"On February 27th. 1960 she sailed from London for Leith, with a cargo of 10000 tonnes of lime and cement. At 19:50hrs the following night, about two miles off Flamborough Head, the skipper ordered an alteration in course, which would allow the vessel to pass 3 miles clear of Longstone lighthouse. She was making 10 knots when the skipper left the bridge and left instructions with the 2nd mate to wake him every four hours, so he could take some medication. This routine was only to be interrupted in the event of bad weather, especially fog. The 1st and 2nd mate, now in charge of the ship, did not take position fixing too seriousley and when off Coquet Island light, the 2nd mate estimated that the vessel was some 7 miles offshore. Had the Yewglen been on its proper course, the distance would have been double or more. Having passed through at least two fog patches the 2nd mate roused the skipper at 0500 hrs on the morning of the 29th. Looking out to port, he saw what appeared to be surf and he was sure he heard the sound of breakers. Before he could get to the bridge and order evasive action,the ship ran aground on Beadnell point with her bows high and dry."
"An unsuccessful attempt was made, with the aid of a tug, to reverse her course and the Seahouses lifeboat was summoned, which arrived to find the crew walking accross the reef to safety. During the following 6 weeks, arguments ensued between the insurence companies and the salvage companies.The high and dry Yewglen literally broke her back and the bow section slipped into the sea on the north side of Beadnell Point (Ebbe's Snook) into about 9m of water. The stern section suffered a battering with the rudder disappearing and with damage to the high and dry propeller. The stern section was cut up in situ and salvaged, by a man using a tractor and trailer! The mysterious salvor not only hadn't paid for the wreck, he hadn't even paid for the tractor.
Only the occasional nut and bolt, found in rock pools, give any evidence that the stern of the ship was ever there. However scattered remains of the bow section on the northern side of Beadnell Point are interesting, and make an excellent novice dive.
Enter the water about halfway along the point between the high and low tide marks, and you almost jump onto the wreck itself. There are lots of ribs, plates the anchor, chain and winch. Also the boiler is quite interesting and sometimes houses small Conger eels. There are also a couple of cabins and blocks of the concrete cargo, although much of the brass has now gone.
The wreck and ajoining reef (headland) are quite rich in fish (Cod, Lumpsucker, Plaice, Wrasse etc.) and critters (Lobsters, crabs and squatties). And the site is particularly attractive in the summer when water is clearer.
We have used this site quite alot this year (1998) as an enjoyable site to do novice and sports diver drills.
It is best to park on the car park behind the dunes (with toilets, chainging room, showers and snack trailor etc.) as the residents are not too keen on people parking outside their houses. We unload our stuff near the footpath onto the point and then move the cars.