SS Helsingfors (1903)

Helsingfors was a Finnish freight and passenger steamship built in Belgium in 1903 for Helsingfors Ångfartygs Aktiebolaget. She ran aground and sank near Bengtskär on 1 January 1905. The accident resulted in the construction of the Bengtskär Lighthouse.

Name: Helsingfors
Namesake: Helsinki
Owner: Helsingfors Ångfartygs Aktiebolaget
Port of registry: Helsinki
Builder: Chantier Naval Anversois, Antwerp
Yard number: 24
Launched: 8 August 1903
Out of service: 1 January 1905
Fate: Ran aground and sank
General characteristics
Tonnage: 759 GRT
Length: 63.00 metres (206 ft 8 in)
Beam: 9.12 metres (29 ft 11 in)
Installed power: Triple expansion steam engine, 800 ihp
Propulsion: Screw propeller


Helsingfors was 63.00 metres (206 ft 8 in) long, with a beam of 9.12 metres (29 ft 11 in).[1] Her triple expansion steam engine, made by North Eastern Marine Engineers Ltd, Sunderland, United Kingdom,[2] was rated at 800 ihp.[1] She was assessed at 759 GRT.[3]


Helsingfors was built as yard number 24 by Chantiers Navals Anversois, Hoboken, Antwerp, Belgium.[4] She was launched on 8 August 1903 and completed two months later.[3][4] She was built to carry passengers and freight and was owned and operated by Helsingfors Ångfartygs Aktiebolaget.[1]

During the night of 31 December 1904, Helsingfors ran aground during a gale near Bengtskär, 16 miles (26 km) southwest of Hanko, and sank on New Year's Day.[2][5] She was on a voyage from Fowey, United Kingdom to Hanko with a cargo of kaolinite.[1][4] The Finnish salvage vessel Protector also ran aground and was holed whilst going to her assistance. Two crew from Helsingfors, three from Protector and a pilot were drowned.[5] These wrecks motivated the construction of the Bengtskär Lighthouse.[6][7] The wreck was sold in 1906 for 401 Markka.

The broken remains of the vessel lie in 8 to 13 metres (26 to 43 ft) of water.[1][2]


  1. "Helsingfors". Hylyt (in Finnish). Archived from the original on 7 November 2017. Retrieved 5 November 2017.
  2. "SS Helsingfors". Wrecksite. The Wrecksite. Retrieved 5 November 2017.
  3. "Anversois". P Benyon. Archived from the original on 7 November 2017. Retrieved 5 November 2017.
  4. "Helsingfors". Miramar Ship Index (subscription required). Wellington, New Zealand: R B Haworth. Retrieved 6 November 2017.
  5. "Wreck of Finnish Steamers". The Times (37596). London. 5 January 1905. col F, p. 4.
  6. "History of Bengtskär Lighthouse". Bengtskär. Archived from the original on 20 July 2011. Retrieved 5 November 2017.
  7. "Bengtskär stod emot två världskrig" [Bengtskär withstood two world wars] (in Swedish). Dagens Nyheter. 21 August 2014. Archived from the original on 7 November 2017. Retrieved 5 November 2017.
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