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The Alacrity Shipwreck

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The Alacrity Shipwreck

The MV Alacrity runs aground at Portheras Cove.

News 1963 1 mins


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The Alacrity MV encountered fog and ran aground at Portheras Cove in Cornwall on 13 September 1963. The merchant vessel was on its way from Swansea to Brussels and carrying a cargo of coal when it ran into difficulty off the notoriously shipwrecked-prone Cornish coast. The vessel broke up over several weeks but stayed beached in the private cove until in 1981 when the army's Royal Engineers put a bomb under it.

Debris from the wreck is occasionally washed ashore and the story is a recurring theme in nearby Pendeen with a dedicated exhibition. A foghorn was installed in 1891 to warn ships of rocks at the Wra or Three Stone Oar and then Pendeen Watch Lighthouse was built by Trinity House in 1900 to guide vessels from Pendeen to Gurnard's Head on the Penwith peninsula. The lighthouse was automated in 1995 and its last keepers left for good. Trinity House runs the automated lighthouses from a Planning Centre in Harwich, Essex. As with other unmanned lighthouses, holiday cottages are available for rent. Trinity House maintains over 60 lighthouses on and off the coast of England, Wales, the Channel Islands and Gibraltar.