A Long-Lost Shipwreck is Now Slowly Emerging from the Waves!

Source: Blakeney Harbour
Source: Blakeney Harbour

It is amazing what the shifting sands of a river mouth will uncover. On the 16th February 1916, the Norwegian collier, SS Hjordis, sank off Blakeney Point at the entrance to Blakeney Harbour in Norfolk, England. She was on a voyage from Hull, England to Calais, France with a cargo of coal when she went down with ten of her crew members. The site of the wreck was known, and she lay undisturbed in her watery grave until the channel at the entrance to the Blakeney Harbour began to move naturally toward the east.

This natural shift of the channel has resulted in it moving a half mile over the past year, slowly but surely uncovering the skeletal remains of the ship.  The movement of the tides around the wreck has hastened process as it washed the sand away from the wreck.  Now the Hjordis juts eerily from the water in the middle of the channel, posing a real threat to modern-day watercraft.

The Blakeney Harbour Association keeps all users of the harbor informed of any dangers in the area, and they have been sending regular updates about the wreck and how it is being uncovered and as the channel moves so does the position of the wreck, in relation to the water course around it.

The secretary of the Harbor Association, Charlie Ward said: “It’s quite astounding just how far the channel has moved over a very short space of time.”

“With the wreck now in the middle of the channel and the channel continuing to move east, there is a lot of work for our volunteers to do, frequently re-buoying the harbor entrance channel to keep pace with these changes.”

Not only has the Harbour Association recognized the threat, but Trinity House, the charity that is dedicated to safeguarding seafarers, sent the ships MV Galatea and MV Alert to position a new warning buoy near the wreck.

Any seafarers that want the latest information about the wreck and its position can go to the Blakeney Harbour Association website, where they will find the GPS co-ordinates of the wreck and information on how to use the buoys to proceed safely.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE