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Wreck of the SS DIMITRIS Redcar 1953
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On December 1st, 1953, the SS Dimitris left the port of Bona, in Algeria, bound for Middlesbrough with a cargo of iron ore. She  had only been purchased the previous year as the “Michael L Embiricos” and her name was changed to “Dimitris”

At approximately 9.30 p.m. on December 13th, 1953, with a clear sky and in moonlight, she curiously ran aground on the East Scar rocks, approximately one and a half cable lengths (about 250 metres) from shore. At 10.17 p.m. Cullercoats Radio received the following message from the stricken vessel - "SOS, have run ashore one mile from Middlesbrough Roads; require tugs.”

The then current Redcar Lifeboat “City of Leeds” was alongside the stricken vessel about 2300hrs and despite a heavy swell took off 22 of the 36 crew. Two local fishing boats took of the remaining 14. The vessel was boarded again in daylight the following day to remove the crew’s belongings.

The “Dimitris” began life in 1918 as a Standard "A" Class vessel, the ´War Malayan´. She was laid down in 1918 by Caird and Co. Ltd. at Greenock, of 5,202 gross registered tons. She was one of a number of "A" Class vessels that were intended to be converted into "AO" Class oil-tankers. However, by the time she was completed the First World War was over and it is uncertain if this conversion took place.

Her engine, also built by Caird & Co., a 1 x 3cyl. triple expansion steam engine fired by 3 boilers produced 490nhp and propelled her at 11knots.

The fairly substantial remains of the wreck is lying upright and approximately North/South across East Scar and Stokesley Scar at 54° 37.15N    001° 02.195W. There is some drying on low tides.

Local images reproduced by kind permission from Kevin Milner
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Images are copyright
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                       The steam tug "Fairplay II" was wrecked on Redcar’s Salt Scar Rocks on 2nd March 1940; the previous year she had been requisitioned by the Admiralty to serve as a rescue vessel.

The incident occurred in thick fog and all the 19 crew were rescued.


                        Built in Hamburg in 1922 she sailed under a German flag until 1938 when she was registered under a British flag by owners the Fairplay Towage and Shipping Company Ltd of London. At the commencement of WW II she was taken over by the Royal Navy for what transpired to be short service.


                         She carried no armament, had a displacement of 282 tons and her

1 X 3 cylinder triple expansion engine with a single boiler produced 111nhp. Propulsion was via a single shaft and 1 screw.


                         Today there is little left of the Fairplay II and the remains, (bow and boiler dry at springs)  lie on the edge of Batt Height at  54° 37' 631N  001° 03' 063W

on a bearing of 43° magnetic from the lifeboat slipway.

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Coastwatch Redcar is associated with the

Sea Safety Group

with stations at Hartlepool, Winterton, North Denes, Sheringham, Happisburgh, Pakefield,

Irvine Scotland

St. Monans Scotland, Coastwatch Tay, Berwick Coastwatch and Sunderland Coastwatch.

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