, the ship wrecked passengers and crew were well cared for by the people of Ireland’s Eye. The schooner was insured, but her owner incurred considerable loss in a large quantity of fishing gear on board at the time. http://www.newfoundlandshipwrecks.com/Miscellaneous/Other%20Vessels.htm
LILIAN – October 4, 1902 – Schooner Lilian: Tragedy at Grates Rock
by Robert Parsons from his online publication Times, Tides and Tales – Volume 3, Issue 5
Captain Jacob Miller was on his way home from St. John’s. He had sailed past the tip of the Bay de Verde Peninsula and was about to leave the tickle that separates Baccalieu from the peninsula when he heard the cries of someone in distress. Screams and desperate calls for help seemed to be coming from the Grates Rock, a treacherous crag located immediately east of Baccalieu Island and situated off the community of Grates Cove. Miller figured it was probably the crew of the schooner Lilian, Captain Martin. Both schooners had left St. John’s in company on Tuesday, October 4, 1902 and both were bound for Trinity Bay. The voyage would take a day and a half or a couple of days, barring any inclement weather.
Captain William Martin’s home port was Hickman’s Harbour, the commercial center and largest town on Random Island. He had little onboard the 30 ton Lilian -some ballast and a few barrels of flour. Another coasting trip would be made later in the fall for winter food and supplies. Martin, sailing ahead of Miller, set a course for the northwest which would take him through Baccalieu Tickle, then southwesterly down into Trinity Bay and home to Hickman’s Harbour.
Captain Miller was bound to Trinity Bay as well, but to Kearley’s Harbour, a small fishing town about 10 kilometers southwest of Trinity. Today Kearley’s (or Kerley’s) Harbour is abandoned, but in 1902 had a population of about sixty. One of the original settlers, Jacob Miller, hailed from Poole, England. John Miller’s family had relocated there from Bonaventure. In 1935 population peaked at 90, but by 1963 all the families, Millers, Clarkes, Ivanys and Kings had relocated elsewhere.
Now Captain Miller’s thoughts of an uneventful voyage home were put to one side. The wind had picked up since the afternoon and there was trouble ahead in the darkness. He edged his schooner toward the calls coming from what he presumed to be a wrecked ship. It was about nine o’clock on a windy Wednesday evening and pitch black. But he and his crew saw the debris and three people – Captain William Martin, his son Ezekiel and another man – clinging to it. Once safe aboard Miller’s vessel, Martin soon told captain there were three others: his son James and George and Annie Champion, brother and sister. Martin wasn’t sure if they were still alive.
According to the story related later by Captain Martin, the Lilian had passed through Baccalieu Tickle and, on bringing the schooner around to swing more southwesterly, they ran upon Grate’s Rock. Martin said, “In high winds, the hull of Lilian was crushed like a nutshell.” He explained that the accident happened because the steering wheel chain gave out just as the crew was about to haul into Trinity Bay and proceed to Hickman’s Harbour.
In the darkness they had no idea they were so close to Grate’s Rock; thus when the steering gear broke, the crew had no time to “wear off” from the land. Martin recalled:
“After we struck the rock a terrible scene of confusion followed. The schooner was swept by the next incoming sea and the port side smashed in. Lilian slid off into deeper water. We got the small boat when the schooner’s side crashed in, and the boat overturned.”
He, Ezekiel and a sailor reached the wreck and clung on. Captain Martin was washed overboard when the first sea passed over the stranded schooner, but Ezekiel, after a long and difficult struggle, pulled his father back aboard. They had no idea what happened to the other three, but thought they may have reached Grates Rock. While William and his son clung to the wreck, they thought they could hear cries coming from the direction of the rock. In hope against hope perhaps James, George and Annie still clung to the overturned lifeboat or were on the rock.
In the darkness and fighting for their lives the survivors realized another schooner was passing by and shouted until Captain Miller found them. Once aboard with Miller all immediately searched for the remaining souls that had been aboard Lilian, but found no sign of life.
Captain Miller brought the survivors to British Harbour, a town located south of Kearley’s Harbour (but since abandoned during the Resettlement Program of the late 1960s). There the sad tale was told. People in Random Sound, Smith Sound, the several communities of Random Island and in the other towns on the west side of Trinity Bay were especially saddened at the loss of Annie Champion.
All that summer she had been employed with the floater fishermen on the Labrador, working as a cook for a schooner’s crew. During the early fall the schooner was wrecked with no loss of life and Annie, along with her brother George who was also a crewman on the schooner returned to St. John’s on the government steamer Virginia Lake. In October both had booked a passage to Trinity Bay with Captain Martin on Lilian.
Now the people of Trinity Bay could only discuss Annie’s untimely death. One of Lilian’s survivors had last seen her standing in the companionway, looking at the others and watching for a chance to get off the doomed schooner. At that moment the mast broke, the great mainsail came down over the deck and the companionway and the girl was seen no more. Another survivor thought her brother George had been trying to help her leave Lilian and most likely sacrificed his life while trying to rescue his sister.
When the survivors reached British Harbour, a Mr. Leonard took them to the town of Throughfare on the northeast corner of Random Island, There they connected with the bay steamer to go to Hickman’s Harbour. The news of the Lilian’s loss and three deaths reached St. John’s on Thursday after the wreck. Captain Smith of Smith’s Sound who had sailed to the city in his schooner Geraldine reported the tale of woe to St. John’s shipping authorities. http://www.newfoundlandshipwrecks.com/Miscellaneous/Other%20Vessels.htm
possible date of 1781 or before. In 1977 some divers were diving in Trinity harbour and came across the remains of a ship. The wreck had lead pipes, and fourteen and twenty eight pound lead weights, green glass bottles, two flagons and a chamber pot. A cannon was also found at one end of the wreck. The divers contacted the Newfoundland Museum and they decided to investigate further and upon examination of the bottles discovered that they pre-dated 1880. A decision was made to survey the wreck and raise any surface artifacts. This work was completed for the Newfoundland Museum by the Newfoundland Marine Archaeology Society (NMAS).
The underwater archaeology began in August 1977 and three more expeditions has taken place. To date forty one square meters have been excavated and over a thousand artifacts have been raised and conserved and are in holdings at the Newfoundland Museum. Some of these artifacts are also on display at the Trinity Interpretation Centre and you will see some of them here in this virtual exhibit.
While this shipwreck does exist no one really knows when it went down, why it did or even its name. Everything that is known is pure speculation. Study of documents such as Benjamin Lester’s diary, he was a fishing merchant in Trinity from Poole England from mid 1700s to 1800, does not give any indication of a ship being lost in this area.
The wreck lies in about 8 – 12 meters of water just off Fort Point. The vessel lies on her starboard side with the bow facing in a southerly direction and the stern portion almost under the foundation of the derelict wharf that used to exist. Most of the port side has collapsed however various sections of the starboard side remain.
Each artifact that was located within a leveled grid was recorded by the diver on underwater record sheets before being raised to the surface where conservators stabilized and recorded them. The hull timbers after being exposed were fully mapped and a pump was found which was mapped and brought to the surface for measurement and photographing. This was however replaced on the wreck. Divers also excavated under the wreck to locate the keel of the ship and took samples of wood.
There was a significant amount of artifacts found in two distinct areas of the wreckage, the downward slope off the site and the midships area of the wreck. On the former there was a large amount of olive green, blown glass bottles and ceramics as well as a large amount of stones that was probably used as ballast. One bottle that was found intact with its cork in place was discovered to have remains of degraded olive oil in it. A complete clear wine glass was also found possibly from the mid-eighteenth century.
The pump box area, midship, produced the largest number of artifacts with leather shoes and scrap leather. Also uncovered was pewter and copper buckles, carpenters’ tools such as a clamp, plane and knife handles, pewter spoons, wooden bowl and several buttons.
Two dated artifacts were found on the wreckage site: a small copper disc possibly a Portugese coin showed the date 1738 and a brass commemorative medal with one side showing Frederick the Great on horseback holding a Field Marshall’s baton and under it written LISSA DEC 5 and the other side a battle scene, people, smoke and horsemen. On the upper portion is written QVO NIHIL MAJVS and on the lower section ROSBACH NOV 5 1757. According to Barbour this is an English medal that was struck to commemorate the Protestant, Prussian victory by Frederick at the Battle of Rossbach and Leuthen on November 5 and December 5, 1757 during the Seven Years War.
The article by Barbour says that according to the size of the hull timbers and length of the wreck that the vessel was a Ship, built of hard wood (oak) and the retrieval of artifacts such as glass bottles, leather shoes etc. that this vessel was coming into Trinity with supplies from across the Atlantic maybe Britain or Portugal. A ship lost in this location would have been salvaged at the time as the upper deck, masts and rigging would have all been exposed since the vessel was only in shallow water however no record of looting or complaint has been found to date.
It is speculated that it is not a Royal Navy vessel or supply ship for the Fort as these incidents would have been reported. It is possible that the vessel could have been sunk when the French captured Trinity in 1762 however there is no indication of such in Benjamin Lester’s diaries. It is possible that the vessel was dragged from its mooring and could have sunk although again there are no records.
In 1781 Benjamin Lester reports the loss of the Betsy and Speedwell in ice in the harbour and both vessels had departed in convoy from Lisbon in April 1781 but dispersed after sighting enemy sails. It is known that the Betsy was built in Newfoundland (Lloyd’s Register, 1781) and thus probably built of softwood but there is no documentation of the Speedwell.
(Written using notes from A Historic Shipwreck at Trinity, Trinity Bay by Janette Barbour, published in the Newfoundland Quarterly)
The shipwreck is now a protected site as it was made a Provincial Historic Site in 1978 and no artifacts are allowed to be removed from the site.
Lost on Before March 2, 1875. A French ship. Very sad story on Grandbanks website. Men died trying to get to the ship on the ice. http://ngb.chebucto.org/Articles/1875-disaster-psm.shtml
Sank after contact with a iceberg on June 4, 1861 7.4 km north of Cape Bauld, Newfoundland. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SS_Canadian
Sank on September 7, 1854 off the rocks of Chance Cove. Story of the community be scared by the screams from the ship. No loss of life
http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/Wrecks/cityofphiladelphia1854.shtml and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SS_City_of_Philadelphia
In 1869, after 24 years of service with the Graves family, she was sold. In 1874, while travelling from Cardiff to Quebec, she ran aground in the Saint Lawrence River. She was bought by a salvage company, repaired and sold again but in 1875 she foundered on the Labrador coast and was lost. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunbrody_(1845)
Earlshall (73405) was an iron hulled Barque registered in St. John’s, Dominion of Newfoundland. She ran aground and wrecked on January 24, 1915 with no loss of life in Leeward Cove, 1.5 miles south of Motion Head, Petty Harbour-Maddox Cove, Newfoundland… https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earlshall
SS Regulus was a steamship registered in St. John’s, Dominion of Newfoundland. She was lost, with all hands, on October 23, 1910 on the rocks known as Hayes’ Reef in Leeward Cove (now known as Lower Cove), 1.5 miles (2.4 km) south of Motion Head, Petty Harbour-Maddox Cove, Newfoundland during a southeast gale. The gale was most probably the last remnants of the 1910 Cuba hurricane….. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SS_Regulus
MV FLARE (P3GL2)
HMS FLY (1776)
HMS Fly was a Swan class ship sloop of the Royal Navy and was launched on 14 September 1776. She performed mainly convoy escort duties during the French Revolutionary Wars, though she did capture three privateers. She foundered and was lost with all hands early in January 1802…. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Fly_(1776).. (copy link to view history)
Germania took part in a further two Arctic expeditions, being refitted as a whaler in 1884. This former research ship ended its career after it ran aground during a hurricane on 2 October 1891. Exact location is unknown.. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Germania_(ship)
USS INGRAHAM (DD-444)
Ingraham was guarding Scotland-bound convoy T-20 out of Halifax. After an erroneous report of enemy submarine, convoy escorts maneuvered to locate the enemy in heavy fog. On the night of 22 August, as she was investigating a collision between the destroyer Buck and a merchant vessel, Ingraham collided with the oil tanker Chemung in heavy fog off the coast of Nova Scotia and Ingraham sank almost immediately. Depth charges on her stern exploded. Only 11 men survived the collision. She was struck from the Naval Vessel Register on 11 September 1942…. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Ingraham_(DD-444)
SS KRISTIANIAFJORD (1912)
Kristianiafjord remained on the same route for the next four years, but on 15 June 1917 the ship wrecked near Cape Race, Newfoundland due to navigational error. There were 1144 persons on board at the time, but no lives were lost. About two weeks later, on 28 June, the wreck was destroyed and lost in a storm.. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SS_Kristianiafjord_(1912)
LADY ON THE LAKE (BRIG)