Portsmouth’s Marie Celeste

The ketch Zebrina high and dry in Velder Creek
The ketch Zebrina high and dry in Velder Creek

THIS WEEK IN 1974: City pledges new Southsea amenities

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Remember When’s friend Eddie Wallace had his long memory jolted by this picture of the annual mud football match at Milton Locks, Portsmouth. It was the ketch in the background which caught his eye.

Eddie writes: ‘She was England’s answer to the Marie Celeste mystery. She was the Zebrina, shunted from Velder Creek to Eastney Lake when the creek was being filled with the city’s rubbish in the early 1960s.

‘The Zebrina was found sailing un-manned in the English Channel in 1917. Meals were laid for the crew, but untouched. There was no hint as to what had happened to the crew. It was always surmised the vessel was apprehended by a German U-boat and the crew taken aboard, but before the vessel could be sunk she was surprised by a naval vessel. Legend has it the U-boat with crew and its prisoners hit a mine and sank with all hands.

‘As a lad I recall the Zebrina moored in Velder Creek and being chased off her by its caretaker.’