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Portland Shipwrecks

The propeller and drive shaft of the Marguerita (GPS: 50 31 00 N 002 26 46 W), a trawler, which sank in 1946. The propeller can be seen at low tide and it makes an easy shore dive at a depth of less than 4m.. Just further out from this is the boiler and some of the hull. It lies in an area locally known as Red Pond and is easily accessible by snorkelers. The water here is very sheltered but as with all waters around Portland be careful and know your limits. The wreck is about in line with the far end of the beach huts to the east of Portland Bill and about half a mile from the car park.
The last of the big sailing ships lost on the Dorset Coast was the French vessel Madeleine Tristan, wrecked at Portland in September 1930. She was on her way from L'Orient, Brittany to Le Harve when gales in the channel blew her hopelessly off course.

The Madeleine Tristan remained beached in the Cove for five years after she was wrecked. 'She was', recalled a local fisherman, 'the finest prettiest sailing ship ever to come ashore on these coasts'.

 

Another view of the Madeleine Tristan.
The Dorothea ran aground on 14th February, 1914 between Abbotsbury and Langton Herring carrying iron ore from Spain to Holland. She was carried broadside up the beach and the crew were able to walk ashore at low tide.
The Dorothea remained dry on the beach for two years before being
re-floated on an exceptionally high tide. After repairs she was went to work cargo between London and Newcastle and while on a voyage in the North Sea she struck a mine and sank. The crew were saved.
Waves pound the Dorothea.
Salvage vessel the SS Lyons stands by to haul the Dorothea back into the water. She was pulled back into the water by sliding her on large timbers placed beneath the keel, with a tug at the bow and one at the stern.
Salvage Tug Ellida ashore on Chesil beach.
Admiralty trawler James Fennel stranded between Chesil Cove and Hallelujah Bay 16th January 1920. She is now a popular dive site, location 50 32.75N; 02 27.30W.
The German vessel Okahandja had to be relieved of her cargo of iron ore after running aground beneath Blacknor 10th June 1910.
The Preveza wrecked in Chesil Cove 26th January 1920.
The two sections of the Preveza on the beach in Chesil Cove after it had broken up during a storm in 1920. The boilers remained visible for many years.
The Russian schooner Emma Maria breaking up on the Chesil on October 25th 1903 with cargo of fire-clay. The barque Patria was wrecked on the same part of the beach on the following day.

 

The Norwegian barque Patria in the process of being destroyed on the Chesil in October 1903. The crew was taken off by rocket line.
The Reliance was wrecked at Cave Hole, Portland Bill in 1949. She had recently been restored by the Davisons and had just set sail for Cuba. Mr Davison was lost along with his yacht.
HMS Sidon sank after a terrific explosion in Portland Harbour on 16th June 1955 with the loss of 13 crew.

 

 

I am always looking for new material, so if you have any pictures, stories or anything which you would like to pass on to others please contact me.


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