The Mary Rose was an English Tudor carrack warship and one of the first to be able to fire a full broadside of cannons. This vessel was built at Portsmouth between 1510-1511 in what was the earliest dry dock in the world. It became Henry VIII´s flagship and saw service in three French wars.
When it left Portsmouth on 15th July 1545 to face a French invasion fleet off the Isle of Wight it was the pride of the king’s navy.
On July 20th, 1545, toward evening, a breeze sprang up and as Mary Rose advanced to battle she was swamped with water coming through the lower deck gun ports and it rapidly sank in just 40 feet of water.
There were sources that said that the ship had fired from the port side and made a sharp turn so she could fire from the starboard side. The turn was so sharp that the ship heeled sufficiently to submerge the open gun ports, allowing enough water to enter to sink the ship.
An estimated 400 men lost their lives in the disaster. At that time, many sailors did not know how to swim as they considered this “tempting fate”.