Wreck of the Bessie

5th March 1912. Newquay, Beach 50.25N 05.06W

Weck of the Bessie just off the Island Estate

Having encountered very heavy weather since leaving Ireland, the captain of this three masted schooner had intended to make for St. Ives, but in the strong north wind was forced to anchor for the night in Newquay Bay but quickly drifted ashore when the anchor fouled. The captain then attempted to run for the harbour but mistook the entrance lights and went ashore on the rocks just below the Island Estate.

By chance the wreck swung beam on and settled down just inside a large rock with the cliffs above. Although huge seas were washing against the rock the vessel was given some shelter, and holes knocked in her side caused her to settle down. The rocket brigade rescued two of the crew by breeches buoy up cliffs over 100 ft. high, the others being saved by means of a cliff ladder.

The crew consisted of the captain E R Tabb, who came from Wadebridge; mate T. Pearce, Fowey; C. Clucas, Castletown, IOM, and cook W. Davis of Lewes, Sussex.

Voyage Ballincurragh, Co.Cork - Penryn; Ship Type Schooner (sail); Hull Dimensions 25.66 length x 5.73 breadth x 2.53 depth; Port of registry Truro; Flag United Kingdom; Gross Tonnage 76; Cargo Oats; Built 1879 Messrs. Scoble & Davies, Malpas; Propulsion Sail; No. of Crew 4; Captain Tabb.E.R: ACD IB, salted timbers.

LL No.2, 08.03.1912 Vol.57(R); LR No. 218(M)

"Shipwreck Index of the British Isles Vol 1" by Larn and Larn 1995

Townsfolk viewing the wreckage of the Bessie Townsfolk viewing the wreckage of the Bessie on Towan beach