SS Norwich City
|Port of registry:||England|
|Route:||Melbourne, Australia to Vancouver, Canada|
|Laid down:||9 February 1911|
|Out of service:||1929|
|Notes:||Ship history |
|Beam:||53 feet, 5.5 inches|
|Installed power:||412 BHP|
|Propulsion:||Oil-fired, triple expansion steam|
During a storm on 29 November 1929, the unladen freighter was carrying a crew of 35 men when it ran aground on the reef at the northwest end of the small central Pacific atoll known as Nikumaroro Island (then known as Gardner Island). A fire broke out in the engine room and all hands abandoned ship in darkness having to make their way across the wide and dangerous coral reef being pounded by dangerous storm waves. In total, 11 men lost their lives. The survivors camped near collapsed structures from a late-19th century coconut planting project and were rescued after several days on the island.
The devastated wreck of the Norwich City was a prominent landmark on the reef for 70 years, though by 2007, only the ship's keel, engine, and two large tanks remained. By 2010, only the engine remained above water on the reef.
Nikumaroro Island is currently being investigated by the The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR) in hopes of discovering and salvaging the lost wreckage of Amelia Earhart's Lockheed Electra. TIGHAR believes Earhart may have landed on Nikumaroro. The SS Norwich City wreck was prominent at the time of Earhart's final flight and radio messages claiming to be from Earhart were allegedly heard following the plane's disappearance. One such claim was from a young girl who believed she overheard a radio message from Earhart and may have heard Earhart say Norwich City during the supposed transmission.
- "Nikumaroro, 0530 Local Time, June 2010". Tighar Tracks 26 (2): 17.
- King, Thomas F. "Amelia Earhart's Fate: The Archaeological Investigations, The Loss of an Aviation Pioneer". About.com. Retrieved 2009-05-16.
- Gillespie, Ric (2006), Finding Amelia: The True Story of the Earhart Disappearance, Naval Institute Press, ISBN 978-1-59114-319-2, pp 170–186