The violent storms that have lashed Britain’s coastline this winter have caused untold damage and misery. But for those of us that like old shipwrecks, there has been an unintended silver lining as a long forgotten shipwrecks has been exposed on the North Cornish coast, at Booby’s Bay, near Padstow.
Locals say, that in the recent storms, over a metre of sand has been washed off the beach, leaving exposed the metal ribs of the Sailing Vessel Carl, At the outbreak of the First War in 1914, the Sailing vessel Carl, launched in 1893 by Ribson & Co of Maryport, and registered in Hamburg, found herself in Cardiff docks where she was impounded after being surprised at sea and suspected of being an enemy minelayer.
Three years later on October 7 1917, the Carl was being towed to London to be broken up for scrap, when she broke free in the storm. In a letter to the Padstow Echo in 1966, Lieutenant Commander Langford of the Royal Navy, recalled his mother’s eyewitness account of the Carl’s demise. ‘The Carl went aground on the outer reef,’ he wrote. ‘Two Admiralty tugs came from Devonport to try to refloat her. The tugs managed to pull the vessel off the reef but in doing so broke both of their towing hawsers. Completely out of control and pushed by the storm the Carl ended up on the inner reef which was only yards from the shore. She was examined by salvage experts who found no real damage, so the tugs had another go, and once more broke both their towing cables. The Carl however, broke her back in the rolling waves, and was declared a total loss.
Everything of any use was stripped from the vessel, and she was left to rot on the beach, where over the years, she became buried under the sand. For 97 years she lay forgotten, until this years (2014) storms
The Walk. Well its not much of one because the car park is within half a mile of the beach, and you can park much closer if you drive down the road by the side of the golf course. When you get to the beach, you just clamber down a few rocks and trip over the wreckage. There is a lot of it, so you just can’t go wrong. On a sunny day the beach is fabulous, so if you have kids, take them along, because they will love the rock pools when they get fed up with the wreck.