General Seafaring Snippets


22/12/1855 – SEAVIEW. During the violent gale from the north-east on Tuesday night the “Altraneda” yacht, belonging to R.A.GRAY Esq., of Priory, was driven ashore in the bay and totally wrecked. This is the only casualty we have heard of along the shore in the Isle of Wight. (IW Observer)

26/04/1856 – A smack named the “Bee”, belonging to Mr Henry KELLEWAY, of Freshwater, is reported at Yarmouth this week of having foundered at sea a few days ago in the western channel, on her passage to the eastward from Cornwall, laden with granite stone. The crew, seeing the imminent danger of the unfortunate craft, immediately took to the boats and were saved from sharing the same fate in the perils of the deep, although the wind was blowing a strong gale at the time the casualty took place. (IW Observer)

15/09/1877 – ACCIDENT TO A COAL BARGE – During the high tide and heavy sea on Saturday morning, the barge ‘Emma’, from Portsmouth, laden with coal, ran into the Victoria Pier, and had to be scuttled in order to prevent damage to herself and the pier.  (IW Observer) 

30/03/1878 – The magnificent sum of over £150 was immediately subscribed by the men belonging to Her Majesty’s gunnery ship Excellent, on its being made known that a relief committee was formed to aid the widows and orphans of those lost in the Eurydice, off Ventnor. (IW Observer) 

31/05/1879 – H.M.S. VICTORY – The renowned old ship “Victory” which has served as a guardship in Portsmouth harbour for so many years, was taken alongside the jetty in the Dockyard on Wednesday to have a new mainmast, the old one having become unserviceable. She has since been taken back to her old moorings.  (IW Advertiser, Ryde & Ventnor Times)27/09/1879 – THE GALE which has blown with such violence this week, proved rather destructive to property on the shore here. A small boat belonging to Mr J.H.WESTMORE, the “Snowdrop”, was damaged beyond repair; and Mr C.JAMES’ fishing boat was rendered useless. The storm was unexpected and the boats were not hauled up out of danger, as is generally done when a high tide is thought probable. (IW Adv. Ryde & Ventnor Times)30/01/1886 – The fishing smack “Nelly” of Hythe, took fire at her moorings on Wednesday night, off Ryde Pier. Mr George AUSTIN, Trinity pilot, of the Pilot cutter, “Ranger”, who had been onboard his vessel to see to the riding lamp and to see all was safe onboard, was returning to shore about 10 oclock when he saw flames emitting from the “Nelly”. After assuring himself there was no-one on board, he immediately commenced to get the flames under, but not before the cabin contents, sails, &c., were completely gutted. The coastguard came to assist and towed the vessel on to the sand. She is owned by Mr Henry BANKS of Hythe …… (IW County Press) 

28/05/1887 – TRAINING SHIP ASHORE – On Monday H.M. training brig, “Seaflower”, while cruising round Tinker’s Ledge, Needles’s Passage, was caught by the tide and swept on the ledge.  Our gallant neighbour (Admiral LOWTHER, J.P., of Thornton) happened to be on board at the time, and was much pleased at the smart way in which the crew worked to get the ship off.  She was only on the ledge a very short time, and he says that nothing could been better than the way in which the lads worked under the  direction of their officers.  By the way, the London papers erroneously stated that it was H.M. brig “Martin” that went ashore.  (IW Observer) 

09/02/1895 – Mr R. GREENHAM, Trinity pilot, of Sea View, who was saved from the “Elbe”, arrived home on Friday last; and was ordered rest and quietness by his medical advisor. He has suffered greatly from the shock and has a frost-bite wound on his hand. Mr GREENHAM has now had three narrow escapes from shipwreck. He was in the pilot cutter which was run down by the ill-fated “Elbe” and afterwards was in the “Hesperus” which was wrecked off Yarmouth. (IW County Press) 

11/02/1899 – COLLISION WITH RYDE PIER – A small sailing craft called the “Midge”, belonging to Messrs. PICKFORD, and hailing from Portsmouth, collided with Ryde Pier on Monday morning while a rough sea was running.  No one on board was hurt but the mast of the vessel was carried away.  (IW Observer) 

12/03/1910 – STEAMER COLLISION – The Solent Steampackets seem to be rather unfortunate.  On Thursday evening the mailboat “Princess Margaret” with Captain REALE in command, left the Harbour Pier for Ryde and went out in the middle of the stream to turn. She was caught by the strong tide and carried on to the destroyer “Crane” which was laying at the Magnet’s buoy near the Victory.  The steamer tore a hole in the destroyer’s stern. (IW Observer) 

20/08/1910 – MISHAP TO H.M.S. EDINBURGH – Considerable excitement prevailed in Ryde on Sunday by the report that the armoured cruiser, Edinburgh had struck on a reef at the back of the Island, and was a wreck.  Rumour also said that many lives had been lost.  As is generally the case the reports turned out to be very greatly exaggerated.  The Edinburgh grounded on Atherfield reef in the fog on Saturday evening and remained fast.  Fortunately the sea was smooth, otherwise she would speedily have beaten her bottom in.  At high tide on Sunday morning she floated, and was hauled from her dangerous position by tugs from Portsmouth.  She proceeded to Portsmouth Harbour, where examination showed that she had sustained little or no damage.  (IW Observer)

04/11/1911 – RUSSIAN SAILORS IN DISTRESS – On Thursday between midnight and 1 o’clock, the mate and two hands of the schooner “Swike” of Riga, landed on Ventnor beach in an exhausted and drenched condition.  Coastguardsman CREESE assisted them ashore and Chief Officer DAWS took them to the agent of the Shipwrecked Mariners Society (Messrs SPENCER and SOUL), who kindly supplied them with much needed refreshments and dry clothes.  Its appears that the Swike was homeward bound from Plymouth with a cargo of china clay.  IW County Press) 

1918 – Mr. E. T. PERKIS, who was coxwain of the lifeboat for 33 years, died at his residence, Cobden Cottage, Nelson-street, Ryde, aged 73. 

1918 – Mr. James SWEETMAN, master mariner, George-street, Ryde, died aged 87.

05/02/1929 – Bembridge lifeboatman Mr. Charles William ETHERIDGE, tragic death occurred on Tuesday following an accident on the previous Sunday.  Together with other men he was engaged in loading a barge with sand when, from some unexplained cause, he fell a distance of about 12ft from a plank and sustained injuries which led to his death.  The deceased, popularly known as “Lammy” in the district, was 44 years of age…… (IW County Press)

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