Boat building Medina River, West Cowes (painting by Samuel Howitt )
3 Masted Barque
Thomson and Westmoreland of London. Master: Captain N.H. Dugdall
Wood with copper fastening
365 tons length 38.4m beam 7.6m depth 5.2m
The wreck site has two rows of heavily overgrown out cropping which, upon inspection in 1974, proved to be iron. Fanning revealed timber in good condition under the sand. No shards of pottery nor glassware were evident. The majority of the hull structure does not appear to be broken up and probably lies buried in the sand. Contemporary salvage work on the site probably means there are few ship’s fittings or the remains of cargo to be found. Finders: Mr Broz, H. Roberts and the Underwater Explorers Club (1966)
1852 West Cowes, Isle of Wight, UK
The wreck site lies about 300 metres north-east of Long Point, Warnbro Sound
The vessel was in sand ballast when it set off from Melbourne bound for the Lacepede Islands to pick up a cargo of guano with a crew of 13 and 2 passengers. On 19 October 1876, the captain estimated the position of the vessel as 55 kilometres off Cape Bouvard. With the wind behind the vessel and full sails set, Hero of the Nile steered a course north-east towards the Rottnest Lighthouse. The currents took the vessel onto the inside of Murray Reef. And struck Long Point, The vessel grounded heavily on the reef all night and eventually filled with water after the pumps became choked with the sand ballast. All aboard made it safely to shore in the ships boat. The ship was involved in the international trade of guano from northern Australia. At the time this trade was mostly illegal.
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