Shipwrecks on the south west coast of the Isle of Wight


Duke of Westminster
Came to grief: 3rd January 1884 at/near Atherfield Ledge
Cargo: fruit and general items
Crew of 52
Carrying 21 passengers
Lifeboats present:
Worcester Cadet
Coxswain:
Moses Munt

The Duke of Westminster, a fine steel steamer of 3726 tons register en route from Brisbane to London ran aground in a fog so dense that it took the lifeboat two hours to find her.

Attempts were made to refloat the vessel using kedge anchors, and she refloated, but with a broken propellor she was helpless and soon fast aground again. Tugs arrived but their hawsers broke and they too were unsuccessful.

The passengers were taken off by the Brighstone Lifeboat and landed at Brighstone Grange. Shore parties were engaged to take off the cargo, and oranges and coconuts were soon scattered along the shore, much to the delight of the locals.

The vessel was eventually towed off and taken to Southampton for repairs, after which, for many years, The Duke of Westminster could be seen passing up and down the Channel.

According to the list of lives saved by the Brighstone Grange Lifeboats, 21 lives were saved on 3rd January and another 52 on 5th January. The second turn-out proved necessary when the weather began to blow up rough and lives were thought to be in danger.

Fatalities: 0