Before the first lifeboat

July 5th 1829

When the Carn Brae Castle split her hull on the rocks of Brook Ledge she had been bound for Bengal with a cargo of goods for the East India Company. The passengers were rescued by Lt Dornford in the coastguard cutter. Lt Dornford’s part in the rescue was to save his life in 1836 when he was accused of collusion with smugglers. He was obviously guilty but he was acquitted when the Island’s gentry and clergy defended him stoutly quoting the Carn Brae Castle rescue.

John Medland, Shipwrecks of the Isle of Wight.

 

January 18th 1856

The English brig George Lord had helped supply the British Army in the Crimea and was carrying a cargo of currants and raisins from Patras in Greece to London when she was driven aground in thick fog in Brook Bay, see the newspaper report below. The rescue again involved an ordinary boat with a crew made up of coastguards and fishermen. The heavy boxes of currants and raisins were eventually taken ashore and placed under police guard. See newspaper report below:

 

December 5th 1859

When the schooner Sentinel of Carnarvon came ashore in a tremendous south-westerly storm, two of the crew were swept away and the others could be seen from the land, clinging to the rigging. When the wind moderated, a boat was launched from Brook Bay. The Rev. Pellew Gaze of Brook and others waded up to their waists in freezing water to push the boat clear over the incoming sea. Four survivors were brought back to the shore.