This face shows the Wye demasted, the other side of the memorial shows the Rhone.
The loss of life during this hurricane is recorded as one of the - great UK marine disasters - on wikipedia - and - merchantnavyofficers - Royal Mail Steam Packet Company -
On the 29th of October 1867 the Island of St Thomas was struck by a hurricane trapping sixty ships in the inner harbour, the following morning just two remained afloat. Royal Mail SPC lost the Rhone, Wye and Derwent, with the Conway being driven ashore. The Solent and Tyne weathered the storm as they were at the other anchorage but both were demasted. In all, over a thousand men perished.
The Masters of each ship did their utmost to ensure the safety of their vessels, passengers and crew but the storm was too fierce.
The Master of the Rhone (Robert F Wooley) tried to gain open sea whilst the eye of the hurricane passed, but he was swept overboard and the ship was blown back onto Black Rock Point / Salt Point, where she broke her back, the rush of cold water caused the engines to explode and she founded with a loss of all but 23 passengers and crew. Also on board were an unknown number of passengers taken from RMS Conway that had foundered losing all hands.
The Wye managed to leave St Thomas's harbour but struck Buck Island, two miles offshore.
News of the disaster was carried back to England on RMS Douro.
The Rhone's Bell is in St George's Church on South Caicos, having apparently been recovered by Jeremiah D. Murphy who was a diver, employed by the Danish government to clear the harbour of debris following the hurricane. Read more – here -
The wreck of R.M.S. Rhone is now designated "R.M.S.Rhone National Marine Park", which means that nothing (neither artefacts nor wildlife specimens) may be removed from the site
The wreck was used for filming Peter Benchley's "The Deep".More information – here -
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