The Rohilla rammed The Scar with engines going full speed ahead. A high tide was running so there was some depth of water on top of the rock shelf. Had the tide been low she would have crashed into the almost vertical face, the initial damage would have been much greater and she would have sunk quickly. The impact of a 7,400 ton vessel hitting immovable rock at about ½ knots caused enormous structural damage to the hull, which was fractured in two places. The momentum carried the ship up over the edge and part way on to The Scar itself, leaving the stern section and about a third of the ttal length hanging over deeper water.
Even though the Rohilla was only about 600 yards from the shore, the position was inaccessible and difficult for the rescue services. When it became inevitable that the ship would go on to The Scar, the rescue operation began. Coastguard Jefferies notified his Chief Officer, Charles Sutherland Davy. Within minutes, explosive maroon rockets were fired to give the alarm and call out the Lifeboat and Rocket Brigade.
Copyright © Ken Wilson 1981