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Wreck and Rescue 6 - The Ponus Traditional Cache

This cache has been archived.

Cornish Maid: Archive

Hidden : 09/02/2016
1.5 out of 5
1.5 out of 5

Size: Size:   micro (micro)

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Geocache Description:

The cache is placed on the coastal footpath near Gyllyngvase beach, overlooking the spot where the SS Ponus was wrecked in 1916.  It is a small bison container.  



This cache is placed in association with the Maritime Archaeology Trust’s Heritage Lottery funded project Forgotten Wrecks of the First World War.  This project aims to raise the profile of a currently under-represented aspect of the First World War - the loss of merchant and naval ships, passenger, troop and hospital ships, U-boats, ports, buildings and foreshore hulks.  Special thanks go to Mark Milburn of Atlantic Scuba who provided the information about the wreck.  The cache is situated overlooking the spot where the SS Ponus was lost in 1916, just off the beach at Gyllyngvase, Falmouth.  More information about the project can be found on the website:  The SS Ponus was a British cargo steamer built in 1902 by Russell & Co., Port Glasgow, for the Anglo-American Oil Company of London and was called initially the SS Kennebec.  Her vital statistics were: Length - 123.4m; Beam -15.9m; Draught - 8.4m; Tonnage - 5077 gross.  In 1912 she was purchased by Tank Storage & Carrying Company and in 1914 renamed Ponus.  In 1916 she was purchased by Standard Transportation Company, Hong Kong.  In 1916 the SS Ponus was chartered by the Admiralty.   On 3rd November she was nearing the end of her voyage from Trinidad to Britain when she encountered a severe gale off the coast of Cornwall.  She ran aground off Swanpool Point in Cornwall and was driven ashore at Gyllyngvase Beach, near Pendennis Point, Falmouth.   Her anchor could not hold her in place and the SS Ponus was driven ashore on Gyllyngvase beach.  Some of the crew reached the shore in the ship’s boats and 19 were rescued by the Falmouth lifeboat.  The Second Mate remained on board but later, when the ship caught fire, he improvised a raft which, unfortunately, became pinned against the burning vessel.  Second Lieutenant Badger and Lieutenant Frank Stephens, of the Royal Engineers and Royal Naval Reserves, went to the rescue in the rough seas in a dinghy. They caught hold of the Second Mate and brought him ashore, tied to the dinghy’s stern as it was too small to have him aboard.  Both rescuers received Silver Medals in recognition of their bravery.  The SS Ponus was stuck fast and all attempts to free her failed.  In the great gale of January 1917 she broke in winds of 75 to 85 miles an hour.  In August 1918, Harris Brothers marine salvage company towed the bow part of the SS Ponus into the docks and broke it up for scrap.  The cache overlooks the place where the SS Ponus was wrecked.



Additional Hints (Decrypt)

Whfg unatvat nebhaq

Decryption Key


(letter above equals below, and vice versa)