Wreck of the Preussen in Fan Bay
On a stormy night in 1910, the 5-masted sailing ship "Preussen", the pride of
Prussia, was bound for Valparaiso when she was involved in a collision with the Newhaven
steamer "Brighton" in fog near Beachy Head. Holed in the bow, the Preussen
was taken under tow, but the tug could not make Portsmouth in the bad weather and decided
to make for Dover. En route, the ship lost both its main anchors and three tugs were
unable to prevent her from being swept past the harbour entrance and onto the rocks below
the South Foreland. There was no loss of life, but the ship was stuck fast on a
submerged rock and wrecked.
Much of her cargo was taken off by the tugs and other small vessels - a dozen tugs,
including the Dover Harbour Board vessels, tried to save her for the salvage - and many
Dover houses proudly displayed souveniers of the wreck!
These photos were taken about 20 years ago, when sections of two of her masts were
still visible at low tide. Now, nothing remains visible of this once proud ship.