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SS Estrellano Ship No 223

Launched from the Leith Shipyard of Ramage & Ferguson in 1910, at a time when the huge Ellerman Group were taking a larger interest in the shipbuilders of Leith.

The Ellerman Line would eventually take over all the shares in the Leith Shipyard, towards the end of World War One.

Powered by a shipyard built triple expansion steam engine, she was capable of 10.5knots, she was 1161grt built for cargo she was yet another victim of the terrible war that had started in 1914.

SS Estrellano slow ahead in the photograph shown above (credits unknown)

The following is from Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society website-

“On 31 October 1917, the Estrellano was on a voyage from Oporto to London with a cargo of food and wine when she was torpedoed by a German U-boat under the command of Ernst Steindorff, causing a significant explosion. At the time, SS Estrellano was 14 miles WxN1/2E from Ile du Pilier.

Sadly, three people lost their lives.”

The Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society has offered assistance for fishermen and mariners in need since 1839. The maritime charity provides help for mariners, retired seafarers and their dependants, through financial help including welfare grants, as well as assistance and support.

Many Ellerman ships would meet their end during the First World War and it was at first thought that the backing the Leith Shipyard had from them would ensure a bright future, things never quite work out that way in shipbuilding. Although a few were indeed built at Leith, it would be the shipyard of Henry Robb that would benefit mostly from building ships for the Ellerman Line, with most being built following the Second World War.

You can find out a lot more about this time in Leith shipbuilding history in the first volume of the series of Leith-Built Ships, They Once Were Shipbuilders Vol, I available from all good bookshops.

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