Did you know that Sandown Bay has its own resident Ghost Ship!
On that fateful day of 22nd March, 1878. Sandown Bay had the misfortune to experience a horrific tragedy.
HMS Eurydice – a large, ironclad, 3 mast frigate – sank in mysterious circumstances. Only 2 men survived out of a crew of 330 men, a sad day indeed.
So what did happen ?
The ship was returning to the port of Portsmouth, back from a long journey in the West Indies. As it approached the Island – within sight of the bay, a sudden squall blew up and engulfed the ship. Racing through a blizzard of freezing rain and snow, the ship with its sails still fully rigged – did not attempt to slowdown, but instead to brave the weather at full speed.
Waves heavily pounded into the side of the ship. Why did they not make any attempt to cut the rigging and slowdown? And more importantly – why where they sailing through such weather, with the gun ports fully open ??.
The frigate, holding 26 guns – was soon to pay the price for its mistakes. Strong winds battered the ship, waves smashing against its side. Water soon found its way into the ship from the open gun ports, sloshing around inside – it was only a matter of time before she toppled over onto her side.
She sank in a matter of minutes, taking most of her crew with her.
Five of the crew where eventually rescued by the schooner ‘Emily’, unfortunately only 2 survived their ordeal – Benjamin Cuddiford and Sydney Fletcher. With such a large loss of life, the ship was raised 5 months later, and towed into Portsmouth harbour to be dismantled for good.
The original ship’s bell now hangs in St Paul’s Church in Shanklin as a mark of respect for all the sailors that lost their lives on that terrible day. But that’s not the end of the story..
From that time onwards, sightings have come in from sailors and visitors to Sandown Bay. All the reports tend to focus on a tall, 3 mast ship – gun ports open – sailing into the bay.. Could it be a case of over imagination, on a cold and misty day.. or was it infact a visit from The Ghost Ship of Sandown Bay!
You can hear the ghostly tales for yourself with this exclusive audio story as told by Marc Tuckey..