THV Mermaid disaster
On July 19th 1894, seven members of the crew of Trinity House Vessel Mermaid were killed while engaged in blowing up the wreck of a yacht on the Brambles Bank at the entrance of Southampton Water.
The crew lowered a number of explosive charges down tubes to the wreck and lit the fuses. However, the last charge did not explode so the crew prepared a larger charge to finish the job.
For some reason, possibly the failed charge was recovered, there was an explosion in the boat and all seven crew on board were killed.
A memorial stand in East Cowes Cemetery to the seven crew killed:
Henry Clavell, master
William S. Cook, Seaman
Alfred Hutchings, Seaman
John Cotter, Seaman
Albert Snow, Seaman
William Oatley, Seaman
The families were given £10 each by Queen Victoria and Trinity House awarded the widows a pension.