The Bramble Bank, otherwise known simply as ‘The Brambles’ is an arrowhead-shaped sandbar in the central Solent which is uncovered at low water spring tides. It presents a significant navigational hazard for shipping in the area. It is marked at its southeastern limit by the Brambles post sea mark and on its western limit by the West Knoll buoy.
The Bramble Bank is renowned for the annual cricket match played there between the Royal Southern Yacht Club and the Island Sailing Club. The match takes place when the bank is most exposed but never lasts very long before the full tide covers the playing surface. The surroundings mea that the fixture is treated as more of a social occasion than a serious cricket match, and the scoring reflects this – the victor of the game is pre-determined, and the two clubs simply take it in turns to “win” the match, regardless of play. The winning side prepares the tea.
On Tuesday 11 November 2008, on approaching Southampton Docks for her last visit prior to retirement, the Cunard liner Queen Elizabeth II infamously ran aground on the Bramble Bank at approximately 0530 hrs. She required 4 tugs to pull her clear on the rising tide and arrived in Southampton approximately 90 minutes late.
On 3 January 2015 the car transporter MV Hoegh Osaka was beached on the bank after developing a list shortly after leaving the Port of Southampton.- she was refloated on the rising tide some four days later.
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