Goldrush as Scots shipwreck located

THE wreck of a Scottish ship which was used to smuggle guns and gold from the Clyde to Haiti has been discovered on the seabed off America.

Loading Comments
Share
Print
Dr Lee Spence found ship off South Carolina
Dr Lee Spence found ship off South Carolina

Underwater archaeologist, Dr Lee Spence, is investigating the wreck of the SS Ozama – built in Leith in 1881 and owned by a firm called Walker, Donald and Co in Glasgow.

Dr Spence, 65, hopes to salvage cargo and gold from the ship, which he located five miles off Cape Romain, South Carolina.

Dr Lee, who has been hunting shipwrecks for 50 years, said: "She is in far better condition than I would ever have expected for a vessel of her type and age.

"We are not planning to raise the vessel. She is 216ft in length and way too big.

"However, we plan to salvage any cargo or gold that we find on her."

The steamer, originally named Craigaillon, was wrecked in the Bahamas in 1885. She was later salvaged by a Norfolk, Virginia company before being towed to Baltimore, which is how she came to be owned and registered as an American vessel and named SS Ozama.

Later, she sailed back to Glasgow and was used to transport weapons to Haiti in 1888, when General Louis Hyppolyte was making a play for power.

He served as President of Haiti from 1889 until 1896.

Newspaper reports from the time describe SS Ozama as being stocked with arms and gunpowder in Glasgow before setting off for Haiti.

Dr Lee has so far recovered dinner plates and porthole windows from the ship, but hopes to discover more valuable items in the coming weeks.

He added: "The ship had a great history. It had been involved in smuggling guns to revolutionaries in the Caribbean and carrying large amounts of money.

"The steamer was once seized by Haiti, with the captain of a US warship threatening to shell Port-au-Prince if the steamer wasn't immediately released.

"I do plan on donating some of the artifacts to various museums."

stef.lach@ heraldandtimes.co.uk

Finance

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on Evening Times on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis. If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.

126749

Have you got a story?

Contact the news desk on 0141 302 6520 or email news@eveningtimes.co.uk
A weekly round up of social highlights

A weekly round up of social highlights

Cat's Eyes on Glasgow

I’m loving the Games from the opening ceremony to presenting the rhythmic gymnastics at the Hydro

Times Out

Entertainment

Lifestyle

TV Advert
Gail’s Gab

Gail’s Gab

Gail Sheridan is a mother-of-one and wife to Tommy and she likes to get political with the hot topic of the week in her column Gail’s Gab.

Michelle McManus

Michelle McManus

Sussed in the City

The sun always shines in Glasgow in July...honest

Janice Bell

Janice Bell

You couldn’t make up half the stuff that happens to PA Janice Bell- some of the jams she gets herself into are worth a story or two.