Shipwrecks on the south west coast of the Isle of Wight


Cormorant
Came to grief: 21st December 1886 at/near Whale Chine
Cargo: cotton bales

The steamship Cormorant ran ashore at the mouth of Whale Chine in thick fog in the early hours of December 21st.
She was spotted from the shore and a boat put out to her, returning with a telegram for a tug. The tug duly arrived next day and taking advantage of the high water caused by an increasing southerly wind, attempted to pull her off. However, the tow rope broke and the wind and swell drove her broadside to the cliff and her fate was sealed.

Gangs of men, aided by derricks and horses, unloaded the cargo and hauled it up the cliff, where it was loaded on to farm wagons and taken across the Island to be loaded once more onto a ship, bound for its original destination.

A short while after the Cormorant ran ashore, it was rammed during the hours of darkness by another vessel in trouble. This other vessel was later seen, when the fog lifted, anchored some distance out, with badly damaged bows.

After all the cargo was taken out, the Cormorant was dismantled, sold and broken up. This work progressed over several years.

Fatalities: 0