The steamship Jedmoor was built for the Moor Line in 1913 before being sold to the Western Counties Shipping Line of Cardiff in 1920 who named her Jedmead. The Moor Line re-purchased the ship in 1922 and renamed her Linkmoor. She was built by J Blumer & Co Ltd., Sunderland (Yard No. 220) and had dimensions of 331.0′ x 47.7′ x 22.5′.
The loss of the ship was the last episode in a series of unrelated incidents in 1930. In late October she ran aground on rocks in a fjord near Tromso en route from Russia to Liverpool. She was successfully refloated and her damaged bow temporarily repaired. On the subsequent voyage to Liverpool her steering gear was damaged and, although this too was successfully repaired, the ship was now in need of major repair. She reached Liverpool without further incident but immediately was dispatched from Liverpool to Blyth where she was to be repaired and returned to full seaworthy condition.
In command for her final voyage in November 1930 was Captain J Ridley and she had a crew of twenty eight men. As the vessel approached the dangerous waters of the Pentland Firth she encountered a strong gale forcing the captain to take refuge at Skarfskerry where she anchored near the entrance to the harbour to ride out the storm and await a favourable tide to pass through the dangerous currents of the firth.. Unfortunately, at around 2am in the morning of 10th November, her anchors chains parted and the ship was driven aground in the rocky shallow water near the harbour entrance. At 2:43am Wick Wireless Station picked up the first of a series of distress messages from the ship. The location of her stranding was fortunate as, not only was the area relatively sheltered meaning the crew were in little danger despite the heavy swell, the local rocket crew used the area for practice of their rescue procedures and were on the scene in less than an hour of the ship going ashore. The twenty nine crewmen were successfully brought ashore but the ship was doomed. Two days later salvage teams boarded the stranded ship and reported extensive damage to her hull. A week later the salvage teams abandoned the ship and she was to become a total wreck.
In an interesting footnote to the loss of the ship locals papers in the north east carried a story that the Linkmoor was believed by some elderly sailors to be the victim of a curse by an Arab seaman who had been refused a job on the ship and had placed Allah’s curse of the ship. A colourful if dubious claim.
The wreck of the Linkmoor lay in a position close to the entrance to Skarfskerry and as such she was a danger to ship’s entering or leaving the harbour. In 1934 the wreck was purchased by a Mr Bracewell from Lancashire who successfully salvaged some of the valuable materials from the ship but the harbour was still more or less closed due to the obstruction. In 1935 the decision was taken to disperse the wreck with explosives. Despite the salvage and the dispersal some wreckage still exists at the site in shallow water in position 58°39.209’N, 003°16.792’W. A ship’s boiler is the largest piece of recognisable wreckage underwater.