Scratchell's Bay


Bournemouth, United Kingdom

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Scratchell’s Bay, Isle of Wight

Number of views as of 9th May 2018 = 390.

Situated just South East of The Needles and facing the English Channel, the name Scratchell’s Bay is thought to come from one of many names for the Devil.

There is no way down to the shingle beach from the cliff top, it can only be reached by boat.

The bay has been the site of many shipwrecks, including that of the Irex in 1890. The Irex was a new full-rigged sailing ship, bound from Glasgow to Rio de Janeiro with a cargo of iron pipes. After being battered by storms for 20 days, first in the Irish Sea and then in the Bay of Biscay and with some of the crew injured and a shifted cargo, the captain decided to seek shelter.

The weather was still bad when the ship neared The Needles and she ran aground in Scratchell’s Bay, where she lay overnight before being spotted from the shore.

The Captain, First Mate and four sailors disappeared during the night, and their fate remains a mystery, although one of the surviving crew reported seeing them swept overboard by a huge sea whilst attempting to launch a boat.

The following morning, the Totland lifeboat attempted a rescue but could not get near the ship. A rocket was fired from the clifftop, some 400 feet above the vessel, and after something of a struggle, a line was attached to the ship and the survivors were hauled ashore by coastguards, soldiers and civilians.

The ship’s log was never found.

Date: 27th October 2009.

Artwork Comments

  • Colin  Williams Photography
  • RedHillDigital
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  • Tom Gomez
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  • kcphotography
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  • Ercan BAYSAL
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  • Larry Trupp
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