ABERDEEN BUILT SHIPS


Name
FERRYHILL
Construction
STEEL
Type
COLLIER (STEAM)
Date
1919
Official Number
139814
Description
Yard Number: 673

3 cylinder triple expansion engine of 178 H.p.
2 single ended boilers of 180 lbs.
Constructed with cellular double bottom tanks of capacity 306 tons
Fore Peak Tank 33 tons
After Peak Tank 91 tons
Electric lighting

In November 1918 the Aberdeen Coal & Shipping Company accepted Hall Russell's offer of £59,000 to build a sister ship to the REDHALL. The new steamer was launched at Footdee on 9th September 1919 and named FERRYHILL.
With a carrying capacity of 1400 tons she immediately started making smart passages and she delivered 3 cargoes from Grangemouth to Aberdeen in the space of 5 ½ days.
It is interesting to note that no more colliers with engines amidship were built after the FERRYHILL, this was to give more space for cargo. However the advantage of the engine midships type over engines aft was evident in heavy weather when the screw came out of the water. The weight of the long propeller shaft reduced the tendency to race and maintained better speeds.

Loss of FERRYHILL, 21st January 1940:
The swift and tragic sinking of the FERRYHILL was distinguished by the brave conduct of her chief mate, James McGill Ovenston, who tried to save the chief engineer by getting him on to a door which had floated clear of the ship. Unfortunately his rescue bid was in vain and he, and second engineer John King Grassie, were the only 2 survivors. They were in the water for 35 minutes before being picked up. James Ovenstone was later awarded the OBE for his gallantry.

Struck a mine laid by a German Subarine. Exact location is in dispute - possible location is 2,200 metres off Seaton Sluice. Wreck was dispersed using explosives in 1955. Her hull was owned then by the Ministry of War transport who had no interest in her cargo - 1200 tons of coal.

Last mention in Lloyd's Register of Shipping 1939-40.

Source: 'Shipwrecks of the North East Coast' (2001) author Ron Young:
The Ferryhill was sunk by a German mine en route from Blyth to Aberdeen on the 21st Jan 1940 with 1,200 ton of coal. The ship foundered 1 ½ miles NNE of St Mary’s light house Grid Ref N 55 05 666 W 001 26 932.

Owner
Aberdeen Coal Company
Shipbuilder
Hall, Russell & Company, Limited
Dimensions
length 220 7/12' x breadth 33 1/3' x depth 16 1/3'
Gross Tonnage: 1086 tons

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