On 31st August 1908, Capt A Garrick in command of the British four masted barque Amazon left Port Talbot bound for Chile with a cargo of coal. A heavy gale sprang up overnight and the ship anchored in Mumbles Roads. In the morning of September 1st, the anchor cables parted and the ship was finally driven ashore onto Margam Sands by the raging storm. The ‘Amazon’ was quickly broken up by the pounding waves and, despite the heroic efforts of the Port Talbot LSA rescue team, only eight men out of a crew of 28 made it ashore alive. The ship’s master, Captain Arthur Garrick of Penarth, was one of the twenty men who lost their lives in this tragic incident. Six bodies were washed up at Port Talbot and the bodies of Capt Garrick and eight others were found at Porthcawl on the 9th. Fourteen of the bodies were never recovered.

The ‘Amazon’ was built in 1886 by Barclay Curle & Co. Ltd. of Glasgow – she was 286 feet in length, with a displacement of 2,062 tons.

On Easter Sunday 2012, I visited the site of the wreck of the Amazon and was immediately impressed by the size of the extant remains. Visible only at very low tides the site is reached after a very long walk along Morfa Beach from its access point at Margam. Needless to say I took very many photographs of the wreck as well as pictures of the remains of a “Mulberry Harbour” which also lies a short distance away from the Amazon. Also buried in the sand on this beach is a World War II tank but this need an exceptionally low tide to be visible and even then is dependant on how much sand movement there has been. A trek to the wrecks is recommended!

Clicking on the photographs will take you to my flickr galleries.

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