William Slaney Lewis 1888-1904

A 34ft x 7ft 6in self-righter, built by Hansen and Sons of Cowes.

Cost £347. 

March 9th 1888

The 1,588 ton full-rigged ship Sirenia laden with a cargo of wheat was bound from San Francisco for Dunkirk when she ran aground on Atherfield Ledge. The Brighstone boat went out to help in the storm and thirteen crew members were taken off.

October 19th 1891

Very early in the morning, two small French brigantines of 450 tons each, the Henri et Leontine and the Jeanne Benoni, sailed from Spithead for Nantes in a light northerly wind. The boats were owned by two brothers and by 18.13pm in the evening were about 4 miles from the shore off Atherfield when the wind veered to the south south-west and blew with great force.

January 31st 1892

The SS Eider of Bremen, a four-masted steamer of 4,719 tons was travelling from New York carrying 227 passengers and a crew of 167. There was thick fog and a stiff gale blowing but apparently it was only when the cut-glass of the chandeliers began to clatter that it was discovered the ship was hard aground on Black Slopper Rock.


January 17th 1894

The SS Ossian (387 tons) bound from Lisbon to Leith with a mixed cargo of wine, slates, sheepskins and cork shavings, came ashore in Brook Bay at 3am. As well as fog, there was a heavy ground swell. The lifeboat made its first trip bringing ashore seven of her crew. The Captain and eight  men decided to remain on board until later when conditions would be more favourable. The boat was re-floated a week later by the Neptune Salvage Company.



March 24th 1895

The Noordstar, an iron-hulled brigantine bound from Venezuela to Hamburg with a cargo of box wood and divi divi*, came ashore at Hanover Point, striking what was known locally as the Oil Rock. All seven lives were saved  ‘in a remarkably smart and able manner by the gallant crew’. A ring-tailed monkey miraculously escaped drowning by floating ashore in a sack and the rector’s wife, Mrs Morris, took it in.

* ‘Divi divi’ are the pods (1 x 3 inches rolled up) of South American redwood trees and are used by tanners and dyers.



February 13th 1899

When Norwegian barquetine Moland went ashore at Brook, the lifeboat was launched only to find the vessel breaking up and no sign of any crew. It was later learned that a French vessel had come across her and taken off the rest of the crew before she went ashore.



April 12th 1902

The Kinfauns Castle was stranded on Brook Ledge for a short time until she was pulled off by four tugs and her own engines.


 November 18 1904

During thick fog, the Dutch steam dredger Triton went ashore at Hanover Point. The lifeboat was launched in heavy seas and the coxswain Ben Jacobs took the lifeboat alongside the ship. With heavy seas breaking right through the ship, the lifeboat took off her crew of ten. This was the last rescue of the lifeboat

William Slaney Lewis which had been in service at Brook for 19 years.