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  1. Name: Horatio
  2. Type of vessel: merchant steamship
  3. Flag: United Kingdom
  4. Date of sinking: 01 June 1904
  5. Cause: grounding
  6. Location: O Xorexo shallows (Muros)
  7. Diving level: basic
  8. GALP territory: Estuary of Muros-Noia


Horatio’s (alleged) smuggling

The English steamship Horatio mistakenly entered the estuary of Muros-Noia on its way to Corcubión to load coal. The officer mistook Mount Louro for Cape Finisterre and, not knowing the area, brushed against A Mixiela or Os Meixidos shallows. It was 20 April 1904 and after a month and ten days stranded on the O Xorexo shallows with the forward hold flooded and leaning on the port side, it finished its voyage in this part of the Atlantic with police defending the cargo and men hired to remove it from the ship to lighten the weight.

On 31 May 1904, the ship suffered the consequences of a strong storm that aggravated the damage, breaking at the prow and sinking the following day. The Horatio sank in the Xorexo shallows which, since then, the sailors in the estuary call “the shallows of the steamer”. There were no casualties among the crew.

The official cargo was wheat, corn, barley, cork, flour (2,000 tons), linseed and fine timber (600 tons), but there are several indications that the Horatio was, in fact, a smuggling ship.

The Horatio was supposedly carrying a cargo of arms from Odessa (now a Ukrainian city and then Russian) via Hull, where this had been purchased to be sold to Japan, which was at odds with Russia over the Manchurian conflict.

In 1905, the remains of the Horatio were acquired by the company Juan Barbeito, which proceeded to cut up the copper and metal. At the end of the 1950s, Antonio Lestón Pardiñas’ company carried out a survey of the wreck, but as the metal plates were not of good quality, they were left there. A plaque of the Horatio’s boiler can be seen at the Marea Museum in Porto do Son.

Documentation by Marcial de Martín Vázquez in collaboration with the Mergullo Compostela diving centre.


Situación do baixo do Xorexo
Telegrama remitido polo axudante de Mariña, Luis Cadarso, al Excmo Sr. Capitán General de la Marina del departamento de Ferrol
“Lo que tengo el honor de manifestar a V.E.
Puerto del Son 20 de abril de 1904
En telegrama de hoy tengo el honor de decir a V.E. lo siguiente:
“Vapor varado bajo Chorexo. Es el inglés Horatio. Matrícula Hull, con cargamento trigo y madera que se dirigía a Corcubión equivocando entrada. Tiene anegada bodega proa. Se espera pleamar para intentar salvamento. Difícil.“