Waterbodies & Maritime => General Maritime => Topic started by: ellenkate on December 09, 2010, 15:50:53

Title: Goodwin Sands
Post by: ellenkate on December 09, 2010, 15:50:53

Another whale - this time on the Goodwins, reported by Kentish Gazette October 1802:
"A large whale 80-ft x 20-ft diameter died on the Goodwin Sands"

Also the paper later reported:  "A whale of such magnitude" on the shore at Dover.
Title: Re: Goodwin Sands
Post by: Alastair on February 14, 2011, 16:36:49
Went out to the Goodwin Sands a couple of times when the Hovercraft was still running. While we were out there one trip a plane took these aeriel photos.
(http://i1087.photobucket.com/albums/j475/fortina1/GoodwinSands.jpg)
Title: Re: Goodwin Sands
Post by: Andyb on February 14, 2011, 17:33:25
Hi Alistair, we used to go onto the sands in the 90's on the Hovercraft with the 'Goodwin Sands Potholing Club' to raise money for local charities. People used to take bikes, small hovercraft's, picnic sets and of course cricket sets. I think I went out about 5 times in all. The then TVS filmed it once.
Fascinating place...

Oh and I forgot all the seals that live there

Andy
Title: Re: Goodwin Sands
Post by: CELOCANT on February 15, 2011, 10:31:24
The hovercraft provided a great safe service for those who wanted to visit the Sands. I think it was £18 per person. I pity the cleaners who had hoover up all the sand left by the passengers on board.

On the northern part of the Goodwins the sand lies exposed at low water, and all about the sandbank are ‘swillies’ or deep holes that remain filled with seawater. Elsewhere gullies and mini sand dunes are formed which will start to crumble beneath your feet; and when you try to paddle in the ‘fox-holes’ or the puddles… it is then that you feel the suction of quick sand. Nevertheless, this situation gives little fear to the supposed colony of 350 seals, however, in the past it has given cause for much concern and grievance to humans. 
   
The desire to do the unusual has always held a fascination for some, and to visit the Goodwin Sands as a fun-day out is no exception. They have been visited by thousands over the years for various reasons, and still attract the curious.

Annual cricket matches on the Goodwin Sands are irregular. The first recorded game was in the summer of 1813, which caused criticism from the public as a blasphemy against all those unfortunate victims of the rapacious Sands. During 1985, this author assisted in ferrying players and spectators from the Kent team for a fundraising match on top of the Goodwins. Thirteen Deal boats took out around a hundred people on a calm and sunny afternoon. Since that event, cricket, amongst other games, have only been played by a few whilst on the occasional organised trips.

Although the large hovercrafts are no longer available to take up to 355 sightseers out to the sandbank at a time – the Goodwin Sands Potholing Club has found another way. This club, a charity formed in 1977, which raises money for young people, prearranged a trip to the Sands on 19th August, 2009. The use of two small helicopters were hired and the fare paying passengers ferried out, and back, on the hottest day of the year, enjoying the evening’s low tide ramble on the Sands.

In July 2006, the BBC film crew who were making the well known television programme ‘Coast’ thought it would be a good idea to feature a cricket match being played upon the Sands. As the tide started to make, the skipper of the craft who took them out urged that they should evacuate with haste. The TV crew pleaded for another ten minutes to finish the take. That was all it took – the tide changed against a north-east wind and the surf built up and swamped the vessel and its outboard engines. Several thousand pounds of film cameras were washing about in the bilge of the disabled boat and the occupants were at risk of being stranded. It took two lifeboats from Ramsgate and Walmer, plus the rescue helicopter, to avert a tragedy. Coastguard sector manager Andy Roberts summed up the situation by stating:

‘The Sands can appear safe but, if landing, very careful consideration must be given to tides, the weather forecast and the prevailing conditions. The Goodwin Sands should be treated with the utmost respect by visitors’     

This advice, unfortunately, has not always been observed … and sometimes ventures have led to grief and misfortune.

(http://i339.photobucket.com/albums/n453/CELOCANT/AnotherformoftransportacrosstheSandsin1995copyHR.jpg)
(http://i339.photobucket.com/albums/n453/CELOCANT/FinalcalltoboardthehovercraftbeforethetidemakesHR.jpg)
(http://i339.photobucket.com/albums/n453/CELOCANT/Aquickgameofcricketonthe1995hovercrafttripHR.jpg)
Title: Re: Goodwin Sands
Post by: mmitch on February 15, 2011, 11:08:21
Did one of the lightships there capsize once? Possibly in the 1950s.  If so was it recovered?
mmitch
Title: Re: Goodwin Sands
Post by: Alastair on February 15, 2011, 12:35:11
I was there when the film crew was. On the two occasions I went we landed in roughly the same place, having passed the wreck of the 'Luray Victory', and I was amazed at how the sands had changed. The second time there was a lifeboat davit sticking out of the sand and the whole configuration was different.
Title: Re: Goodwin Sands
Post by: Paul on February 15, 2011, 13:22:22
Quote Celocant:
"‘The Sands can appear safe but, if landing, very careful consideration must be given to tides, the weather forecast and the prevailing conditions. The Goodwin Sands should be treated with the utmost respect by visitors’ "     

Better still, Stay off the sands unless you are with an authorised person with a Marine Radio.
As Cellphones may not work if you get in trouble.. :(
Title: Re: Goodwin Sands
Post by: busyglen on February 15, 2011, 19:00:02
There's some earlier information that I came across here, if you haven't already seen it.


http://www.kenthistoryforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=9019.0   Post #5
Title: Re: Goodwin Sands
Post by: CELOCANT on February 16, 2011, 11:33:32
In the days of the Earl of Godwine it was rumoured the sands were joined to the land and a great flood separated them. Could this have been caused by a tsunami following an earthquake or just a vast tidal surge from a violent northerly storm in the North Sea? Possible the latter, as I have never read of an earthquake from that time.
Title: Re: Goodwin Sands
Post by: Alastair on February 17, 2011, 17:02:04
Dug out some pics from my first trip in 1992 (I think)

(http://i1087.photobucket.com/albums/j475/fortina1/Goodwins1.jpg)
Title: Re: Goodwin Sands
Post by: Alastair on February 17, 2011, 17:02:48
(http://i1087.photobucket.com/albums/j475/fortina1/Goodwins2.jpg)
Title: Re: Goodwin Sands
Post by: Alastair on February 17, 2011, 17:03:23
(http://i1087.photobucket.com/albums/j475/fortina1/Goodwins3.jpg)
Title: Re: Goodwin Sands
Post by: Alastair on February 17, 2011, 17:39:43
And some of the second trip a year later, in roughly the same place. You can see how it has changed.

(http://i1087.photobucket.com/albums/j475/fortina1/Goodwins4-1.jpg)
Title: Re: Goodwin Sands
Post by: Alastair on February 17, 2011, 17:40:26
(http://i1087.photobucket.com/albums/j475/fortina1/Goodwins5-1.jpg)
Title: Re: Goodwin Sands
Post by: Alastair on February 17, 2011, 17:40:55
(http://i1087.photobucket.com/albums/j475/fortina1/Goodwins6-1.jpg)
Title: Re: Goodwin Sands
Post by: Alastair on February 17, 2011, 17:42:28
(http://i1087.photobucket.com/albums/j475/fortina1/Goodwins7-5.jpg)
Title: Re: Goodwin Sands
Post by: Alastair on February 17, 2011, 17:43:00
(http://i1087.photobucket.com/albums/j475/fortina1/Goodwins8-1.jpg)
Title: Re: Goodwin Sands
Post by: Alastair on February 17, 2011, 17:43:31
(http://i1087.photobucket.com/albums/j475/fortina1/Goodwins9-1.jpg)
Title: Re: Goodwin Sands
Post by: busyglen on February 17, 2011, 18:27:20
Great photos Alastair.  What are those black things on one of the pictures?  Looks like part of a wreck?
Title: Re: Goodwin Sands
Post by: Alastair on February 18, 2011, 16:46:46
I think they are, Busyglen. Part of davits for a small boat, not a full-size lifeboat but not sure about the black dots further back. Certainly a wreck though, that couldn't be seen the year before.
Title: Re: Goodwin Sands
Post by: CELOCANT on February 18, 2011, 17:02:09
I have always thought that they were the davits showing from the lost South Goodwin lightvessel.
Title: Re: Goodwin Sands
Post by: Alastair on February 18, 2011, 17:04:54
Could well be.
Title: Re: Goodwin Sands
Post by: PNK on June 05, 2011, 14:32:16
The Goodwin Sands are listed as an air to ground rocket projectile range during the last years of the war. The normal target for a sea RP range would have been a circle of whaleback buoys but I have no idea how the sands would have been marked. It is recorded as released in 1947.

As an aside does anyone have a picture or drawing of a wartime whaleback buoy?
Title: Re: Goodwin Sands
Post by: ellenkate on June 05, 2011, 19:35:55
Here is a note of awards to local boatmen for a rescue on the sands: (from Kentish Gazette Nov 1838)

AWARDS TO BOATMEN:  “In the Admiralty Court of the Cinque Ports held at Dover on Tuesday, award was made of the sum of £1,000 to boatmen of Deal and Dover for having about a month since got off from the Goodwin Sands the Swedish schooner “Gotha”, with a cargo of wine etc. from Bordeaux to Hamburg, and brought her safe into Dover harbour, where she is undergoing repairs. The crew, it will be remembered after being all night in the open boat in which they left the vessel, got into Dover harbour.  The award is in shares of £14 each – of which 58 go to Deal and 21 to Dover.”

Ellenkate
Title: Re: Goodwin Sands
Post by: TowerWill on July 28, 2011, 12:33:04
(http://i1015.photobucket.com/albums/af278/TowerWill/Goodwinsands001.jpg)
From my 19th C. Bartholomews Atlas.Reading about the Goodwin Sands reminded me of the times in the 1960's when i was working on the clifftop fields near the St.Margarets War Memorial. I could see the sands at low tide with metal bits of ships sticking out of them.That would be near the South Sand Hd. Light Vessel shown above.
Title: Re: Goodwin Sands
Post by: TowerWill on July 30, 2011, 16:03:42
(http://i1015.photobucket.com/albums/af278/TowerWill/GoodwinSandsShipwreck001.jpg)
From "Kent and the Cinque Ports" by H.R.Pratt Boorman M.B.E.,M.A.,F.J.I. A ship that broke it's back on the Goodwin Sands.
Title: Re: Goodwin Sands
Post by: PaddyX21 on November 25, 2011, 10:44:10
I have many photos of stranded ships, wrecks, and other mysterious objects that appear and disappear in the constantly shifting sands.
Need to dig them out though, not entirely sure where I've stashed them!

However, I do also have this map (available at Deal Maritime Museum I believe) showing many of the known wrecks on the sands and coast.
Apologies for the low resolution:
(http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y56/PaddyX21/DSCN1005.jpg)

And a close-up to show the density:
(http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y56/PaddyX21/DSCN1006.jpg)

If anyone would like to see if an individual wreck appears please ask and I will dig the map out.

Hopefully more pictures to follow...
Title: Re: Goodwin Sands
Post by: CELOCANT on December 24, 2011, 14:36:47

Christmas on the Goodwins

In the past there were five Lightvessels standing guard over the Goodwin Sands. Life on the Goodwin Lightvessels was mainly a routine that appropriated certain types of men. Being at sea for a month was not everybody’s idea of a perfect job, however, for many ex deep-sea fishermen and deep-sea mariners it was a suitable way to make a living. An ability to get along with your fellow crewmates was also an essential qualification.

The six crewmembers were answerable to the master, who was in turn accountable to Trinity House if things went wrong. The lightvessel had to be manned 24 hours of the day, every day; and a good lookout was always necessary in foul weather conditions that often occurred in and around the Goodwin Sands. Although the crew were paid extra in their pay packets for the days when the incessant foghorn blared out they soon got used to the noise – and few bothered using the earplugs that were issued.

Another dilemma was the weather. Storms would make the lightvessel not only roll but also pitch in a ‘heel and toe’ motion. Nevertheless, the men had faith in the four-ton mushroom anchor that held the ship on station and the 600,000 candlepower light that warned approaching ships of the dangers of the Sands. In their spare time they would often fish off the stern of the vessel to supplement their victuals that each man had to supply himself. The galley and quarters were spotless and every brass part on the lightship was polished to a shine … the men took pride in their vocation.

Christmas was a time of celebration ashore, however, for the sentinels of the Goodwin Sands it would be another working day. The disappointment of having to spend Christmas afloat was dulled by the kindness from the population of the surrounding towns; who realised the hardships that these men had to endure to safeguard shipping. Many extra food parcels and gifts were collected along with a Christmas tree and a large turkey for distribution to the seven sailors.

Even the angling clubs contributed with Deal Angling Club (1919) adopting the East Goodwin lightvessel as their chosen one; Kingsdown Angling Club went for the South Goodwin, as it was closer to the club. When the weather was calm the boatmen managed to take their boats out and delivered the presents alongside the lightvessel. However, that close to Christmas the sea was normally to rough for them to undertake the trip. It was then left up to the lifeboat to make the journey with a few selected guests.     

Eventually, and with technology, the Lightvessels became unmanned and were replaced by large buoys that marked the dangerous sandbank. The South Goodwin was towed away on the 26th of July 2006 and of the original five ships there is only one left on watch, the East Goodwin Lightvessel. She can be seen seven nautical miles from Deal Pier flashing a single beam of light every 15 seconds … which can be seen for 26 miles.
Title: Re: Goodwin Sands
Post by: CELOCANT on December 24, 2011, 15:50:25
(http://i339.photobucket.com/albums/n453/CELOCANT/tie.jpg)
The Goodwin Sands Potholing Club’s official tie … they have done some good work for charity in the past.
Title: Re: Goodwin Sands
Post by: Mike S on December 24, 2011, 17:50:18
Living at Margate as a child in the early 1950's, one of our neighbours was a crew member of the Margate lifeboat, and every year shortly before Christmas they took the festive goodies out to one of the Lightships and I think that the Mayor of Margate also went on this trip. It was of course subject to cancellation if the weather was bad.
Title: Re: Goodwin Sands
Post by: PaddyX21 on March 02, 2012, 20:46:59
A chart of the Downs and Goodwin Sands, inc North and South Forelands, drawn by Robert Jager in 1629:
Taken from 'Shipwrecks of the Goodwin Sands' by Richard & Bridget Larn

(http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y56/PaddyX21/goodwinsands001.jpg)
Title: Re: Goodwin Sands
Post by: PaddyX21 on March 02, 2012, 21:01:20
A survey of the Downs and Sandwich Haven made 'By Charles Labeleye Engineer, late Teacher of the Mathematicks in the Royal Navy, December 1736'. The Map claimed to be 'much more correct than any hitherto published' shows 'the True Shape and Situation of the Coast betwen the North & South Forelands and of all th adjacent sands together with the Soundings at Low Water, Places of Anchorage, & All the necessary Leading Marks.' (Crown Copyright, Public Record office)
Taken from 'Shipwrecks of the Goodwin Sands' by Richard & Bridget Larn

(http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y56/PaddyX21/GoodwinSands002.jpg)
Title: Re: Goodwin Sands
Post by: Bilgerat on June 16, 2012, 16:41:59
During the 20th century, two of the South Goodwin Lightships were lost.

On 25th October 1940, the South Goodwin Lightship was bombed by the Germans and sunk.

In the small hours of 27th November 1954, LV90, the South Goodwin Lightship at the time was torn from her mooring by hurricane force winds and mountainous seas. At 01:15, the crew of LV12, the East Goodwin Lightship watched in horror as their sister-ship was swept past them, 6 miles to the north of their position. LV90 was swept onto the sands in Keller Gut and immediately capsized under the pounding from the waves. Her crew sought refuge in the galley and were trapped there when the ship capsized. One man, Ronald Murton, climbed out of the galley skylight and clung to the hull.

The Deal and Ramsgate Lifeboats were scrambled to assist, as was an American search and rescue helicopter from RAF Manston. By the time they got there, the tide had enveloped the vessel. The RNLI boats were unable to get anywhere near the ship due to the huge seas, but in a piece of superb flying, the helicopter was able to pluck Murton from the hull. The American crew received bravery awards for their actions.

The seas had abated enough by the 28th November for divers to be able to enter the wreck, but on entering, they were unable to find any trace of the lightship's crew. Ronald Murton was the only survivor of a crew of 7. Those who perished in the disaster were Tom Skipp (the master), George Cox, Kenneth Lanham, Henry Lynn, Walter Viney, Sidney Philpott and Tom Porter.

It was the worst storm in the English Channel for two centuries. The wreck remains on the Goodwin Sands and traces of her are uncovered from time to time.

The South Goodwin Lightship capsized on the Sands.

(http://i941.photobucket.com/albums/ad255/stuartwaters/southgoodwinlightshipcapsized.jpg)