The Oregon

The Oregon (50º14.701’N, 003º56.386’W)

The Oregon was an 800 ton-steel sailing ship built in 1875. She was in-bound from Iquinque in Chile with a cargo of Nitrate of Soda. She was heading for Newcastle on the night of December 18, 1890, with a pilot on board picked up at Falmouth. He was no help in driving rain and onshore winds and the vessel hit a rocky reef called the Books, close to Thurlestone Rock.

These days she lies on sand at off Bolt Tail. Most of the wreck stands only a few feet proud of the 35 metre sea bed, making it hard to shot. She is well broken up and of course there are no boilers or engine. If you are lucky you may come across one of the once-common wooden deadeyes that formed part of its rigging. The main features are the bow section, standing about four metres high, complete with anchors and winches. The stern sports a most elegant counter and rudder. At both ends you may find substantial sized shellfish. The Oregon is dived three or four times a year by Plymouth Sound Dive Club. By Mark Prior

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All underwater images ©Keith Hiscock