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Author Topic: Loss of SS Mahratta, Goodwin Sands, 1909  (Read 1621 times)
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John
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« on: June 24, 2012, 13:16:01 PM »

Extract from Shipwrecks of the Goodwin Sands by Richard & Bridget Larn, and a very nice set of six pictures from a local photographer, showing the vessel at various states of the tide..


"Mahratta had left Calcutta on 6th March 1909 with ninety crew, seventeen passengers and 10,000 tons of cargo, mostly tea, jute, rubber and rice, and was in charge of a Trinity House pilot when she went aground in Trinity Bay, close to the Fork Spit. Every effort was made to refloat the ship using her engine, but when Capt. Ellery learnt that she was leaking badly, her propeller shaft was bent and that rivet heads had sheared off in their hundreds, the assistance of tugs was sought. About one hundred local boatmen and labourers appeared on the scene offering to save the cargo and were engaged en masse to work on the basis of a 33 per cent net award on everything they landed. By the time the first of the tugs had arrived all 621 cases of tea aboard had been landed, in addition to 280 bales of jute and eighteen cases of rubber. Seven tugs engaged to pull her off failed to move the huge vessel, so the number was increased to eight, but even at high water on 10th April the Mahratta remained fast aground. In desparation, since the vessel was by now leaking badly, the number of tugs was increased to nine and these literally pulled the ship in two at 9.00am on 11th April. With a noise like gunfire she parted right across the line of her bunkers and saloon. There followed a mad rush for the boats and sixty Lascar seamen were so convinced the Mahratta was sinking they leapt straight off the upper deck into lighters alongside. The few remaining passengers, crew and local men were all saved, the only casualty being Samuel Gibson, the chief engineer, who was found dead on the floor of his cabin with self inflicted throat wounds, the reason for which was never established. In the hope that at least the after section of the wreck could be saved, the Liverpool Salvage Co. sent the salvage steamer Enterprise, but within three days both halves were well down in the sand and by 20th April were completely submerged at high water"

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John
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« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2012, 08:04:29 AM »

A tattered old postcard showing the SS Mahratta on the Goodwins..

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Monkton Malc
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« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2012, 19:46:31 PM »

I am sure that I read somewhere there were two vessels by the same name and both ended up on the Goodwins within about 30 years of each other.
I also remember being able to see the masts of at least one wreck sticking up when you looked through one of the telescopes on top of the cliffs at Ramsgate.
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alkhamhills
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« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2012, 09:15:15 AM »

You are right, Monkton Malc
see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SS_Mahratta_(1917)
She foundered on the Goodwins 9.10.1939, on her way from Calcutta to London
Apparently also an incident in 2008, when Pride of Canterbury struck the wreck of the Mahratta(not sure which one). She was assisted into Dover
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Weebouy
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« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2014, 21:29:06 PM »

SS Mahratta was a Brocklebank Line steamship launched in 1917. She ran aground in the English Channel on the Goodwin Sands in October 1939. She was the second and final Brocklebank Line ship with this name. The first Mahratta suffered a similar fate in 1909. After Mahratta broke up, the ship was found to be resting on top of the first Mahratta.

On 9 October 1939, Mahratta was inbound to London from Calcutta when she ran aground on the Goodwins. Mahratta had originally been bound for Liverpool but received new orders at Gibraltar to sail to London. Mahratta left Gibraltar as part of Convoy HG 1 on 26 September 1939. In blackout conditions she ran aground on Fork Spit, less than a mile away from where the first Mahratta had run aground. The Deal hoveller Lady Haig was given charge of the salvage operations.  A tug attempted to move Mahratta into deeper water the next day, but the plates on her port side buckled and by nightfall Mahratta had broken in two. The crew of Mahratta were transferred to the steamer Challenge in four trips. On the third trip, a lifeboat full of luggage salvaged from Mahratta was taken in tow, but a large wave almost capsized Lady Haig and the lifeboat was cast adrift after the ten crew from Mahratta on it were rescued. They were landed at Dover.

Pride of Canterbury ferry incident.
On 31 January 2008, the roll on roll off passenger ferry Pride of Canterbury operated by P&O Ferries struck the wreck of Mahratta while manoeuvering in severe weather into a holding position in The Downs. The ferry suffered extensive damage to her port propeller and had to be assisted to berth in Dover. It is not clear whether the wreck site named in the MAIB report is that of the first SS Mahratta or the later vessel.

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Pete
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« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2017, 14:13:18 PM »

FORTUNE FROM A WRECK
The sum of £1,600 has been allotted to the boatmen of Deal, Walmer and Kingsdown as their share of the salvage of cargo from the liner Mahratta, which was lost on the Goodwin Sands while on the way from India to London. The boatmen of Dover, Margate, Ramsgate and Broadstairs will also share in the salvage, but the amount to be paid to them has yet to be assessed

Evening Express 4/10/1909
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Longpockets
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« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2018, 21:25:17 PM »

Just found this Wreck Report for 'Mahratta', 1909
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