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Yahoo Map of Wreck of the Austrian Steamship Laura near to Speeton, North Yorkshire

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The Austrian Steamship “Laura” was a 2000 ton cargo ship who found herself off the coast near Filey in a thick fog. She and her crew of 24 hands had picked up a cargo mainly consisting of coke from Newcastle and were bound for Trieste. The vessel ran aground in the dense fog and the Coastguard was alerted to her distress signals at around 10 a.m. on the morning of the 21st November 1897. The Filey Lifeboat attended the scene and the Captain & crew of the “Laura” stayed aboard her thinking there was no immediate danger. They eventually left the vessel.

Attempts to re-float the vessel the next day, failed, and her cargo was unloaded in an attempt to lighten her ready for a second attempt at salvage. Tugs were employed to try and pull the vessel clear of the beach. Two of the tow ropes broke and although the “Laura” shifted position, she broke in two. The vessel was then left to the sea and broke up leaving the forward section and bow in splinters and the stern facing the cliffs.

The wreck can be easily seen at low tides, her Stern posts standing proud and marking the end of the Stern section. Her two boilers also break water and occasionally at very low tides can be viewed up close. The Bow sections fragmented remains survive as short iron stumps protruding through the sand.


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