Sonar image of the Enecuri in Portland harbour
Locally known as the ‘Spaniard’ – Spanish Steamship – (Dive Dorset: 146), (Divers Guide; Weymouth & Portland Ed 5, p16-17 No. 3) – 50 34.86N; 02 24.85W. (More details in LARN).
Times: Saturday, December 29, 1900, Issue 36338 – Portland, Dec. – “Steamer Encuri, Rotterdam for Bilbao sheltering in Portland Roads, drove on breakwater this morning.”
LARN: Voyage – Antwerp to Bilbao, steamship built 1894 by Sir Raylton Dixon & Co. Middlesborough. Original name MARISTOW.
Fearful Gale – Loss of a Spanish Steamer. The closing days of the old year have been marked by a gale of terrific violence which has caused a great amount of damage both on sea and land. The gale set in from the west on Thursday night and increased in violence before daybreak on Friday. There was a lull for a short time between eight and ten, after which the gale increased in force, blowing down trees, partly un-roofing houses, and causing other damage. Walking in the streets was absolutely dangerous on account of the falling slates and tiles. The Backwater and harbour were in a very rough state, there being some large waves, the spray from which was scattered in all directions. On Thursday afternoon a Spanish steamer came into Portland roads, and being light the wind took her bows and she drifted within a short distance of the old breakwater but at last got into a place of safety for the time near HMS ALEXANDRA. On Friday morning with the increased gale the steamer again drove and went on the breakwater. Messrs Cosens and Co’s tugs went to render assistance if any could be available in such a terrible gale and the lifeboat was manned and taken in tow of one of them in order if possible to rescue the crew. The boat returned about noon not being able to get near the breakwater on account of the sea. The captain and crew were rescued by some of the Royal Artillery stationed at the Breakwater fort, and were given shelter and food there. As the tide was flowing on Friday night and the wind veered a little to the north, before the water had submerged the steamer the captain desired to go on board though grave doubts were entertained that the craft would during the night slip off the rocks. Although persuaded not to expose himself to such a risk he went on board and in company with the ship’s dog went to sleep in his bunk and nothing more was seen of him or the animal. About half-past seven on Saturday morning the steamer made a complete “turtle” over and went down with the captain and dog. As she went down she righted herself and her masts and funnels are to be seen The steamer proved to be a large one of 3,600 tons bound from Antwerp to Bilbao in ballast. In the course of the morning the remainder of the officers and crew were landed at Weymouth and soon after reshipped on a steamer bound for Bilbao.
The wreck of the Spanish Steamer. The divers of the salvage steamer ALERT whilst at work on the Spanish steamer ENECURI which went down on the Breakwater on Dec. 29th 1900 found on Thursday morning the remains of the captain of the ship and his dog. The diver of the ALERT told our representative on Thursday evening that when he went down to the ENECURI that morning he descended through a hole cut in the deck to the captain’s cabin. The door was open and the floor was covered with some inches of mud. In this latter he saw what he took to be a white basin and picked it up, returning to the deck of the ship for a closer inspection. When he got up nearer the surface and could see better he found. the object he held in his hand was a human skull. He then went down for the rest of the bones and brought them ashore later in the day. PC Osman who went for the remains obtained the permission of Staff Surgeon Corcoran to deposit the skeleton in the mortuary at the Naval Hospital pending the arrival of the Coroner’s orders for their interment. No inquest will be held.
NOTE: The Spanish captain is recorded as being Jose Boman, 42 years old. His death was entered in the sub district of Portland records on the 3rd October, 1903, having been found on the 1st October in the wreck.
Modern high-resolution multibeam sonar offers an opportunity to cover a relatively large area from a safe distance above the target, while resolving the true three-dimensional (3-D) shape of the object with centimetre-level resolution.
The survey used the first of a new generation of dynamically focused multibeam sonars, a Reson 8125. This system sends out 240 beams distributed over a 120° swath every second. The near-field beam-forming capability of the Reson 8125 combined with 3-D visualization techniques provided an unprecedented level of detail. The 8125 was deployed on a custom-built pole mounted onto the starboard side of the MV Divetime, and local charter boat shipper, Paul Pike expertly steered the boat over the wrecks. This enabled the sonar to scan the seabed as easily as if painting a wall with a roller.
To interpret the scans, colour is used to indicate the depth. White represents the shallowest depth through to pink, yellow, green and then blue for the deeper areas. The scale of the colours can be adjusted for each plot to suit the relative depths. By using additional software the images can then be viewed from different angles and perspective as though actually diving the wrecks. The black sections represent those areas outside of the scan’s path together with any structures that reach above the water level. The harbour wall, for instance, will be shown as black.
This image shows the bow of the Enecuri lying against the southern breakwater is the Enecuri(Spaniard), which sank in 1900. The bow of the Enecuri stands proud (shown in the Wreckmap Portland 2004 report), but very quickly drops down to the seabed. The stern though is hardly visible probably having been damaged by an oil rig that drifted over the site during a storm in October 1996.
Weymouth Telegraph: 01/01/1901
BOT Wk. Rtn. 1900 Appx C Table 1 p131.
Day of Loss: 29
Month of Loss: 12
Year of Loss: 1900
Longitude: 50 34.86
Latitude: 02 24.85