Tucked away in the military area at the northern end of the island (and therefore out of bounds, although pictures can be found online) stands a touching memorial to the unfortunate crew and passengers of the Baron Innerdale (or “Inverdale”, as it’s often incorrectly called, including on the monument itself). The Innerdale was travelling from Karachi to Liverpool in 1904 when she ran aground amid the Khuriya Muria islands. After three days, crew and passengers abandoned the ship in two lifeboats. One disappeared; the other (with 17 people aboard) made it to Masirah.

What happened next remains unclear. Probably a misunderstanding led to a fight, during which the stranded passengers were massacred – although there’s no basis for the outlandish rumours that they were subsequently eaten by the islanders. Sultan Faisal responded by visiting the island, banishing the local ruling sheikh and having nine of the murderers executed. He also razed the village of Hilf and forbade the islanders to build permanent houses for 100 years – a ban which wasn’t lifted until 1970.

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