The three masted wooden barque Ebenezer was launched from the Tvedestrand shipyard of A and F Smith in 1869. She measured 129.6′ x 32.2′ x 18.3′ and her tonnage was 518 gross tons, 499 net tons. Initially owned and operated by her builders and based in Tvedestrand she was purchased by N Friis and Co Ltd., Porsgrunn in 1869 and was to operate from this port until her loss in 1900.
On 19th February, 1900 Ebenezer was en route from Grimsby to Fredrickshald with a cargo of coal under the command of Captain W Tolleshoven who had a crew of nine men under his command. As the ship made it’s way up the Scottish east coast before heading east to cross the North Sea she encountered a strong ESE gale which battered the ship and finally ripped her sails to shreds. When the disabled ship was sighted from the shore around 1pm that day it was clear she was in serious danger and would be swept ashore at some point. Two trawlers, which had recognised the plight of the drifting barque, steamed alongside the ship as she was driven towards the shoreline but could not approach to take off the crew due to the dangerous swell pounding her. Finally she came ashore at Salt Rock, near Whitehills, and the local rocket brigade, who had observed the ship drifting ever close to the rocks, were immediately on hand and attempted to get a line to the stranded ship. Four attempts were made to get a line to the crew, who by now could be seen clinging desperately to the wreck as she was continuously swept by huge saves, but these attempts failed. The Banff and Macduff lifeboat had been called out but only arrived on the scene as the ship began to break up throwing the crew into the boiling surf. Amazingly they succeeded in picking up seven of the crew including Captain Tolleshoven but sadly four men were lost.
The wreck of the Ebenezer quickly broke up and disappeared. In the early 1980s the scattered wreckage was discovered by divers from Aberdeen who recovered the ship’s bell to confirm the identity of the otherwise indistinguishable scattered wooden spars and random metal fittings. The wreckage was reported in approximate position 57° 41.083’N, 002° 34.245’W lying in less than 10 metres of water.