The schooner-rigged cargo steamer Serica (1888) aground off Woolpack Point, St. Mary's, Isles of Scilly

A port side view, just forward of the broadside, of the schooner-rigged cargo steamer Serica (1888) semi-submerged off Woolpack Point, St. Mary's Island, Isles of Scilly. The ship has settled in the water so that the upper deck from the bridge to the poop is submerged. The photographer was standing on the rocky shore below Morning Point Battery looking southwest towards St. Agnes and Gugh. In the background is the St. Agnes Lighthouse, originally established in 1680 and finally decommissioned in 1911. The foreground is dominated by the large boulders on the shore.

The emulsion for the ship's funnel has been removed by the photographers to darken the colour. The ship's figurehead is in the Valhalla collection on Tresco - see FHD0005 - after the Dorien-Smith family rowed out and removed it.

The Serica was on passage from Cardiff when it encountered bad weather on 16 November 1893. Despite filling with water when the tarpaulin hatch covers blew away the ship reached St Mary's on 19 November. On 24 November Serica continued its voyage at low water. However the ship struck an uncharted rock and had to be run ashore below Woolpack Battery in St Mary's Sound. Serica was abandoned soon afterwards with all attempts at salvage ceased on 3 January 1894.

Object Details

ID: G14096
Collection: Historic Photographs
Type: Glass plate negative
Display location: Not on display
Creator: Gibson & Sons of Scilly
Vessels: Serica (1888)
Date made: 24 November 1893
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Gibson's of Scilly Shipwreck Collection
Measurements: Overall: 254 mm x 304 mm

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