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Maria Asumpta, Polruan, Lanteglos by Fowey, Cornwall. October 1992
Minor repair work being undertaken on the world's oldest wooden sailing ship at the Fowey harbour commissioners slipway at Polruan. She was built in Spain in 1858 and continued to sail until the 1930s when a single engine was installed. Trading until 1978 she fell into decay, but an 18 month restoration programme in the early 1980s brought the ship back to seaworthiness.In 1995 the Maria Asumpta was on her first voyage after a refit in Gloucester when she hit bad weather and on the afternoon of 30th May prepared to enter Padstow harbour. The captain, Mark Litchfield, decided to sail between The Mouls and Pentire Point, not a route recommended by the Admiralty, she hit rocks and the crew abandoned ship with three men losing their lives. Mr Litchfield was charged with manslaughter due to gross negligence, was found guilty and jailed for 18 months. Photographer: Jonathan Barker
© RIC, photographer Jonathan Barker