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Island Life


the community website serving the Channel Islands                                                                10th Anniversary 2000-2010

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Ocean Queen's last voyage

The ship built in 1903 in Rotterdam set sail from London for the Channel Islands 1st March 1906 with general cargo, 12 crew but no passengers. Owned by the London and Channel Islands Steamship Company Limited she was on her way to Jersey to offload the majority of her cargo before stopping off in Guernsey. 

Off the South West coast of Guernsey, the ship hit a thick haze and the master Captain J  T Jones ordered ‘slow ahead’. At 2pm on 2 March, the ship struck rocks called Les Kaines d’Amont, just a quarter of a mile off of Creux Mahie and shuddered to a halt. Water started to pour in through the gaping holes and the Captain fearing the worst, ordered the launch of a dinghy and a lifeboat and all crew abandoned ship.  

Ocean Queen wrecked off Guernsey in 1906


Drifting in the fog, they lost sight of the ship but mercifully being so close inland, they soon found themselves alongside moored fishing boats in Petit Bot bay.  They waited for  better visibility then rowed ashore. The others in the lifeboat rowed towards La Moye and were picked up by the tug Alert and landed the next day at St Peter Port. The crew members at Petit Bot were transported to St Peter Port in a horse and trap owned by a Mr Guilbert.  Having lost all their belongings, the Shipwrecked Mariners Society provided them with clothing and accommodation.  

The Captain returned to the scene and noted that the funnel and mast remained visible at high tide. It was thought that it could be salvaged but this was never the case and her final position was recorded as latitude 49 degrees 25mins 20 seconds north; Longitude 3 degrees 39 minutes west.  

Islanders flocked to the scene with cars running from opposite Elizabeth College for a price of two francs each way. On 4th and 5th March, Bishop and Co. from St Martins Livery stables ran a twice a day wagonette service from Fountain Street to the scene of the wreck for one franc each way.  

Bales of straw and cases of oranges were strewn all along the coastline and small craft from L’Eree and Pleinmont attempted to salvage parts of the cargo. Messrs Le Couteur Bros, however were appointed official salvage agents.




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