Shipwrecks on the south west coast of the Isle of Wight


Atlas
Came to grief: 26th November 1880 at/near Atherfield Ledge
Cargo: maize
Crew of 14
Lifeboats present:
Worcester Cadet
Coxswain:
Moses Munt

The Austrian barque, Atlas, was driven ashore on Atherfield Ledge in a severe storm of wind and rain. She was seen by a coastguard who alerted the Brighstone lifeboat crew. The Worcester Cadet put to sea but after a three mile struggle was unable to get alongside and was eventually obliged to return to station. A second attempt was also unsuccessful, several of the lifeboat crew being washed out of the boat and having to be rescued.

The rocket life-saving apparatus was tried, but was abandoned after three rockets fell short. A member of the Atlas crew managed to attach a rope to a small tub and throw it overboard but it stuck fast on the rocks. A coastguard named Jimmy Fairweather waded into the surf and managed to bring it to land. The rope was then used to pull out a hawser which was made fast to the mast and one by one, the crew were brought ashore, the Captain being last.

The vessel quickly broke up and became a total wreck.

Fatalities: 0