SS Vina shipwreck

Three black dots of a ship wreck can be seen in the middle of the photo behind golden sand and beneath a blue sky

Brancaster Beach was home to the shipwreck of the SS Vina, which used to be visible from the coast. Built in 1894 she spent her working life travelling the Baltic Trade routes before she was requisitioned for the war effort in 1940.

**We strongly discourage you from attempting to visit the centre pole of the SS Vina as it is seperated from the beach by a wide, deep, fast-flowing channel of tidal water and the tide turns very quickly cutting people off from the land.

You are putting your lives in grave danger by attempting to cross this channel to visit the wreck**

Each year multiple people are rescued by the RNLI after crossing the main tidal sea water channel to see the SS Vina shipwreck and people have sadly lost their lives in the past by doing so.


RNLI Hovercraft rescues three girls at Brancaster Beach

Three girls were just seconds from being swept away by the sea after the tide came in while they were visiting the shipwreck at Brancaster Brancaster. They were rescued by the RNLI Hovercraft from Hunstanton and were incredibly lucky to survive.

SS Vina

The Steamship Vina was built in 1894 in Leith, Scotland by Ramage and Ferguson for JT Salveston & Co. of Grangemouth.

Tonnage: 1021

Dimmensions: 66.8 x 9.8 x 4.3m

Material: steel

Engine: 1 x 3 triple expansion stream engine with a single bronze propellor

Power: 99 h.p.

Speed: 9 knots

The SS Vina spent most of her life up until the Second World War working the Baltic trade routes.

Naval blockade ship

In 1940, as part of the war effort, she was requisitioned as a naval vessel under the command of Captain Pickering and brought to the port of Great Yarmouth with the plan to act as a blockage ship. This involved the hull of the vessel to be filled with concrete and wired with explosives and in the event of a naval invasion by the enermy forces she would be sunk preventing entrance to the port.This never happened and in 1943 the SS Vina was towed and anchored off the coast at Brancaster.  

RAF Target Practise

In 1944 the SS Vina was purchased by the Ministry of War to be used as a target practice for RAF planes testing out new shells and was anchored further offshore. She was dragged from her postion in a North-Westerly gale to a sand bank in the entrance to Brancaster Staithe Harbour where, full of shell holes she subsequently sank, and has remained there ever since.

The wreck of SS Vina (circled) on the western end of Scolt Head Island. The fast flowing channel between it and beach can clearly be seen.
an aerial photo of the entrance to a harbour with yellow sandy beaches and blue water snaking through
The wreck of SS Vina (circled) on the western end of Scolt Head Island. The fast flowing channel between it and beach can clearly be seen.


All that remains today of the SS Vina is the centre pole that can be seen from Brancaster Beach. She continues to be a hazard to navigation for boats in and out of Brancaster Staithe Harbour and a risk to life to those that attempt to walk over to visit her.