StateLibQld 1 75490 Preussen (Ship)

In full splendor...the Prussen


An authentic 1910 photo of the Preussen wrecked and stuck on a sandbank in Crab Bay.

The Prussen was a huge 5 masted clipper ship built in 1902. Built on the orders of Emporor William III of Germany, she was 418 feet long. She had a crew of 45 men and had may different sails. A small spanker, several jibs and staysails and complete square rig completed the splendid craft. She was designed to carry cargos of nitrate and pianos from Germany to Chile and back. She made 12 voyages total. On her 4th she set a speed record, from Germany to Chile in only 57 days around Cape Horn. Then, on her 13th voyage, a sad tragedy struck the proud 5 masted vessel off the coast of England. Just before midnight on July 6th 1910, carrying 100 pianos, excellent china craftware and nitrate for Chile, Prussen was viciously rammed by a small British steamer called the SS Brighton off the Dover Cliffs of England's Coast. Three tug boats were warped out of the harbor to come to the aid of the stricken ship. She had lost much of her forward rigging and headsails and was critically battered. Her bowsprit and part of the foremast were lost in the collision. As the tugs took her in tow, a gale arose and the cables snapped. The crew of her watched in the tugboats as she drifted around a cliff and drifted onto the rocks of Crab Bay. All attempts to free her from the rocks failed over the years, Consequently, she slowly decayed and then sank slowly . The captain of the Brighton lost his sailing licence as a result after a long court case in England. These days, there is not much left after 102 years at Crab Bay. Only a few ribs and possibly a mast or 2 are left, and these even, can only be seen at low tides. This ship will all but have decayed by 2025 according to current projections.
Preussen total wreck - SLV H99.220-2132

The wreck of Preussen from another angle