Goodwin Sands is a 10-mile (16 km) long sandbank at the southern end of the North Sea lying 6 miles (10 km) off the Deal coast in Kent, England. Legends exist about how the Goodwin Sands originated. Both agree that the sandbar was Lomea, a small island.
Some say that it was swept away by a powerful storm in 1099; others that an abbot in Canterbury or the Earl of Goodwin did not repair the sea walls, so the island was lost by being submerged.
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Although there is no official documentation of Lomea’s existence the island, people have heard phantom bells ringing.
There is a postulation that the Goodwin Sands were not created by currents and tides affecting the bottom of the sea. The British lighthouse authority had a plan to build a one on the Sands. Borings were made. They found a stratum of London clay over a chalk basement.
This was believed to be the remains of a clay island. Based on this and the fact that the Romans referred to an island they called “Infera Insula,” or Low Island, it’s speculated that Lomea did exist.
The Shipwreck of Lady Lovibond
The Lady Lovibond is the name given to a legendary schooner that is alleged to have been wrecked on the Goodwin Sands, off the Kent coast of south-east England, on 13 February 1748, and is said to reappear there every fifty years as a ghost ship.
The story goes that the ship was at sea on 13 February because her captain, Simon Reed, had just been married, and was celebrating the occasion with a cruise.
According to several accounts, the ship was bound for Oporto in Portugal. Despite the longstanding sailors’ superstition that it was bad luck to bring a woman on board, Reed had brought his bride Annetta with him on the ship.
According to legend, the first mate, John Rivers, a rival for the hand of the captain’s young wife, was pacing the decks in jealous anger. While the captain, his wife and their guests were celebrating the marriage below deck, the first mate was seized with a fit of jealous rage.
Casually drawing a heavy, club-like belaying pin from the rail, the mate walked softly up behind the crew member at the wheel and felled him to the deck with one crushing blow.
Rivers then seized the wheel and steered the ship onto the treacherous Goodwin Sands, killing everyone aboard. A subsequent inquiry into the disaster recorded a verdict of misadventure.
The first supposed sighting of the phantom Lady Lovibond on 13 February 1798 was reported by at least two ships, the Edenbridge captained by James Westlake, and a fishing smack.
Its alleged 1848 appearance convinced local seamen that a wreck had occurred – they sent out lifeboats from Deal in hopes of rescuing the survivors. Captain Bull Prestwick allegedly sighted her in 1948 and reported that she looked real, but gave off an eerie white glow. There was no reported 1998 sighting.
Ghost Ship Theory
The Flying Dutchman and the Palatine light are probably the most famous phantom ships. The phenomenon is a haunting.
Hauntings are energy imprinted in time and space, like a video tape. Theory is that the emotion of the haunter creates the otherworldly event. This type of ghostly event can repeat itself for centuries.