On the 20th January 1913, the steamship Brodland left Port Talbot Docks bound for Punta Arenas in Chile with 2,500 tons of Welsh coal. She was being assisted and under tow by the tug Emily Charlotte due to heavy seas and a gale force wind. In a sudden squall, the tow-line parted and the Brodland was driven ashore on the sandy beach close to Aberavon’s North Pier.
All forty-two members of the crew were brought safely ashore by the local Life Saving Apparatus Team led by Captain Humphrey Jones and helped by the many workmen who had rushed to the beach to give assistance. Amongst the crew was a local man, F.L. James, the ship’s carpenter and last ashore was the master Captain Vernon A. Scott. The literal translation of her destination port, Punta Arenas, is Sandy Beach but Aberavon was not the one her owners had in mind.
The Brodland was built in 1891 by Craig, Taylor & Co. at Stockton on Tees. She was launched as the Highland Mary but was re-named when she was purchased by the Brodland Steamship Company in 1912. After the grounding she became a total wreck and was later broken up for scrap. Her anchor is still on display outside the Aberavon Lifeboat Station.