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History Shipwrecks


REF NR: 238

Driven ashore onto Atherfield Ledge by a severe storm on the 26th November 1880 the Austrian barque named Atlas was in real trouble! This night saw a fantastic and courageous effort by Island lifeboat crews from Brighstone and local coastguards who battled many times to bring the crews to safety. Time and time again they tried to get alongside with a boat, after this the crew tried to attach a small tub but again to no avail as it got stuck in the rocks.

Finally, a coastguard named Jimmy Fairweather, braved the surf and waded out and managed to free the line and then bring it to where they could tie it off and connect a hawser to winch the crew off one by one, with the captain the last to leave his stricken ship.   Within hours the once proud vessel broke up and became another victim of the storm and Atherfield Ledge.