Keys to the Past

Azira, Shipwreck (Easington Colliery)

Remains of 1917 wreck of Norwegian cargo vessel, AZIRA, located 5 miles SE of Sunderland. She foundered following a torpedo attack by German submarine UB-22 en route from Newcastle-upon-Tyne for Cherbourg with coal. Constructed of steel in 1907, she was a steam-driven vessel; at the time of loss she was armed and sailing under the British flag, having been requisitioned by the British Shipping Controller under an agreement with the Norwegian authorities. However, vessels requisitioned under this agreement retained their original nationality.

06-AUG-1988: Wreck examined in 54 48 23.5N 001 09 37W using 7-range trisponder. NG coords 453920E, 546075N. Swept clear at 29.7m, foul at 30m. Least echosounder depth 30.2m in general depth 37.9m. No scour. Dcs3 height 7.2m, length 86m, width 15m. Broken up and lying 004/184 deg. Gives very good sonar returns and apparently has high points at either end.

'The wreck lies...in a general depth of 34m, the lowest astronomical depth, some five and a half miles ESE of Seaham Harbour. Her hull and superstructure has collapsed in on herself, but she is still very substantial, standing around 4-5m high. The wreck used to be full of live shell cases but they have been removed. There are lots of large copper pipes, brass valves and a number of portholes that can be seen around the wreck.' (1)

Reference number:D48767
Historical period: First World War (1914 to 1918)

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See also:
Source of Reference
Local History of Easington Colliery


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Please note that this information has been compiled from a number of different sources. Durham County Council and Northumberland County Council can accept no responsibility for any inaccuracy contained therein. If you wish to use/copy any of the images, please ensure that you read the Copyright information provided.