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Diving Deep10th February 2022

How did HMS Invincible sink?

On 19 February 1758 Invincible was preparing to leave for Novia Scotia to fight the French.

The crew “hove” the anchor up but it got stuck and broke their capstan (winding equipment). The crew tried to fix the capstan and “hove” some more. The anchor got stuck under the bow of the ship. Now they had not anchor.

The Captain found out the ship’s rudder was also stuck. And now they had lost their steering too.

The ship drifted and got stuck on Dean Sands. The crew kept trying to float her again but it was too late. The crew fired guns and hoisted a light to signal distress and get help.

Three days later she was tipping over and water was pouring into her.

The Invincible still lies where she sank, over 260 years later.

Find out more about HMS Invincible in Diving Deep: HMS Invincible 1744, showing at The Historic Dockyard Chatham until 20 November 2022.

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