15th July 1975

Point Law runs aground off Alderney

Point Law was an oil tanker owned by Shell Mex and BP, which had been built at the Hall, Russell & Co yard in Aberdeen, Scotland, in 1967. Less than 10 years later she ran aground Le Puits Jervais rocks off Alderney.

Point Law had not long left Guernsey, bound for the Isle of Grain, when it ran around in rough weather. Although her beaching was unfortunate, it could have been worse. She was sailing away from the Channel Islands at the time, having already put in at St Sampson and offloaded her cargo. She was therefore empty and there was nothing to spill into the sea.

The tanker had been sailing a crew of 12 men. Six of these were immediately rescued by the Guernsey lifeboat. The remainder stayed on the ship in hope that it could be refloated on the incoming tide.

Unfortunately, their hopes were in vain as the weather only got worse.

Punctured… and doomed

When it became obvious that the rocks had pierced each of her compartments and refloating would not be possible, the last six crew members were taken to Alderney by helicopter. Point Law was then left alone to be wrecked on the rocks.

One of four tankers built by Hall, Russell & Co for Shell Mex BP, Point Law had been at sea just eight years when she ran aground. She had a  gross tonnage of 1529 tons, length of 240 feet and breadth of 40 feet. The name “Point Law” was taken from a BP oil depot.

Guernsey Post issued a 34p stamp depicting Point Law on the rocks in May 1987 as part of a series depicting Alderney shipwrecks.


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Other events that occured in July

Guernseyman Edward Tupper killed by cannibals 1st
Alderney is occupied by German forces 2nd
Seigneur of Sark, Michael Beaumont, dies aged 88 3rd
Guernsey hosted the Island Games 2003 closing ceremony 4th
New coins are minted for Guernsey 5th
Royal Guernsey Light Infantry Museum opens 6th
Victor Hugo statue is unveiled in Candie Gardens 7th
First Commando raid of the Second World War 8th
Birth of Sark-based writer Mervyn Peake 9th
Guernsey nurses go on hunger strike 10th
ITV broadcasts first episode of Island at War 11th
A Guernsey man posted himself to Sark 12th
Murderer Peter Robin sentenced to death 13th
Victor Hugo plants his United States of Europe oak 14th
Point Law runs aground off Alderney 15th
Racing yacht Westward is blown up off Guernsey
BBC made its first ever Channel Islands broadcast 16th
The Star received some “grave” news 17th
The Guernsey Martyrs were burned at the stake 18th
Prince Charles and Camilla visit Guernsey 19th
President Garcia is re-floated in Saints Bay 20th
Typhoid suspect holidaymaker flies home 21st
Guernsey Controlling Committee’s Sir John Leale died 22nd
Alderney to Guernsey radio connection established 23rd
Val des Terres was first opened for traffic 24th
The BBC broadcasts from Sark for the first time 25th
Guernsey court escapee was caught again 26th
Braye du Valle was gifted by the crown 27th
Murderer sentenced to death in three hours 28th
Guernsey bought Herm from the mainland 29th
Albert Lamy appointed Guernsey Police Chief Officer 30th
Guernsey to Jersey plane crashed into the sea 31st