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Deal and Walmer, Lost on the Goodwin Sands

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The Goodwin Sands are a great sandbank, eight miles long and about four miles wide, rising out of deep water four miles off Deal. Between the Goodwins and Deal lies a stretch of deep water, in which there is great anchorage for shipping. This area is known as the Downs.

The 'sheltered' anchorage of the Downs is a relative term, even in this shelter the vessels are sometimes blown away from their anchorage, both by easterly and westerly winds and thus founder upon the Goodwin Sands or The Ship Swallower, as it is known.

This website contains extracts from the Deal & Walmer Telegram Newspaper c. 1850 onwards relating to Wrecks & Rescues of the Goodwin Sands. All events are factual, and are written as they appeared in print.

Welcome to the Wrecks and Rescues of the Goodwin Sands.

Lost in the Downs

The Deal & Walmer Telegram Newspaper

Extracts therefrom
Vol. 1 No. 1

The information displayed here is from the former Deal and Walmer website by the generous permission of Linda Corbett.
  • Wreck

  • Shipping casualties in the Downs

  • The gale on Wednesday night

8th March 1862.
During the heavy southerly gales on Wednesday night, the Ketch, 'Lord Vernon' (Capt.VARLEY), of Torquay, from Salcombe for Calais, with a cargo of slate, drove on shore on the main, opposite the Marine Terrace, Walmer and soon afterwards went to pieces. The crew,

consisting of the captain, his son, and one seaman were saved, also part of the cargo.

11th April 1868.
On Monday afternoon a large ship, named the 'Ranee', from London to Quebec, in ballast, got on the Goodwin Sands. Several boats launched to her assistance, and it was expected she would have been got off at the top of the tide. The crew were taken out of her and landed safely at Deal by the Deal Boatmen. The ship has since lost her foremast and has broken her back and she now lies a complete wreck.

On Tuesday about 10am, the French vessel 'Jeune Arthen' (Charron, master), 102 tons, from Dunkirk to L'Orient, with a cargo of coals, came into the Downs and struck an American ship 'The Mistress of the Seas', laying at anchor. The former vessel carried away a portion of her upper rigging and was otherwise seriously damaged. The accident was witnessed from the shore and several boats put off to offer their services, which were declined by the Captain, and in

20 minutes she went down about a mile from the shore. Had the boatmen have been given charge of her there is no doubt she would have been conducted near shore and stranded on the main. The crew of the foundered vessel were rescued by a cutter near her at the time and were landed at Ramsgate.

11th April 1868.
The gale increased as night advanced and together with sudden rise of the tide during the night, which has commited sad havoc with the wall at Sandown and carried away nearly the whole of it.A Schooner, 'Friends Adventurer' (Pearson, master), from the North to Deal Beach, was on shore discharging coals at Mr.RALPH'S coal-yard, Walmer, the weather being calm and mild when she beached. The gale springing up suddenly, she was unable to be got off at the rising of the tide, when she knocked up along the shore and has become a complete wreck.

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