In thick fog, on the night of October 25th 1960, tankers the Wastdale H and Arkendale H collided in the River Seven off Sharpness.
In our video eye-witness and author of several books about the River Severn, Chris Witts describes the tragic events of that night.
Five crewmen lost their lives when the vessels crashed into a pier of the Severn Railway Bridge, causing a span to collapse onto them. The cargo of oil and petroleum exploded, and reports spoke of the river being ablaze.
Firefighters from across the county, including Stroud, attended the incident but the chief officer denied them permission to try to reach the stricken vessels due to the dreadful conditions.
They reached the wrecks at first light the following day to search for survivors, though without success. The bridge was never repaired and demolished in the late 1960s. The wrecks of the boats can still be seen at low tide and serve as a reminder of the tragic events 60 years ago.
(Video by Matt Bigwood)