Navigational tips and beauty spots around the south-west coast of the Isle of Wight.

War Knight

Around 400m southwest of Watcombe Bay lying in 15m is the War Knight, famously wrecked during WWI. She was travelling in a 16-ship convoy when a course change order was confused and the 7,951-ton, 410ft War Knight ran into the much larger American tanker OB Jennings, loaded with naptha oil, causing an exoplosion. Both crews were rescued and the War Knight, laden with bacon, lard, oil and rubber and burning ferociously, was taken in tow.

Then she hit a mine just off the Needles and was cast adrift, foundering just off Watcombe Bay where she continued to burn until sunk by gunfire. Some of her cargo did make it ashore but the salvors neglected to declare their booty, were arrested and taken to court in Newport on a train known as the Bacon and Lard Special. The OB Jennings was towed into Sandown Bay where she burned for 10 days before being sunk with torpedoes. She was later refloated, refitted and re-entered service only to be torpedoed again, by the Germans this time, 100 miles off New York.

  1. 1. Introduction
  2. 2. The Needles
  3. 3. Rounding the Needles
  4. 4. Scratchell's Bay
  5. 5. Scratchell's Bay to Freshwater
  6. 6. Sir Robert Holmes
  7. 7. Frenchman's Hole
  8. 8. Watcombe Bay
  9. 9. War Knight
  10. 10. Freshwater Bay
  11. 11. Back of the Wight
  12. 12. Sirenia
  13. 13. Landslips
  14. 14. St Catherine's Point
  15. 15. Pepper Pot
  16. 16. Rocken End
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