Ships Lost off Porthleven and Gunwalloe
As we approach the centenary of the sinking of the Titanic it reminded me of a photo a friend sent me a little while ago when we were talking at the school gates about diving on sunken ships. I knew many ships have foundered along the cost of Cornwall, but I was very surprised in the number of recorded ship lost along a few miles of coastline between Porthleven and Gunwalloe.
As you can see from the photo, the number, and type of ship lost is staggering. It does not say how many lives were lost, but I would imagine the figure is rather high, especially if the ship foundered in strong seas, and the ability of being able to swim was not common.
In the notes it says reporting before the 19th Century was patchy, and there is likely to be many more unrecorded and unmarked wrecks along this stretch of coast. It also make the point of the dramatic drop in ship losses post the introduction of screw propulsion in the late 19th Century.
It is still a fascinating piece of information