SS Kunstmann Shipwreck

SS Kunstmann Shipwreck

History of the SS Kunstmann Shipwreck in Northumberland

SS Kunstmann Shipwreck

Nestled off the rugged coast of Northumberland, the SS Kunstmann shipwreck holds a captivating blend of history, mystery, and maritime intrigue. This storied wreck is not just a relic of the past but a site that invites curiosity and exploration. In this post, we’ll dive deep into the history of the SS Kunstmann, explore the intriguing rumour surrounding its demise, and highlight why this shipwreck is a must-visit for history buffs and adventure seekers alike.

SS Kunstmann Shipwreck - A Fine Art Photographers perspective

From a Photographers perspectiveThis is a long-exposure image of the wreck, visible in the distance. The foreground subject is the remains of a tractor.

The Birth of the SS Kunstmann

Construction and Launch

The SS Kunstmann was born in the bustling shipyards of Hamburg, Germany, in 1905. Crafted with precision and expertise, this cargo ship was a testament to early 20th-century shipbuilding prowess. Measuring 120 meters in length and boasting a gross tonnage of 4,500 tons, the SS Kunstmann was designed to conquer the transatlantic routes, ferrying goods between Europe and the Americas.

In this video, I venture to the site to create Fine Art images of the wreck

Early Voyages

In its prime, the SS Kunstmann was a stalwart of the seas. The vessel earned a reputation for reliability, making countless successful voyages across the Atlantic. The ship’s robust construction and efficient design ensured it could withstand the often harsh conditions of long sea journeys. However, the winds of global change soon disrupted maritime trade’s tranquil routine.

The Fateful Final Voyage

Setting Sail

In 1912, the SS Kunstmann embarked on its final voyage. Laden with various goods, the ship set sail from Hamburg, destined for New York. The journey, however, would not go as planned. As the boat approached the notoriously treacherous waters off the coast of Northumberland, it encountered a fierce storm that would seal its fate.

The Shipwreck

Despite the crew’s best efforts to navigate the violent weather, the SS Kunstmann ran aground on the rocky shores near Seahouses, Northumberland. The impact was catastrophic, and the ship quickly began to break apart. Fortunately, most of the crew survived, thanks to the heroic efforts of local fishermen and the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI).

SS Kunstmann Shipwreck

The Intriguing Rumor

Wartime Speculation

The rumour that the SS Kunstmann’s crew intentionally grounded the ship adds a layer of mystery to its story. As the First World War loomed on the horizon, tensions rose, and maritime routes were fraught with danger. Some speculate that the crew, aware of the impending conflict, may have deliberately run the ship aground to avoid capture or destruction by enemy forces. While no concrete evidence supports this theory, it adds an intriguing twist to the ship’s dramatic history.

Discovering the SS Kunstmann Today

Location and Accessibility

The remains of the SS Kunstmann lie off the coast of Goswick Beach, a serene and less-trodden stretch of Northumberland’s coastline. The wreck is about 200 meters from the shore, making it accessible to experienced divers. Even for non-divers, a stroll along Goswick Beach offers a glimpse into the maritime history hidden beneath the waves.

Photographing the SS Kuntsman

For amazing photographic possibilities, plan your trip during shallow tides, as I did in the video. Enough of the wreck is visible to capture lovely pictures of this incredible ship.

Diving the Wreck

Diving enthusiasts find the SS Kunstmann wreck a thrilling adventure. The site is spread over a wide area, with large sections of the hull and superstructure still intact. Divers can explore the cargo holds, engine room, and other parts of the ship while encountering a variety of marine life that has made the wreck their home.

Safety First

If you plan to dive the SS Kunstmann, ensure you go with a certified dive operator familiar with the site. The North Sea’s waters, with strong currents and varying visibility, can be unpredictable. Proper equipment and adherence to safety protocols are essential for a successful and safe dive.


The SS Kunstmann shipwreck is more than just a sunken ship; it’s a gateway to history, mystery, and adventure. From its construction in Hamburg to its dramatic final voyage and the lingering rumours of wartime intrigue, the SS Kunstmann’s story continues to captivate. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a diving aficionado, or someone looking for an exciting exploration, the SS Kunstmann shipwreck in Northumberland offers an unforgettable experience. Dive in and uncover the secrets of this fascinating underwater relic!

For those keen on exploring more about Northumberland’s maritime heritage, don’t miss the opportunity to visit the SS Kunstmann shipwreck. Happy exploring!

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Where is the SS Kunstmann Shipwreck
    The Wreck is located on Goswick Beach (Northumberland)
    Google Map Location: CLICK
    W3W: CLICK
  2. When is the best time to visit the SS Kunstmann Shipwreck
    It’s best at a very low tide.
    Plan to arrive as the tide is receding
  3. Where can I park? CLICK
    There is a small area where you can park your car at the start of the Holy Island Causeway.
    Park your car here, walk back up the road for a couple hundred yards, and turn right (just before you reach the Barn at Beal campsite) onto a cycle route. Follow the cycle route until you reach Goswick Beach. It’s a flat, easy walk.
    Alterntively, you could walk straight to the wreck along the beach. I haven’t walked this route, so I’m unsure how easy or hard it is.


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