Bentinck Island, Cape Calver

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Bentinck Island, Cape Calver

by | Dec 29, 2019

Bentinck Island is located between Cape Calver and Race Rocks in the Strait of Juan de Fuca, 10 miles (16 km) southeast of Sooke, and 11 miles (18 km) southwest of Victoria, British Columbia. The island was likely named by Captain George Vancouver in 1793 for William Henry Cavendish Cavendish-Bentinck, 3rd Duke of Portland, who was Prime Minister of Great Britain in 1783 and again in 1807.

The island served as a leper colony beginning in 1924 when the federal government closed the lazarette on D’Arcy Island since Bentinck Island was closer to medical quarantine facilities, and operated until 1957 when the last person affected by leprosy died. The Department of National Defence has owned Bentinck Island since 1954, and today the island serves as a demolition range for the Canadian Armed Forces.

On 15 October 1925, the Holland America cargo ship Eemdijk ran aground on Race Rocks and was refloated on 19 October and beached on Bentinck Island. The tug Hope and her crew of seven were lost trying to salvage the ship. Read more here and here. Explore more of Bentinck Island here:

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