The steel cargo steamship Chingford was launched from the yard of William Gray & Sons., West Hartlepool on 29 August 1889. She measured 264.1’ x 37.1’ x 18.0’ and weighed 1764 gross tons.
The Chingford arrived in Dundee from Norway with a cargo of timber in December 1924. She quickly discharged part of her cargo and weighed anchor late in the evening of 22nd bound for Grangemouth where she was to unload the remainder of her cargo before heading south to the Tyne and on to the Mediterranean. As the steamer passed the Carr Lighthouse a heavy mist enveloped the ship reducing visibility dramatically forcing Captain James Chapman to slow his ship to less than five knots in visibility close to nil. The sea was also rough making navigation and steerage even more problematic.
At around 2:15am the ship ran aground without warning and stuck fast. All efforts to pull the ship off with her own engines failed, and six distress signals were fired. The Crail Lifesaving Brigade and the Crail and Anstruther lifeboats raced to the scene to find the ship grinding heavily on the rocks. Her hull was badly holed and water was pouring into the hold and the engine room. The first rocket from the Lifesaving Brigade landed on the wreck and was quickly secured by the crew. However, with waves washing over the ship the rescue was to be a difficult one. Despite their dangerous position the crew decided to wait till dawn to attempt to get ashore as to try to reach safety in the dark with the swell continuously sweeping the men off their feet on the ship’s deck would have been even more dangerous. At dawn the first of the 21 crew were safely transferred ashore by breeches buoy and then, thankfully as the tide receded and the weather abated the Anstruther lifeboat was able to move alongside and take off the rest of the crew.
As daybreak dawned the ship was found to be badly damaged with her two ends balanced on rocks and the ship sagging midships but it was still hoped that she could be saved. Salvage teams arrived on site but on 27th another storm hit the region and the ship, already badly damaged, became a total wreck.
The remaining wreckage of the Chingford lies in position 56° 15.961’N, 002° 35.767’W (WGS84) in around 6 metres of water. Little remains of the ship although the propeller shaft and propeller are reported to be visible in the shallow water close to shore and the forward end of the keel is sometimes visible ashore at low tide.