What’s the mystery ship on South Shields beach?

Gazette reader Stuart Whitelaw took these pictures of the mystery wreck on Sandhaven beach in South Shields.
Gazette reader Stuart Whitelaw took these pictures of the mystery wreck on Sandhaven beach in South Shields.

South Tyneside beach-goers were treated to a fleeting sight of maritime history - as a mystery ship wreck came into view.

Visitors to Sandhaven beach enjoyed a blast from the past as low tides put a wreck believed to be more than a century old on display.

Gazette reader Stuart Whitelaw took these pictures of the mystery wreck on Sandhaven beach in South Shields.

Gazette reader Stuart Whitelaw took these pictures of the mystery wreck on Sandhaven beach in South Shields.

The wreck of the sailing ship Constance Ellen - which crashed near the South Pier in South Shields more than a century ago - is frequently visible to coastline visitors.

The Little-Hampton registered vessel came to grief during a great gale which raged off the east coast in 1901.

All eight men aboard her were saved.

But Gazette reader Stewart Whitelaw, who took these stunning snaps of the wreck, believes he has captured the remains of a previously unseen ship.

Mr Whitelaw said: “The low tide today has revealed a wreck further down from the previously reported Constance Ellen.

“This wreck seems larger and older. No idea what vessel it was, but could possibly be the Salween.”

Mr Whitelaw has photographed the Constance Ellen many times in the past - and is convinced it is a different shipwreck which has showed itself.

He managed to grab an ancient artefact from the wreckage, which he believes put the date of the vessel at pre-1850.