FEARS for the crew of a fishing smack, which was smashed to pieces off Portland Bill in the gale yesterday, were intensified Coastguards found the body of a middle-aged man a few yards from the wreck of a ship’s boat.

Although it cannot be stated definitely there is reason to believe that the lost ship may be the small steamship Marguerita which left Milford Haven bound for Aarhus, Denmark, last week.

She was in the charge of Capt. Nielson, a Dane. and had a crew of seven, two of whom, the engineers are thought to be from Haverfordwest and Milford Haven. The others are Danes.

Last night Lloyd’s agents at Penzance reported: “Steam drifter Marguerita ,  flying Danish flag bound for Milford to Aarhus, left Newlyn 8 a.m., December 10.

The vessel was first sighted  early yesterday morning, when Coastguards saw her bearing down on Portland Bill.

“No distress signals were seen” District Officer of Coastguards Mr. W. Rowsell told The Western Morning News. “We could see she was doomed and we called out the lifeboat and rocket saving apparatus.

“They had no chance to do anything”, he added, “tor almost immediately she hit the rocks and was splintered to matchwood. There was no sign of life on board the vessel, which came up from the westward.”

Broken timbers pieced together during 1he day revealed the name Marguerita and the number 139356.


Danish Fishing Vessel – Captain Bruno Neilson. (Excellent detail in Dive Dorset: 83 p81, (Divers Guide; Weymouth & Portland Ed 5 p25) – SY 683 688 (Shore dive)- 50 31.15N; 02 26.64W. (More detail in LARN) Portland, First Beach. This boat sailed from Milford Haven & Newlyn against the advice of the Coastguard. See also Southern Times: 27/12/1946 & Burnett: p56.

Day of Loss: 11

Month of Loss: 12

Year of Loss: 1946

Longitude: 50 31.15

Latitude: 02 26.64

Approximate Depth: