Built in 1921 at the Caldon Ship & Engineering works in Dundee, the Skerries
II (Original name). Driven by three-cylinder triple-expansion
engines with two boilers giving her 196hp. She went to work on the Liverpool to
Waterford route, carrying general cargo and 40 passengers to and from Ireland. It wasn't until 1946, when she was sold by the Clyde Shipping
Co and was bought by Dublin ship-owner Palgrave, Murphy & Co,
which had owned and lost several "City of" ships that she was given her new
name City of Waterford
In World War Two, she steamed from Cork to Glasgow carrying livestock and other foods to ease Britain's rationing problems. She was fitted out with a small gun and several machine guns to beat off submarine attacks, but seems to have avoided any contact, despite the many U-boats in the Irish Sea.
On 14 April, 1949, the City of Waterford was heading from Antwerp to Cork with 1000 tons of general cargo when she ran into thick fog about 12 miles west of Beachy Head. Unfortunately, in that same fog bank, but going the other way was a much bigger ship, the Marpessa, a 5500 ton Greek steamer. After the collision, the City of Waterford took very little time to sink, but her crew were all picked up safely.
She sits upright with a slight list to her port and lays East to West. She is largely intact and blue ceramic tiles are still in place in the galley together with lead lined sinks and cooking pots.
TO DIVE PAGE