November 15th 1871

The fine Liverpool barque Cassandra was sailing from London to Madras when she was caught in a particularly fierce gale in the Channel. On the night of the 15th November she was driven onto the long, rocky fingers of Brook Ledge. The George and Anne was pulled along the beach to the wreck and launched. The Cassandra was rolling heavily on the Ledge but was not in any immediate danger.

Coxswain John Hayter wanted everyone to come ashore but the Captain thought they were safe enough and the lifeboat returned with only 7 of the 21 crew, including the injured.

The lifeboat was returned to the lifeboat house (not an easy operation) but an hour later the Cassandra was signalling for assistance and the whole lifeboat launch procedure had to be repeated. By now the tide had risen and the seas were breaking over the wreck and up the cliff over the exhausted launchers and horses.

The re-launch was successful and the remaining fourteen men were saved.