An Iranian destroyer struck a sandbank at Portland Harbour 50 years ago this February.

On Tuesday, February 12, 1970, the Artemiz was located 600 yards off Ferrybridge, Wyke Regis, at about 4.30am.

Three and a half hours later, naval tugs were attempted to bring the ship to safety. The tug Sea Giant and salvage vessel Swim eventually towed the destroyer clear.

The Artemiz was taken alongside Queen Pier in Portland Naval Base while divers went down to see whether the destroyer’s hull had been damaged.

It was reported that given the hurricane-strong winds of the time, the ship would have been blown to the sandbank at a comparatively fast speed. A spokesperson from the Navy said: “She could not have grounded in a better place. She lodged firmly in the sandbank and the salvage vessel had little difficulty in dealing with her.”

The Artemiz, which belonged to the Imperial Iranian Navy, had been recently commissioned at Portsmouth following a long refit and extensive modernisation. Upon departing Portland, the ship was set to be used for cadet training as she became the flagship of the Imperial Iranian Navy in the Persian Gulf.