15th December 1953
Lifeboat rescues crew after mine strike
When the 662-ton Brockley Combe ran aground on Minquiers in the middle of December 1953, the captain thought he’d struck a mine left over from the Second World War. The hull was holed and started taking in water, and a tug with a pump had to be brought across from Cherbourg as the Jersey lifeboat raced to its aid.
There was some hope that the ship might be towed to St Helier if she remained seaworthy, but it quickly became clear she was a wreck, with the lifeboat crew reporting that, having more or less broken in half, the Brockley Combe was a total loss.
The lifeboat took ten of the eleven crew members to shore, leaving only the captain on the stricken ship to supervise the attempt to pump out the water that was flooding its engine room. When it became clear that the attempt was fruitless he, too, left his broken ship.
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