There are fears over pollution after the wreckage of a boat, which crashed off The Needles on the Isle of Wight last month and prompted a rescue operation, was left to break up in bad weather.

The owner of the Channel Queen, Chloe McCardel, has told the County Press some debris, washed ashore from the vessel, has been cleared.

However, to date, she said no attempts have been made to salvage the wreckage, as conditions have made it unsafe.

The boat was being used as a support vessel for swimmers taking part in a relay swim for charity Cure Parkinson's, when it got into trouble near The Needles.

Read more: Isle of Wight The Needles rescue for vessel with 14 onboard

Chloe, who is also a professional swimmer, said the boat started taking on water after it hit 'a submerged object', which breached the hull.

It was purposely beached on Scratchell's Bay, she said, and 14 people onboard were safely evacuated.

Isle of Wight County Press: Debris from The Channel Queen, cleared during a beach clean up.Debris from The Channel Queen, cleared during a beach clean up. (Image: Chloe McCardel)

HM Coastguard, Yarmouth RNLI and Freshwater Independent Lifeboat were among those called, as the County Press reported.

Three weeks on, the wreck of the boat remains.

Cllr Peter Spink, councillor for Freshwater North and Yarmouth, is among those to have voiced concerns.

He said he is looking at what can be done to mitigate the pollution.

Pieces of fibreglass were recovered by Chloe and volunteers during a beach clean on Thursday, August 3.

The vessel also had diesel, engine oil, batteries and fire retardants onboard.

Chloe said the Channel Queen is fully insured and she believes it is the insurance company's responsibilty to salvage the vessel.

The Isle of Wight Council has told the County Press Scratchell's Bay itself, falls under The Crown's regulating lease.

Isle of Wight County Press: The wreck of the Channel Queen after it broke up.The wreck of the Channel Queen after it broke up. (Image: Needles Coastwatch)

Isle of Wight County Press: The Channel Queen, before it broke up.The Channel Queen, before it broke up. (Image: Needles Coastwatch)

Although 'not under its remit', it said it has been monitoring the wreckage and there has been no risk of pollution. 

A statement said: "It is the responsibility of the owner of the wreck to arrange for its salvage and removal including addressing the potential hazard of pollution.

"Should anyone else recover or salvage they must assume there is an owner and report it to the ‘Receiver of Wreck’ to ensure the owner can recover their property.

"If it remains uncollected for a period of 12 months it becomes the property of the Crown, and the Receiver of Wreck, who works within the Maritime Coastguard Agency, can dispose of the wreck on behalf of the Crown."

A spokesperson added the council will deal with fragments that come ashore at Freshwater Bay or Brook Bay, towards Brighstone Bay.

The County Press has contacted The Crown for a comment.

Chloe said she agrees vessels should not be left 'abandoned' and is hoping to raise awareness about the environmental impact.

She added the incident has affected her financially.

Chloe said she is hoping to coordinate a salvage for the week of August 21, and is attempting to secure the services of a barge salvage company.

The charity relay continued in Scotland on Monday (7).


The Crown Estate has told the County Press Scratchell's Bay is not its land.