Part of sailing ship Constance Ellen which foundered off South Shields coast in 1901 emerges from sand
Part of a ship which foundered off the coast of South Shields more than a century ago is believed to have surfaced above the sands.
Gazette reader Mark Beadle took these pictures of what is believed to be the wreck of Constance Ellen –a sailing ship which foundered just south of the South Pier, South Shields, during a gale in 1901.
What is left of her emerges from the sand from time to time – depending on sea conditions, shifting sands and the strength of the tides.
Mark, 28, of Biddick Green in South Shields, was walking his two dogs Bobby and Robson along the beach when he spotted the wreckage.
"I'm down there quite often to be honest," said Mark, who works in the press shop at Nissan in Sunderland and is dad to Ethan, 20 months, and Harrison, four months.
"My granddad took me to see it when I was a kid so it's always interested me.
"I've seen pictures of the previous times the wreckage has surfaced and it was a good two or three feet above the sand.
"I understand the ridiculously low and high tides we're having are to do with the Super Moon that's been in the sky.
"I'll be going back to see if there's anymore of the ship I can see."
The Littlehampton-registered Constance Ellen foundered and was wrecked in the Great Gale of November 12 and 13 1901.
All eight sailors were saved.
Previously, more of the wreck was exposed, but a lot of the wreckage was cleared away in the 1990s after a child was injured.
The two-masted vessel was carrying a cargo of iron bars from its home part to Bowness.
The wreck happened on the afternoon of November 12, and hurricane-force winds are said to have left the ship’s sails in shreds and led to the vessel being driven helplessly towards the shore.
South Shields Volunteer Life Brigade was on standby throughout the crisis.
The crew fired five rockets over the ship before the men were taken off the ship by breeches buoy.
Many ships damaged during the storm were re-floated, but the Constance Ellen was stuck fast because of the weight of her cargo.
The Sandwich-registered Lord Dufferin ran aground almost in the same place less than two hours after the Constance Ellen, and the Inverness-registered Golden Lily also ran into trouble in the harbour in the same storm.