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Abeona - a general history

Official No. 92906: Code Letters KHMG.

Owners: 1886 M Rickinson & Son & Co, West Hartlepool: 1888 Rickinson & Sons, West Hartlepool: 1905 Danske Russiske (P Morch) Copenhagen–renamed Excellence Pleske: 1914 Shipping Controller British Government (Lambert Bros) London.

Masters: 1886-88 J Corner: 1889-92 Lewis: 1892-1902 TS Ayers: 1904 PF Perry: 1905-06 O Thorsoe: 1907 HC Christensen: 1908-09 Brandt: 1910 RFC Rasmussen: 1913-17 L Tannebeck: 1918 J Jenkins.

Bound from Bilbao for Middlesbrough with a cargo of iron-ore & a total crew of 26 the defensively armed Excellence Pleske was torpedoed without warning by German submarine (UB-57 Johannes Lohs) & sank 2 ½ miles SSE of Dungeness, Kent in 53.53.10N/1.0.46E on 31 March 1918. 15 lives lost.

The wreck was identified in 1982 when the ship’s bell was recovered.

Daily Gazette for Middlesbrough, Friday, August 27th, 1886:
Fatal Accident at West Hartlepool. This morning a man named William Goodwin died in the Hospital at Hartlepool from the effects of injuries sustained by falling from the deck of the steamer Abeona. Deceased was employed as watchman, and whilst the vessel was being removed from the Central Dock he slipped as he was in the act of using a cork fender, and alighted on the back of his head. He was an elderly man, and resided at West Hartlepool.

Hartlepool Northern Daily Mail, Wednesday, September 15th, 1886:
TRIAL TRIP OF THE S.S. ABEONA. The fine new screw-steamer Abeona which has just been built to the order of Messrs. Rickinson, Son and Co., of West Hartlepool, by Messrs. W. Gray and Co., of that place, left the port for her trial trip on Monday afternoon for Sunderland, to load a cargo of coal for Constantinople.
As the day was fine a large number of friends of the owners and builders accepted the invitation to be present, amongst whom were Mr. and Miss Kickinson, Mr. and Mrs. J. Rickinson, Mr. Jno. Hutton and Miss Burnip (Castle Eden), Mr. C. Furness, Mr. T.S. Hudson, Dr. Scott, Mr. G.H. Haines, Mr. and Mrs. T.B. Wilson, Captain V. Rickinson, Mr. and Mrs. E. Corner, Mr. Geo. Hutton, Mr. M. Dring, Rev. H.E. Savage, Rev. F.L. Cope, Rev. W.T. Jupp, Mr. Eltringham and Mr. Howlett (H. M. Inspectors Schools), Mrs. Howlett, Mrs. Mudd, Mr. M. Dixon; Mr. G. Jupp, Mr. G. Burlinson, Mr. L. Barron, Mr. W. Pulvane, and Mr. Sheldon (Darlington), and others.
After adjusting compasses in the bay, the vessel was put full speed ahead, and a most successful and pleasant run to Sunderland was made, the log showing, although there was a two knot tide against the ship, a distance of 13½knots in an hour and ten minutes, equalling 11.568 knots per hour. The triple expansion engines 900 h.p., supplied by the Central Marine Engineering Company, of West Hartlepool, who were represented by Mr. Thos. Mudd, M.T.M.E., the manager of the company, worked beautifully, running from 72 to 76 revolutions with perfect regularity and ease, not the slightest heating of any of the parts being perceptible at that high speed. The engines of this company are known for their great length of bearing surface, which gives in conjunction with the equilibrium piston valves a particularly smooth working, conducing to the life of the engines.
The boilers are of Siemen Martin steel, work at 150lb. pressure, and are excellent specimens of workmanship. The engine-room and stoke-hole were particularly cool, both boilers and engines being covered with a special non-conducting composition, which has reduced the temperature much below the usual heat of triple expansion engine-rooms. The finish of the workmanship the engines and their working were much admired by the visitors present.
Luncheon was served on board, and at its conclusion the toast of "Success to the Abeona" was proposed by Major Gray, who with Mr. Jones, general manager, represented the builders, and responded to by Messrs. Matthew and Jno. Rickinson; other toasts followed. The party reached Sunderland about four o'clock. The Abeona is commanded by Captain Corner, and during construction has been superintended by Captain V. Rickinson.
The following is a brief description of the ship: Length, 275 feet; breadth, 37 feet 2 inches; moulded depth, 19 feet 11 inches ; gross tonnage, 2,152; will carry over 3,060 tons of dead weight on 20 feet 9 inches draft. Built of steel, classed 100 A1 at Lloyds, and of the well-decked type, with all the latest improvements in construction which modern experience has suggested, and finished in the most complete manner for general trading.

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