In October 2018, the Goodwin Sands SOS group launched a CrowdJustice case page that focuses on raising funds and organising support for our case to seek a Judicial Review of the MMO's decision to grant Dover Harbour Board a dredging licence. 

Find out more on the Goodwin Sands SOS website here

As you will appreciate, what the SOS Group are trying to do is pretty hard and we would be really grateful for your help.

You can pledge to their CrowdJustice Campaign here


The Goodwin Sands are infamous for their toll of shipwrecks, about 2,000 in total. Some ships went down with all loss of hands; in the Great Storm of 1703 four ships floundered and 1,200 sailors drowned in one night alone.

The Goodwins are also the maritime military graves of about 80 brave young British, German and Polish pilots who crashed into the area during the fierce fighting of the Battle of Britain in 1940.  Their locations are unknown and will most likely have moved from where they crashed or bailed out, as the sands shift regularly each year.

Military air crash sites are protected under the Protection of Military Remains Act 1986; however this protection only applies to crash sites where the locations are known.  It is illegal to disturb such sites where human remains are likely to be found.

In 2015, Wessex Archaeology, in a case study for Historic England, described the Goodwin Sands as ‘archaeologically extraordinary’ yet disappointingly, neither of these organisations have made a robust case against the proposed dredging in order to save the nation’s heritage.

Current technology does not exist which can reliably detect the presence of military aircraft remains buried beneath the seabed.  The Goodwin Sands have a reputation for their high preservation of wrecks as can be seen by the Rooswijk which is currently being excavated having sunk in 1740.

Ironically, shipwrecks are often the only method we have of learning about our maritime past, as those ships that survived were eventually scrapped.