Look back in time: Sussex comes to grief on Leven Reef
6:30am Monday 4th February 2013 in News
A storm in December 1893 caught out the barque Sussex when she was off The Lizard.
On a passage from Leith to Montevideo with a cargo of coal Sussex encountered heavy seas and high winds losing her fore mast and topmast. Her cargo shifted in the gale resulting in a heavy list.
Distress signals were sent up. The steamer Shieldrake answered the call for help along with the Falmouth tug Emperor.
The Cadgwith lifeboat Joseph Armstrong stood by the barque whilst the tow was connected and then escorted the Sussex to Falmouth.
Pictured here, right, in the Tidal Basin outside the current dry-docks Sussex was eventually repaired.
She was sold to Prospero Schiaffino of Camogli, Italy, in 1908. Under the command of George Schiaffino, the ship loaded 1,500 tons of coal at Cardiff and set sail for East Africa.
On April 11, 1909, Captain Schlaffino mis-judged the vessel’s position when approaching Mombasa and the barque struck the Leven Reef becoming a total loss.