Aground at Camber

Cragoswald aground on Camber Sands March 1902

On a rough March night in 1902 the Steamship “Cragoswald” was driven ashore by a storm force gale at Camber close to the Jury’s Gap Coastguard Station. Several initial attempts at re-floating her were unsuccessful. A great amount of cargo was unloaded and transported off the beach on pony carts. Eventually men from the Rother Iron Works at Rye used a framework of beams inserted under the hull. This was supplemented by dozens of empty oil drums to give extra buoyancy.

Digging her out and putting barrells under her hull
Digging her out and putting barrells under her hull

When the next high tide arrived two powerful tugs got lines on the stranded vessel and, slowly she was pulled out of the sand to the deep water.

It is probable that the vessel came aground on that rough night because of engine breakdown. This would explain the connection with Rother Iron Works. A part or parts would most likely have been made at Rother and replaced by their men.

Not all ships that ran ashore in Rye Bay were so lucky, four years earlier the Swedish barquentine “Silo” had been battered to pieces at Dungeness.

From “Rye’s Own” 2003