Laid down in late 1919 as the SS Lake Flomaton this vessel was completed in April 1920 as the Great Falls by her builders McDougall Duluth & Co., of Duluth, Minnesota (Yard No.1863). She had been built as part of the US Shipping Board’s 1917-1921 Emergency Fleet Programme and was built to their standard design 1099.
She had many owners and names during her 22 year career – Haiti (21-26), Columbian (26-28), Ocean Dominion (28-34), American Caribbean (34-36), and finally under Norwegian ownership Ingrid (1936-42). Her dimension were 251.0′ x 43.7′ x 25.8′ with a gross tonnage of 2607 ton. Propulsion was provided by a triple expansion steam engine of 226 nhp also supplied by her builders.
The Ingrid, owned by A/S I.A.Hamres Rederi and registered in Oslo, was en route from the Tyne to Hampton Roads and Cuba when she ran aground off Rubha Port Bhoisd, Tiree on 19th January, 1942. Due to wartime reporting restrictions details are vague but she was clearly well out of position as the captain first reported her ashore close to Barra Head when he sent out his SOS message at 9:10am that morning. Within thirty minutes further messages indicated that the crew were planning to take to the boats and only when they reached the shore did they find out that they were in fact on Tiree, not Barra.
Reports over the next few days advised that the ship was breaking up in the terrible weather. When she was finally boarded on February 2nd the sea was reported to be boiling through her bottom, the engine room tidal and her rudder and propeller gone. Salvage was hopeless and she was abandoned as a total wreck.
The Wreck Today
The Ingrid was heavily salvaged and has been further pounded by the swell at this exposed site. Her remains lie in shallow water at Sgeir Mhor in position 56°32.046’N, 006°55.898’W (GPS). The seabed here is around 6 metres and the wreckage is spread over a wide area with her boiler in the centre of the site. As the wreck is shallow it is heavily overgrown with kelp and subject to heavy swell when the wind is from the west. In calm conditions it is a pleasant shallow dive with lots of gullies and crevices to explore.