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Name Official number Flag IMO
EIRA  75256  GBR   
Year built Date launched Date completed
1880  12/05/1880   
Vessel type Vessel description
Yacht   Wood Auxiliary Steamer  Barque
Builder Yard Yard no
Stephen & Forbes, Peterhead    

Tonnage Length Breadth Depth Draft
266 grt / 181 nrt / 355 tm 129.5 ft  25.3 ft  12.1 ft   
Engine builder Hall, Russell & Co Ltd, Aberdeen
Engine detail
C2cyl (19¼" & 34¼" x 22") 50nhp, 1-screw 

First owner First port of register Registration date
Benjamin Leigh Smith, London  Peterhead  12/06/1880 
Other names
Subsequent owner and registration history
Vessel history
In first voyage to the Arctic, EIRA reached Franz Joseph Land and later returned.
14/6/1881 sailed Peterhead on second voyage, for Franz Joseph Land and Novaya Zemlya but was not seen after July.
In summer 1882 the Peterhead whaler HOPE was chartered for a rescue voyage. 
Auxiliary screw steam exploration yacht, designed for Arctic
Oak hull, sheathed with ironbark timbers
First steamer built at Peterhead 
End year Fate / Status
1881  Sank 21/08/1881 
Disposal Detail
21/8/1881, near Cape Flora, Franz Joseph Land, heavily damaged by floating ice and sank. Crew abandoned with the boats and reached land at Cape Flora, 79°56'N 49°E, where they remained through the winter, surviving on polar bear and walrus meat. There were no casualties.

On 21/6/1882 the crew left Cape Flora and sailed/rowed 1000 miles in the ship's boats, reaching Matotchkin Straits, Novaya Zemla where they found the rescue vessel HOPE and two other vessels.
The crew, including B L Smith, arrived Aberdeen 20/8/1882 in HOPE

A wreck believed to be of EIRA was found during a Russian survey of Cape Flora in August 2017, and confirmed as such in 2018. 


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