SS Castilian

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Name: SS Castilian
Operator: Ellerman Lines
Completed: 1919[1]
Fate: sunk on 12 February 1943[citation needed]
Status: Dangerous wreck
General characteristics
Tonnage: 3,067 tons[2]
Length: 331[2]
Beam: 46.8[2]
Capacity: Live ammunition[3]

SS Castilian was carrying a cargo of munitions[3] to Lisbon when she struck East Platters Rocks, near The Skerries, Anglesey, Wales and on 12 February 1943 sank.

In 1987 a Royal Navy clearance vessel spent several months removing unexploded ordnance from Fydlyn Bay nearby believed to have come from the wreck.[3] In 1997 the location of the wreck on East Platters Rocks was designated under section 2 of the Protection of Wrecks Act 1973 with a 500 m exclusion zone regarding scuba diving activities because of its potentially dangerous cargo.[4]

An MOD warning at Porth y Felin

Other boats with the same name[edit]

The Castilian, 7441 tons, of the Allan Line Royal Mail Steamers, launched in 1899, wrecked that same year on her maiden voyage in the Bay of Fundy, Canada.[5][6]

There were two other Ellerman Lines ships called SS Castilian. The first, ex-Umbilo, was purchased in 1909 from Bullard, King & Co renamed Castilian, 1917 torpedoed and sunk by U-61 off Ireland.[1] The third built 1955, 1963 renamed City of Peterborough, 1964 reverted to Castilian (1966-7 chartered to Cunard, temporarily renamed Arabia), 1971 sold to Maldives renamed Maldive Freedom.[1]</ref>

In 1868 an even earlier Castilian was wrecked on Porthmadog Bar.[7] The Castilian of London, 1,063 tons, sailing from Quebec to Liverpool with a cargo of timber was wrecked under Harlech on 6 December 1868. Three of the crew drowned attempting to reach land.[8][9] The Lifeboat John Ashbury saved 18 lives including the son of the owner.[10] On 14 December she was being dismantled, and the deck load discharged, previous to an attempt to tow her off.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "The Ships List - Ellerman and Papayanni". 
  2. ^ a b c "WWI Standard ships". 
  3. ^ a b c Holden, Chris (2008). Underwater Guide to North Wales Vol. 2. Calgo Publications. p. 57. ISBN 978-0-9545066-1-2. 
  4. ^ Statutory Instrument 1997 No. 1976 The Protection of Wrecks (SS Castilian) Order 1997 (Coming into force 13 August 1997)
  5. ^ "The Allan Line / Montreal Ocean Steamship Company". Retrieved 13 August 2018. 
  6. ^ "Steamship Castilian Aground". Retrieved 13 August 2018. 
  7. ^ "Vessel Losses and Casualties in Tremadoc Bay and St Patrick's Causeway". Archived from the original on 12 August 2007. 
  8. ^ "Shipping Intelligence". Daily News, London. 8 December 1868. p. 7. Retrieved 13 August 2018. 
  9. ^ [Lloyd's Weekly Newspaper (London, Greater London, England)13 Dec 1868, SunPage 4 "The Late Terrific Gales"] Check |url= value (help). Lloyd's Weekly Newspaper (London). 13 December 1868. p. 4. Retrieved 13 August 2018. 
  10. ^ "Fearful Gales (Detailed report of the rescue)". The Yorkshire Herald and the York Herald. 12 Dec 1868. p. 4. Retrieved 13 August 2018. The ship Castilian of London 806 tons 
  11. ^ "Disasters in the Gales". The Courier and Argus. 14 Dec 1868. p. 3. Retrieved 13 August 2018. 

Coordinates: 53°25.0107′N 4°35.9176′W / 53.4168450°N 4.5986267°W / 53.4168450; -4.5986267