A stirring though sad episode In the uneventful life of this little village was the wreck early on Sunday morning of the French schooner Marie Aliene, of Nantes. The vessel, it seems, had been in collision late Saturday night with an unknown vessel off Portland, and with 8ft. of water in the hold was with difficulty kept afloat. At last, for the safety of the crew, the Captain decided to make for the shore ; but, trying to run up the Chesil beach off the swannery, a man and a boy were drowned, and the vessel went to pieces soon afterwards. The three survivors, one of whom was the Captain, as soon as it was light, made their way into the village, calllng at the first house they came to. It was a singular coincidence that this was the residence of Mr. Benbow (Lord Ilchester’s head-gardener, at Abbotsbury) who with his wife have previously resided in the south of France, and who could readily converse with the poor shipwrecked fellows. One can scarcely imagine what must have been their surprise and joy at hearing their mother tongue in a strange land. All that was possible was soon done for the men, who, after again visiting the scene their almost miraculous escape in case anything might be seen of their lost confréres, were driven into Weymouth by Mr. Hurden. The dog which was on board and which, it is said, reached the shore in exhausted condition after four hours battling with the waves, we learn was presented to Mr. Benbow by the men as token of gratitude for the great kindness shown to them. The beach was visited on Sunday morning by a considerable number of people, but in the afternoon nothing could seen but splintered boards and masts, scraps of sails, soaked bread and biscuits, barrels, and other paraphernalia of a ship strewing the shore for many yards. A more complete wreck in so short a time could not well be imagined. Report says that the vessel belonged to the Captain, and unfortunately was not insured ; also, that the cargo was one of guano, etc.

The Bridport News – Friday March 29 1895 – p5

Bridport News 29 Mar 1895

ARRESTED – On Monday morning the Dutch schooner Hebe put into the harbour with damaged stern, having been in collision, off Portland, with a vessel, the name and nationality of which were unknown. Since then the Admiralty have ordered the arrest of the Hebe, it being alleged that she ran into a French vessel, which had afterwards to be run ashore on the Chesle beach, two men being drowned. The Hebe remains in the harbour.

Isle of Wight County Press – Saturday March 30 1895 – p8

Isle of Wight County Press - 30 Mar 1895

French Brig – Captain A. Bertho. Cargo, Phosphate. (LARN) – Sank following a collision with the Danish schooner HEBE, 20 miles WSW Portland Bill. Ref. BOT: Wk. Rtn. 1895 Appx. C Table 1 p147.

Day of Loss: 23

Month of Loss: 3

Year of Loss: 1895



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