Accessibility

Font Size

100% 150% 200%

Background Colour

Default Contrast
Close Reset

Hms Oceanic: Hoevdi Grund, Foula, Atlantic

Armed Merchant Cruiser (20th Century), Cruiser

Site Name Hms Oceanic: Hoevdi Grund, Foula, Atlantic

Classification Armed Merchant Cruiser (20th Century), Cruiser

Alternative Name(s) Oceanic; Hoevdi Rock; Heovda Grund Reef; The Shaalds; Shaalds Of Hoevdi Grund; Foula Island; Hms Oceanic

Canmore ID 102901

Site Number HU03NW 8001

NGR HU 01172 36937

Datum WGS84 - Lat/Long

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/site/102901

Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2019.

Toggle Aerial | View on large map

Administrative Areas

  • Council Shetland Islands
  • Parish Maritime - Shetland Islands
  • Former Region Shetland Islands Area
  • Former District Maritime
  • Former County Not Applicable

Archaeology Notes

HU03NW 8001 0157 3693

N60 7.05 W1 58.3

NLO: Foula [name: HT 95 39]

Wester Hoevdi [name: HT 936 388].

Formerly entered under classification Auxiliary Cruiser.

HMS Oceanic: [max. date] 1914

6917/17274 tons, 3014 h.p., 685'7" x 68'3" . Attached to 10th Cruiser squadron based at Brae. Total wreck. Crew of 600 saved.

Source: Shetland Archive Service

MS/3025, no. 926.

[No accurate location cited].This White Star liner was built as a prestige vessel by Harland and Wolff at Belfast, hydraulic riveting being used for the first time in the yard. Her keel was laid in 1897, she was launched on 14 January 1899, and entered service between Liverpool and New York. As completed, the ship measured just over 700ft (213m) in length, 68ft (20.7m) in beam and 32ft (9.8m) in loaded draught; her displacement was over 30,000 tons. Fifteen coal-fired boilers provided steam for two triple-expansion engines, which produced about 28,000 hp. Her cruising and maximum speeds were twelve and about twenty knots respectively. She was designed to carry 410 first class, 300 second class and 1000 third ('steerage') class passengers; the crew numbered 394.

The year 1905 saw a mutiny among the many stokers, and in 1907 Southampton became the ship's European port. In 1912 she was involved in a near collision with the Titanic, and in 1914 she was requisitioned for war service. Equipped as the armed merchant cruiser HMS Oceanic, she patrolled the waters around Shetland and the Faeroes, carrying Royal Marines to search suspicious vessels for contraband. During this period of service, the ship sunk no ships, fired only one shot in anger and took only one German prisoner.

On 8th September 1914 the ship struck the Shaalds of Hoevdi Grund, East of Foula, possibly as a result of the uncertainty caused by divided naval and mercantile command. Attempts to pull her off proved unavailing, but the crew was taken off without loss. The guns (and possibly the ammunition) were taken off as the vessel settled; a NW gale on the 29th September reduced the wreck to incoherent remains.

Further salvage was considered in the 1920's, the wreck being bought by the Scapa Flow Salvage and Shipbreaking Co Ltd in 1923 or 1924, but their reconnaissance was defeated by the strength of the tidal flow; no remains were recovered. Ownership passed in due course to Hay and Company (Lerwick) Ltd.

In 1973, diving by A Crawford and S Martin located the wreck and demonstrated the feasibility of salvage from what was found to be a dispersed wreck with much loose scrap at depths between 10 and 50ft (3 and 15m) on a rocky seabed. Court action legitimated operations by Crawford and Martin who raised the following major pieces of (mainly) non-ferrous metal between 1974 and 1979: propellers, bosses and spare blades, steering engines and rudder machinery, generators, evaporators, condensers, thrust blocks, pumps, winches, anchors and bearings. The total weight of non-ferrous metal recovered was between 200 and 250 tons; large quantities of metal were left unrecovered.

(For plan and side elevation of the remains, see fig. facing P. 66. For detailed plan of engine room area, see fig. facing p. 101. For comprehensive technical account, describing individual component-types, see pp. 199-204).

S Martin 1980.

Location cited as N60 7.05 W1 58.3: about 600m NE of Hoevdi Rock.

(State of wreck briefly described).

G Ridley 1992.

Horizontal Datum = OGB

General water depth = 4

Orientation of keel/wreck = NE/SW

Circumstances of Loss Details

-----------------------------

The OCEANIC, built 1899, was taken over by the Admiralty for service as auxiliary cruiser. It was owned at time of loss by the Oceanic Steamship Navy Co. The vessel ran aground on the rocks of Foula Island in dense fog.

Source: Dictionary of Disasters at Sea.

Surveying Details

-----------------------------

28 September 1916. The wreck's position is given as 60 07 03N, 001 58 18W, or 555 metres NE from Hoevdi rock.

Report by Admiralty

15 September 1922. Information and a position is requested for salvage of copper.

23 March 1970. The Navy Dept. sold the vessel to Scapa Flow Salvage & Shipbreaking Co Ltd by competitive tender on 23 September 1924.

Report taken from a letter to the Board of Trade dated 18 March 1970.

24 February 1971. The site was found at decca (from a short distance SE of the wreck) [n scot] red a 22.15, green c 38.9. Due to the proximity of a hazardous shoal water, we were unable to approach closer to a small raised feature. The seabed is fairly smooth with numerous patches of rocky outcrops, none standing more than a few feet clear of the surrounding seabed. Possible wreckage, which could have been the bow end embedded in the bottom, was noted. The vessel is lying on an orientation of 040/220 degree. It would seem from above that the wreck is probably approx 90-180 metres east of the charted position.

Report by Research Vessel CLIONE, 25 July 1970.

5 March 1975. The wreck lies approximately 2 mile east of Foula Island, on the north of Hoevdi Ground. It is lying orientated 045/225 degrees, with the bows to the NE. The general depth is 10-12 metres. The wreck is lying at right angles to the sandstone rock on which wreck is embedded. The wreck is in the centre of a tide race. One lifeboat davit rises to within 3 metres of the surface. The wreck is considered to be a hazard.

Letter from S Martin, 4 March 1975.

3 March 1980. Salvage work has been recently carried out. The salvors were interviewed on BBC TV's Nationwide, 28 February 1980.

10 November 1980. The salvage work has been carried out by S Martin and A Crawford of Dundee in heavy currents. 250 tons of non-ferrous metals were recovered with virtually no equipment. The wreck is very broken up in 10 metres on a rock and sand patch of seabed.

Letter from C A Hine, 1 November 1980.

Hydrographic Office, 1995.

OCEANIC, Armed merchant cruiser, White Star liner of Liverpool, Capt. Henry Smith, RNR. 6917/17274 tons, 3014 h.p., 685'7" x 68'3" x 44'5", 6 X 6" guns. Built of steel, at Belfast, 1899. Attached to 10th Cruiser squadron based at Brae. Stranded on Hoevdi Grund, Foula on 8 September 1914. Total wreck. Crew of 600 saved.

Source: Shetland Archive Service [1998].

(Classified as Armed Merchant [vessel]: no cargo specified, but date of loss cited as 8 September 1914). HMS Oceanic: this vessel was wrecked on Heovda [Hoevdi] Grund Reef, Foula.

Registration: London. Built 1899. 17274grt. Length: 205m. Beam: 20m.

(Location of loss cited as N60 7.05 W1 58.3).

I G Whittaker 1998.

Material reported under RoW amnesty (2001):

A1689 porthole: from seabed

A1715 porthole: from seabed

A1951 1 propellor, 2 portholes: from seabed

A2026 part porthole: from seabed

A2627 1 chair leg: from seabed

A4275 1 porthole: rom seabed.

NMRS, MS/829/35.

Activities

Reference (1995)

Horizontal Datum = OGB

General water depth = 4

Orientation of keel/wreck = NE/SW

Circumstances of Loss Details

-----------------------------

The OCEANIC, built 1899, was taken over by the Admiralty for service as auxiliary cruiser. It was owned at time of loss by the Oceanic Steamship Navy Co. The vessel ran aground on the rocks of Foula Island in dense fog.

Source: Dictionary of Disasters at Sea.

Surveying Details

-----------------------------

28 September 1916. The wreck's position is given as 60 07 03N, 001 58 18W, or 555 metres NE from Hoevdi rock.

Report by Admiralty

15 September 1922. Information and a position is requested for salvage of copper.

23 March 1970. The Navy Dept. sold the vessel to Scapa Flow Salvage & Shipbreaking Co Ltd by competitive tender on 23 September 1924.

Report taken from a letter to the Board of Trade dated 18 March 1970.

24 February 1971. The site was found at decca (from a short distance SE of the wreck) [n scot] red a 22.15, green c 38.9. Due to the proximity of a hazardous shoal water, we were unable to approach closer to a small raised feature. The seabed is fairly smooth with numerous patches of rocky outcrops, none standing more than a few feet clear of the surrounding seabed. Possible wreckage, which could have been the bow end embedded in the bottom, was noted. The vessel is lying on an orientation of 040/220 degree. It would seem from above that the wreck is probably approx 90-180 metres east of the charted position.

Report by Research Vessel CLIONE, 25 July 1970.

5 March 1975. The wreck lies approximately 2 mile east of Foula Island, on the north of Hoevdi Ground. It is lying orientated 045/225 degrees, with the bows to the NE. The general depth is 10-12 metres. The wreck is lying at right angles to the sandstone rock on which wreck is embedded. The wreck is in the centre of a tide race. One lifeboat davit rises to within 3 metres of the surface. The wreck is considered to be a hazard.

Letter from S Martin, 4 March 1975.

3 March 1980. Salvage work has been recently carried out. The salvors were interviewed on BBC TV's Nationwide, 28 February 1980.

10 November 1980. The salvage work has been carried out by S Martin and A Crawford of Dundee in heavy currents. 250 tons of non-ferrous metals were recovered with virtually no equipment. The wreck is very broken up in 10 metres on a rock and sand patch of seabed.

Letter from C A Hine, 1 November 1980.

Hydrographic Office, 1995.

Reference (2011)

Whittaker ID : 201

Name : HMS OCEANIC

Latitude : 600703

Longitude : 15818

Date Built : 1899

Registration : LONDON

Type : ARMED MERCHANT

Tonnage : 17274

Tonnage Code : G

Length : 205

Beam : 20

Draught : 13m

Position : Exact Position

Loss Day : 8

Loss Month : 9

Loss Year : 1914

Comment : Wrecked on Heovda Grund Reef, Foula.

Reference (19 April 2012)

UKHO Identifier : 000042

Feature Class : Wreck

Wreck Category : Non-dangerous wreck

State : LIVE

Classification : Unclassified

Position (Lat/long) : 60.11700,-1.98072

Horizontal Datum : ETRS 1989

WGS84 Position (Lat/long) : 60.11700,-1.98072

WGS84 Origin : Original

Previous Position : 60.11697,-1.97350

Position Method : Global Positioning System

Position Quality : Precisely known

Position Accuracy : 15.0

Depth Quality : Depth unknown

Water Depth : 8

Vertical Datum : Mean Low Water Springs

Name : HMS OCEANIC

Type : S AUXILLARY CRUISER

Flag : BRITISH

Length : 209.1

Beam : 20.7

Draught : 13.4

Sonar Length : 200.0

Sonar Width : 30.0

Shadow Height : 5.0

Orientation : 90.0

Tonnage : 17274

Tonnage Type : Gross

Date Sunk : 08/09/1914

Bottom Texture : Rock

Magnetic Anomaly : Strong

Scour Depth : 0.0

Contact Description : Notable debris

Original Sensor : Reported Sinking

Last Sensor : Diver Sighting

Original Detection Year : 1914

Last Detection Year : 2006

References

MyCanmore Image Contributions


Contribute an Image

MyCanmore Text Contributions