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Leith Shipyards

A history of the Ships built at the Henry Robb Shipyard in Leith, Scotland. Also a testimony to the men who built the Ships and to all who sailed in them.
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SS CRAIGALLION Yard No 29 Ramage-Ferguson
The smugglers wreck of the SS CRAIGALLION 
SS CRAIGALLION Yard No 29 built in 1881
Owners    W. Donald & Co
Registered    Glasgow Keel Laid    
Type of Ship    Iron Screw Steamer Launched    17th of May 1881
      Handed Over    
Ship Details          
Length Overall    216' 0" Launch Details    
Length B.P.    210' 0" Weather    
Beam    30' 0" Time to Water    
Depth Moulded      16' 0"      
G.R.T.    1,028 tons      
Engines    Compound inverted 2 cylinder engine supplied by Muir & Houston engine works, Glasgow      
Props    1      
Speed    11.5 knots      
Other known names    1886-OZAMA    
Current Status    She was wrecked Cape Romain Shoals, South Carolina, in 1894    
Content on CRAIGALLION will be added as and when available. 
Ships History
CRAIGALLION was another from the early years of building at the Leith Shipyards of Ramage & Fergusons Shipbuilders, some of the finest looking ships ever built came from the shipyard at Leith.
The new shipyard was proving to be a profilic builder of new ships and the CRAIGALLION was the next one on the stocks. And at just over 1,000 tons she was a fair sized vessel for the times. Being the second order from her owners in Glasgow the shipping concern known as Walker Donald & Co (her slightly smaller sister had been the SS CRAIGROWNIE yard No 24) There was to be a further order from the shipping company of Walker Donald & Co for two more steamers which you will see on this site in time.
The SS CRAIGALLION was to have a very eventfull history and indeed she was lost and then salved to be renamed under the American flag with the name SS OZAMA and she was involved in all kinds of adventures including gun running and it is also rumoured she was carrying a fortune in cash when she eventually sank in 1894
The SS CRAIGALLION and then SS OZAMA has such an amazing history which is now very well documented by the well known maritime shipwreck discoverer Dr Lee Spence and with his kind permission i retell a little bit about her taken from the excellent website at where you can read so much more about this fine old ship that came from the shipyards at Leith all those years ago.
She and her story have now been featured on many news site and around the internet with thanks again to Dr Lee Spence and his team of experts who are helping to bring history back alive.
Below is just a small part of her story reproduced here by permission
 Brief Overview of the Wreck & Its Discovery, written by Dr. E. Lee Spence

This is the wreck of an iron-hulled steamer. The site is in approximately 40' of water about ten miles from the mouth of the Santee River and six nautical miles off the lighthouse at Cape Romain, South Carolina.

I first located the site in 1979 while searching with a proton magnetometer for a much earlier shipwreck with treasure on it. I can write about it now only because the United States Federal District Court has already ruled that I am the "true and exclusive owner" to all of the wreckage (not just the Ozama) that I have found on and around the outer shoal of Cape Romain. I have a five mile radius exclusive area.

Because of this wreck's general type and condition, I suspected it dated from the late 19th or early 20th century. It was definitely not my original target, so I simply made a note of it as something to investigate later and moved on finding more and more shipwrecks in its general vicinity. They were all cataloged for future work.

In January of 2012, I included this site in an admiralty case that I filed with the United States court, claiming rights, as both salvor in possession and as the discoverer of lost and abandoned property, to all of the unidentified and abandoned wrecks that I had found within the area specified in my pleadings.

In August of 2012, the court officially recognized me as the "true and exclusive owner" of the wreckage.

In February of 2013, while doing research, I came across an 1894 newspaper account that gave me my first real clue as to this wreck's identity. The paper told about the loss of the Ozama, an iron propeller steamer, which sank in six and a half fathoms (39') of water, about six miles off the lighthouse. That fit with my wreck perfectly. Even the compass heading given in the article matched.

A sonar survey, on site inspection and measurements made of the wreck and compared with those recorded for the Ozama in Lloyd's Register of British and Foreign Shipping, have further confirmed the wreck's identity. She is definitely the Ozama.

Team members who have worked with me on this part of the project include Operations Manager Rick Reely, Senior Diver Will Schexnayder, Diver Andrew Crabtree, and First Mate Guido Portella. As our work progresses, we hope to confirm the identities of several more wrecks in the Ozama's immediate vicinity, which were also included in my admiralty claim. I have previously found gold and silver on a couple of them.

The Ozama has a very interesting story behind her, including being in the center of an international incident on one occasion and being involved in weapons smuggling on another. On still another voyage, she was used to transport hundreds of thousands of dollars, which, if it had been in gold (which it wasn't), would have amounted to today's equivalent of well over $25,000,000.

 Continue here for a lot more on her construction and physical details as researched by the Spence Trust Inc
We try here to give as full an account of her history as time and research permits, if you know of missing info
or you have any photographs of her, then please get in touch and we shall update her story as we go along.

 The photograph above shows some of the artefacts brought to the surface by Dr Lee Spence and his dive team after discovering the wreck of the

SS OZAMA ex SS CGRAIGALLION Ship No 29 for the Leith Shipyards of R & F Shipbuilders in 1881some crockery and a couple of port holes still in pretty good condition after all that time submerged.

 Reign of Iron
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