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Portland Shipwrecks

Ever since man has sailed on the seas he has had problems navigating Portland's waters, below is a list of known wrecks

One of the most famous is HMS Hood, the battle cruiser which was scuttled across the southern entrance to the harbour in 1914. Click here for information on the Hood and a dive guide.

  • 1305 Ship owned by Merchants of Dayonne and St Sebastian driven ashore on coast near Portland..

  • 1322 Saint Coymelote - Wrecked at Portland.

  • 1641 Golden Grape - near Smallmouth, on Chesil Beach.

  • 1653 February. Action against the Dutch Fleet off Portland Bill - 11 men of war and 30 merchantmen destroyed.

  • 1748 Hope - Dutch Privateer of Amsterdam. Chesil Beach, near Fleet.

  • 1763 Zenobia - French Frigate. Chesil Beach.

  • 1780 A Coast Vessel driven into Cave Hole.

  • 1795 18th November. Admiral Christian's Fleet wrecked on Chesil Beach - over 1,000 drowned.

  • 1805 1st February. Earl of Abergavenny - struck Shambles bank, later sank in Weymouth Bay.

  • 1815 27th March. Alexander - East Indiaman. Wrecked on Chesil Beach. 140 drowned.

  • 1816 14th March. Large French ship.

  • 1818 4th March. Large French ship - cargo wine - Chesil Beach.

  • 1819 10th January. Small vessel laden with oranges. Chesil Beach.

  • 1820 9th April. Brig on fire.

  • 1820 17th October. Brig, laden with butter and pork. Chesil Beach.

  • 1821 3rd January. French brig - cargo coffee.

  • 1821 23rd March. French Brig cotton and coffee. Chesil Beach.

  • 1823 4th November. Swedish schooner, laden with salt. Chesil Beach.

  • 1824 23rd November. "The great gale" - unknown number of vessels lost in West Bay. Ebenezer - 95 tons, stranded on top of beach and later relaunched into Portland Roads, Colville - West Indiaman, lost on Chesil Beach.

  • 1824 19th December. Fortuna - lemons, oranges, wine.

  • 1826 Weymouth Packet run down by an unknown foreign brig. Ten of the crew and 6 passengers drowned.

  • 1828 8th December. Swedish Brig on Chesil Beach and one unknown vessel.

  • 1830 6th December. Sophia - French Ketch. Wind about SE blowing strong, wrecked at Portland. Cargo wheat and beans. Master and boy drowned.

  • 1830 23rd February. Meteor - Weymouth- Channel Island. Packet wrecked in fog at Church Ope.

  • 1838 28th November. Dove-sloop of Weymouth, wrecked on Chesil Bank near Portland, Captain Bussell, all hands and part of Cargo saved.

  • 1838 29th November. Columbine - Missionary Schooner wrecked on Chesil Beach near Wyke. 16 or 17 drowned.

  • 1838 29th November. Louise - Swedish Barque of Gelfe. Wrecked on Chesil Beach near Wyke. All hands saved.

  • 1838 29th November. A Brigantine, out of Poole, wrecked on Chesil Beach. One saved.

  • 1838 29th November. Large vessel, believed American - near Chesil. All crew drowned.

  • 1838 29th November. Unknown Schooner - Chesil Beach - all drowned.

  • 1838 31st November. Elizabeth and Catherine - Collier-Brig from Llanelly, dismasted, but escorted into Weymouth by the Royal George.

  • 1839 October. Nine vessels wrecked on Chesil Beach - all perished.

  • 1840 24th January. Saggitario - An Austrian Polacca, out of Trieste, described as a pirate vessel, wrecked on Chesil Beach, crew saved.

  • 1841 30th November. Amyntfs - Chesil Beach.

  • 1853 January. A ship is recorded as having come over the top of the Beach in a gale and later was launched on the other side.

  • 1856 9th December. Petronell - A Dutch Barque, wrecked on Chesil Beach. Master, William Louws, and three crew lost.

  • 1860 24th December. Irene - Swedish timberman, wrecked on breakwater.

  • 1865 22nd November. Emmanuel - French Brig. Chesil Beach.

  • 1869 1st February. Amelia - German Brig. Chesil Beach.

  • 1869 February. Flora. French Barque - Chesil Beach.

  • 1862 Cassibelainus - Chesil Beach, off Fleet Coastguard Station.

  • 1872 13th or 23rd November. Jane and Catherine - a Welsh Schooner.

  • 1872 25th November. Royal Adelaide - Chesil Beach, 7 drowned, 60 rescued.

  • 1873 November. Spanish Ship in Balaclava Bay.

  • 1875 24th June. Marie Rose - French barque, on Chesil Beach.

  • 1877 11th September. Avalanche and Forest in collision off Portland, both ships sank.

  • 1878 24th March. Eurydice ran on rocks off Portland. Refloated, but later sank off Dunmose, 2 saved, 290 drowned.

  • 1881 Three vessels.

  • 1882 5th January. Edwin and Sarah. Wrecked on Chesil Beach.

  • 1883 8th August. Sapphire - Schooner laden with coal. Wrecked on Chesil Beach.

  • 1883 2nd September. Christianna - Norwegian Barque.

  • 1884 11th January. Ran(d). Cargo logwood. Wrecked on Chesil Beach.

  • 1886 27th August. Bournemouth - Paddle Steamer, wrecked on Portland Bill.

  • 1886 29th October. Persian Monarch, wrecked on breakwater - cargo of cattle.

  • 1887 30th October. Laureate - Yacht wrecked on breakwater.

  • 1888 Lanoma - Barque - wrecked on Chesil Beach, 12 crew drowned, 6 saved.

  • 1890 21st April. Ehen - Barque, wrecked on rocks at Church Ope Cove.

  • 1890 3rd October. Fannie C - Brigantine, burned on Chesil Beach.

  • 1890 26th December. SS Thames - Tar Rocks.

  • 1891 13th October. Orr et Tabora - Norwegian Brig, on Chesil Beach.

  • 1894 18th November. SS Gertrude on rocks.

  • 1899 13th February. SS Stuart, hit breakwater, later wrecked at Osmington.

  • 1901 March. Dinnington - wrecked on breakwater.

  • 1902 January. SS Mor - wrecked on Chesil Beach.

  • 1902 April. SS Vera - wrecked on Chesil Beach.

  • 1903 Mission to Seaman Cutter.

  • 1903 August. Verbeur-Ketch. On rocks.

  • 1903 24th October. Patria - Norwegian. Barque, wrecked on Chesil Beach.

  • 1903 25th October. Emma Maria - Russian Brig, wrecked on Chesil Beach.

  • 1904 SS Echo. Coaster, inside breakwater.

  • 1904 SS Hergoa. Sank in Portland Harbour.

  • 1905 County of Anglessa - in distress off shambles, towed in by Albert Victor.

  • 1907 SS Sandal. On fire in Portland Harbour.

  • 1907 Devonian - Schooner. Sunk by destroyer in Portland Harbour.

  • 1907 20th September. SS Patroclus. On rocks at Church Ope Cove.

  • 1910 June SS Okahandja. German vessel on rocks.

  • 1911 March SS Jason - on rocks.

  • 1911 13th March. Weslea. In collision off Portland. Towed into Harbour.

  • 1912 25th March. SS Myrtledene. On rocks.

  • 1912 5th December. SS Francis Duncan and SS Ryder. Lost in Channel off Portland.

  • 1913 12th February. B2 Trawler from Lurerone on Chesil Beach.

  • 1913 Turenne - French Trawler on rocks, west side of Portland, near Chesil Beach.

  • 1913 SS Bulow - German vessel, on rocks.

  • 1914 4th November HMS Hood deliberately sunk in southern entrance to Portland Harbour.

  • 1917 SS Peregrine - on rocks.

  • 1920 15th January. SS Preveza - Greek Steamer, wrecked in Chesil Cove.

  • 1920 16th January. James Pennel, wrecked near Blacknor (Tar Rocks) Total loss.

  • 1920 January. Llida - Tug on rescue operations with Prevega, stranded on Chesil Beach.

  • 1920 SS Barmston - Collier - wrecked on Tar Rocks. Total Loss.

  • 1924 L.24 British Submarine. Rammed off Portland Bill.

  • 1924 2nd November. SS Hartley Sank off Portland Bill. Crew saved off the Grove Point.

  • 1927 SS Stencrest. Lost off Portland.

  • 1927 SS Grayside. Dragged anchor, wrecked on breakwater.

  • 1927 Weymouth Bargo run down in Channel - cargo Granite.

  • 1928 SS Bachus and Jorme Falaise. In collision off Portland - 10 drowned.

  • 1928 Emma. Barge towed into Portland Harbour.

  • 1928 26th June. Bonney Jean - Yacht towed into Weymouth Harbour by Lifeboat.

  • 1928 Three RAF Seaplanes turned over and sank in Portland Harbour.

  • 1928 22nd March. R4 run down by HMS Thruster. All saved.

  • 1929 26th August. SS Jolly Esmond Ashore below Higher Light.

  • 1930 12th January. SS Forrester. Dragged moorings - wrecked on breakwater.

  • 1930 12th January. HM Tug lost.

  • 1930 20th September. Madeline Tristan - French Barque, wrecked in Chesil Cove.

  • 1930 2nd November. Seaplane sank in Portland Harbour.

  • 1931 Crown of Denmark - Schooner on breakwater.

  • 1932 23rd June. PS Premier and HM Submarine Rainbow in collision near northern entrance to Portland Harbour.

  • 1932 Sodern. Sank south of Portland Bill.

  • 1932 26th January. M2 Submarine. Sank west of Portland Bill.

  • 1936 16th February. Winchester Castle stranded on rocks at Backnor Point. Later towed off.

  • 1937 18th February. Coal Hulk Haytian sunk by HMS PC74 in Portland Harbour. Salvaged June-August 1937.

  • 1940 Coal Hulk Himalaya. Sunk in Portland Harbour by German Aircraft.

  • 1940 4th July. HMS Foylebank. Sunk in Portland Harbour by German Aircraft.

  • 1943 13th October. American Tank Landing Craft wrecked on Chesil Beach. Inspector of Coastguards drowned when attempting to rescue crew.

  • 1946 3rd June. Margarita - Ketch, at Portland Bill. All drowned.

  • 1946 Buccaneer. Sunk by dummy shell from HMS St James.

  • 1947 Minerve. French Submarine - broke tow, wrecked at Portland Bill.

  • 1948 17th October. Liberty Boat from HMS Illustrious, sank in Portland Harbour, 30 drowned.

  • 1949 Reliance. Yacht-wrecked at Cave Hole.

  • 1949 Tug HLS 161. Chesil Beach, opposite Car Park.

  • 1952 Lendor - Yacht, at Portland - propellers fouled.

  • 1953 February. MFV 1089. Stranded on Chesil Beach. Towed off.

  • 1955 16th June. Submarine Sidon. A total of thirteen men died, 12 crew and a Doctor (Surg. Lt. Rhodes) from the depot ship HMS Maidstone who had entered the Sidon trying to save lives. 
    We are organising a memorial stone and service to be held on the 50th anniversary 16th June 2005

    Brian Hodder
    Hon.Sec.
    Dorset Branch of the Submariners Association
    Contact: bhodder@hbgassist.co.uk

  • 1957 September. Ruby - small yacht on Chesil Beach. Engine failed.


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