hartlepool history logo

Lufra - a general history

Masters: May 1881-82 Richard Brook Pugsley: 1883 WJ May: 1883-April 1885 Richard Brook Pugsley: July 1885-November 1886 William Emmerson: 1887 JM Grimstead.

“Messrs R Ropner & Co, the owners of the SS Lufra, on Monday morning received a letter from Captain F Burnitt of their steamer Elpis, which left the Tyne a day or two previously to the Lufra leaving Cardiff for Genoa. He states that they encountered no gales in the Channel or the Bay of Biscay-merely strong winds. They had a fine winter’s passage to the Gulf of Genoa, where they felt strong easterly & northerly gales, but did not expect they would extend beyond the Gulf. It was reported at Genoa that the SS Lufra had been seen off Cape San Sebastian & he had also heard the same report at Carthagena. He had not, however, been able to find any foundation for the statement. In the light of Captain Burnitt’s report of the weather, it seems strange that the SS Lufra should be missing. Her crew were shipped at Cardiff. South Durham Herald 14 January 1888.”

The Lufra left Cardiff on 11 December 1887 on a voyage for Genoa with a cargo of coal & a crew of 21. Edward Beecher, a Cardiff pilot, took charge of her at the East Dock about 1.45pm & left her at Nash Point about 4.30pm the same day & she was not heard from again. 21 lives lost. Ref: Wreck Report PortCities Southampton.

Lives lost December 1887: Bowen, William, boatswain; Chapman, John, fireman; Colley, Fred, able seaman; Cooper, George B, 1st mate; Corner, William, fireman; Crocker, Joseph, donkeyman; Ellingsen, Carl, able seaman; Eriksen, Christy, able seaman; Geldsetzer, JPH, 1st engineer; Gower, William, fireman; Grimstead, JM, master, Sunderland; Gurney, Alfred P, 2nd mate; Henning, Martin, able seaman; Lewis, James, engineer’s steward; Murray, George, fireman; Pederson, Henry, steward; Penton, William, fireman; Shoppo, John, cook; Waitiga, M, able seaman; Walker, Thomas, 2nd engineer; Whetton, James, 3rd engineer.

Related items :