Shipwrecks of Nova Scotia


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Wreck Chart #2
Halifax and Approaches

Bow of Erg
after sinking in 1943
(Maritime Museum - Halifax)

The table below provides historical and statistical data on the vessel. Some of the information may be incomplete. If you have additions or corrections, please e-mail us at the address listed below.

Shipwreck Data

Vessel Name Erg
Other Names Original name Sambro
Vessel Type Harbour Tug
Owner Halifax Steamship Ltd.
Length / Beam / Draft (feet) 55' / 14' / 
Tonnage 46 GT
Hull Construction Steel
Propulsion Steam / Screw (later converted to diesel)
Built 1915 at Halifax, NS (Halifax Shipyard Ltd.)
Date of Loss June 6, 1943
Reason for Loss Rammed by steamer Norelg and sank
Fatalities 19 (5 men on board survived)
Last Trip Halifax Harbour
Wreck Location The final location of the Erg is in the northern part of Bedford Basin - near Roach Cove
Coordinates (Lat/Lon)  
Coordinates (Loran C)  
Water Depth (feet) 60'
Typical Visibility (feet)  
Wreck Condition Upright and mostly intact
Diving Considerations Generally poor underwater visibility
Other Information One of the earliest steel vessels built in Halifax, Sambro was a steam tug built and owned by Halifax Shipyard. She was sunk by the Halifax Explosion in 1917. Ten years later, she was raised, re-named Erg and converted to a diesel work boat. She was sunk again on July 6, 1943 in a collision with Norelg a Norwegian freighter. Erg was carrying shipyard workers when the freighter, arriving in Bedford Basin, overtook her in fog and rain to strike her on the port side. Only five of the 24 men on board were saved. An inquiry blamed carelessness and a poor look-out about Norelg. Fourteen days after sinking, Erg was raised by the floating crane Lord Kitchener and the bodies of 10 victims removed. Too badly damaged to repair, she was scuttled near Roach Cove in Bedford Basin and forgotten. In 2001, a team from the Nova Scotia Undersea Exploration Society located and identified the wreck.

Divers please note that the Erg wreck is a Protected Heritage Site and that nothing on the wreck is to be disturbed or removed.

Attention Divers
The information on this page was obtained from a variety of sources. Although we have attempted to make it as accurate as possible, it may contain errors.  For your personal safety, use extreme caution when diving on this wreck.

For more information on this wreck's location and history, and water and diving conditions in the area, contact local dive shop personnel, dive charter boat operators and local fishermen. Also check out the other shipwreck sites listed on our Links page.

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Copyright 2004 by Dave Clancy
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