Ambassador – 50:11:529 N – 03:49:782 W

The Ambassador was a steel screw steamship of 2,572 tons, length 300 ft., breadth 39 ft. and hold depth 24 ft. She was built at Willington Quay by the Tyne Iron Shipbuilding Company in 1888. She was schooner-rigged, and fitted with three vertical inverted triple-expansion engines of 220 hp combined.

The Ambassador left Odessa, bound for Hamburg, on the 3rd September 1891, with a cargo of 3050 tons of grain, 350 tons of bone dust and a crew of 27 hands, including the master, Mr. James Aikman. She foundered on 19th Sept 1891 off Bolt Head as a result of striking some sunken wreckage or waterlogged vessel at 3am. The crew tried to get back to Plymouth by reversing the boat around but the aft bulkheads were filling with water and by 5am the engines failed. All hands then left the boat and watched as she sunk some 3 miles south of Bolt Head. They then set a course for Salcombe where everyone landed.

The wreck is about 100m long in 50m on a light sandy bottom lying E-W with the bows to the west. A small donkey boiler sits amidships forward of the two main boilers. Well preserved triple expansion engine which has collapsed to starboard . Spare prop on deck with a superb prop standing upright at the end of the prop shaft. The collapsed stern is on its starboard side and the small rudder is detached from the hull and lying on the seabed a few meters from the prop. Small prop shaft with no apparent shaft tunnel which disappears under wreckage shortly before the stern. Winches and hatch covers with a number of raised cargo hatches. A large foremast lays across the wreck off to starboard. The bow seems to be upright but is very collapsed and so it is difficult to be sure, there are two large anchors in their hawspipes here as well as a number of anchors within the wreckage which may have been spares. The decks are collapsed so a bit like the Rosehill in that respect. But much lighter than the Rosehill (or the nearby Skaala) – MR, RK – 2008


Divers – Slack is slightly complicated partly owing to the nearby Shoal Ground. 1.5 to 2 hrs before HW (neaps) 2.5 to 3 hrs before HW (springs). After HW slacks are about 3 hrs after. A long slack on neaps.