17th April 1947 Merstone
On the morning of Thursday 17th April 1947 Cunard’s trans-Atlantic liner Queen Elizabeth ran aground inward bound on the Brambles Bank in the approaches to Southampton Water in thick fog.
She became firmly stuck with this picture showing the armada of powerful tugs which had been summoned to help to try to pull her off again on the evening high tide. Amongst these were several from the Royal Naval Auxiliary Service at Portsmouth Naval Dockyard with at least two of them propelled by paddle wheels.
A number of local passenger vessels were called in to help to evacuate passengers including the Southern Railway’s Merstone which left her usual roster on the Portsmouth to Ryde ferry service to bring the first batch of the Queen Elizabeth’s passengers ashore at Southampton.