Wreck at Mansel Island, Canada

15th October 2007, 12:59
I came accross at google earth of the following capture of a wrecked ship at the west coast of Mansel island, in Canada's Hudson Bay. It looks like she is abandoned there for a long period. Any ideas of her idendity?

15th October 2007, 16:11

listing wrecks on the great lakes

15th October 2007, 18:28
Thanks DavidJM but this wreck is located outside the great lakes, it is located near the arctic cicle.

15th October 2007, 20:48
Could it be the British steamer AVON RIVER (5,286 tons), wrecked there 16 Sep 1936?

Sailing in ballast from Montreal to Churchill, the AVON RIVER ran into a severe gale on Sept 15. The following day, she became unmanageable after her engines broke down and was driven on to the West coast of Mansel Island. No lives were lost. An inquiry held in Montreal found the wreck was the result of the very severe weather conditions, including a heavy gale and mountainous seas. No negligence was found on the part of the officers and crew.

The AVON RIVER was launched as the SUTHERLAND in 1918.


15th October 2007, 22:04
melliget, I think this could be it. The co-ordinates mach and she does look like a War-class steamer.

Well down!

15th October 2007, 22:33
Thanks. Hadn't noticed the coordinates - you're right, they do match. I've searched for a photo of her in happier days, including her previous names (from Miramar (http://www.miramarshipindex.org.nz)), but no good. I did find a KOOLONGA via Picture Australia (http://www.pictureaustralia.org) that looks similar but think that's a different ship.

Looking at your Google Earth snap, she seems to be in reasonable nick for a 70 year old wreck.


16th October 2007, 06:32
At miramar there are two ships with that name, both owned by McIlwraith McEacharn and of similar dimensions.
The photos of the Koolonga at pictureaustralia could be any of them but I think they resemble a War-type vessel.

As for her condition, I agree, it seems that the icy weather preserved her well...

Qalingo Tookalak
2nd October 2009, 18:19
I have been to this wreck many times and heard stories about it. I live in Puvirnituq, QC. CAN. I have photos of this wreck but we could see no writing or name of this ship. There is still some coal inside indicating it was an advanced steamship. It is not a war ship. It probably was a cargo ship . It was rescued by a hospital ship called the CD Howe which was at Ivujivik at the time of the emergency. Probably around the 1940's or earlier.

7th February 2010, 02:57
A bit of an update at this late date. Avon River's crew was rescued by the N.B.Mclean, a Canadian government icebreaker (the C.D. Howe was not built until after World War II) on September 19. The 31 crew were then transferred to Ropner Shipping's Firby on September 21 and arrived in Churchill September 24.

24th August 2016, 14:17
I found at https://www.flickr.com/photos/2gprc2crpg/8657818323/in/photostream/ a series of interesting photos taken in 2013 of a wreck off Mansel Island.
It looks like that this is the former AVON RIVER. Only thing, the site mentions that they took the photos on the east coast of Mansel Island while AVON RIVER is wrecked in the west coast. Probably they made a mistake, because looking in the photos we can see the characteristic "cage" cranes on the bow, just like in the photo of AVON RIVER available at http://www.searlecanada.org/sunderland/images3/waraspen1.jpg

And a short story:
Launched as War Aspen, completed 1918 for Sutherland S.S. as Sutherland, 1920 sold Western Counties Shipping Co., London and renamed Southmead, 1921 sold to McIlwraith, McEacharn Line and renamed Koolonga, 1929 sold to B.J.Sutherland & Co., Newcastle renamed Caithness, 1935 sold to Jubilee Shipping Nav., Newcastle and renamed David Dawson, 1936 sold to Avon S.S. Co., Bristol and renamed Avon River, 1936 stranded in Hudson Bay.