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Latitude 50° 21.30 N
Longitude 004° 09.45 W
Accuracy 100m
Location Description Rusty Anchor, Plymouth Hoe
Reference NMR 877220
Craft type Schooner
Date built 1806
Year of loss 29th October 1808
Manner of loss Wrecked
Outcome Broken Up
Construction Wood
Propulsion Sail
Nationality United Kingdom
Hull length 56 ft
Hull beam 18.5ft
Hull displacement 75 tonnes
Armament 4x12 pdr
Crew 20
Built Custance & Stone, Yarmouth
Master Lt Joseph Tindale
Owners Royal Navy

HMS Crane

The Crane was a 'Bird' class, 4 gun, schooner; the design of this class of ship was copied from the Bermudan Ballahoo schooner but the Bird class were built in British dockyards. Crane was ordered in 1805 and her keel was laid in February 1806 at the Custance & Stone yard in Yarmouth. The Crane was launched two months later and by June she had been commisioned under Lt. John Cameron and was bound for the North Sea.

"The Crane schooner was driven on shore on Wednesday morning,
near the West Hoe, Plymouth,
and it is supposed will be totally lost. Crew saved.
"

By the 29th October 1808 there had been a south-west gale blowing in Plymouth for three days and with it a heavy rolling sea in the Sound. The previous day the frigate Alcmene had begun to drag her anchors but managed to ride out in safety, as did a victualling transport in Deadman's Bay as it was feared she would go on shore, but after paying out her anchor she was able to weather the gale.

The Crane, under Lt. Tindale, had been at anchor between Drakes Island and the Hoe when it was discovered around 7:30 on Friday evening that she was driving as her anchor was not holding, so a second anchor was let go bringing her up. The following morning she was foung to be driving again and getting close to shore. Reports then become unclear as to what Tindale did next, some suggest she went out into the Sound in order to ride out the gale whereas contemporary reports suggest the she attempted to move up the Hamoaze to seek shelter:

"... after weathering the gale, in trying to work up into the Hamoaze
[The Crane] unfortunately missed stays and went plump ashore
on the rocks near Rusty Anchor.."

She stuck near the western end of the Hoe and soon after let off guns of distress bringing to her aid several boats from the dockyard. The Crane was able to be pulled from the rocks but soon bilged and sunk, but fortunately the crew were all saved. The crane had foundered in such shallow water that her starboard gunwhale showed above the surface. Shortly after the schooner was broken up where she lay.

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Images

Lines and profile plan of the Schooner Haddock , a Bermudan 'Fish' Class of 1803, the plan was used as guide for the 'Bird' Class built in England (Source: NMM)