At the lowest Spring tides the remains of the German sailing ship Preussen become visible in Crab Bay, just off the white cliffs of Dover.
The Pruessen was at the time the largest five masted sailing ship in the world, of steel construction and weighing 4675 tons. Built in 1902, she was sailing under the command of Captain Nissen from Hamburg to Africa in bad weather when she collided with the steamer Brighton which had misjudged the speed of the Preussen. Captain Nissen anchored the damaged ship at Dungeness, but the weather worsened and the Preussen broke anchor. Tugs were used to tow the Preussen up the English Channel for repairs, but the cables broke and she was driven ashore in Crab Bay. The East Cliff coastguards managed to get a line across the ship by rocket, but the crew and two passengers refused to leave. For the next two days the crew worked to save the ship before admitting defeat and the crew and passengers were finally taken ashore. The ship's back broke later that day and she was abandoned.
References: Kent Shipwrecks - Alan Bignell (Countryside Books, 2001), Calamity Corner, The Wrecks of the Eastern English Channel - Anthony Lane (Tempus Publishing, 2004)
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