COATHAM – Fishing Accident 1 death 3 Escape
Accreditation The Redcar & Saltburn-by-the-Sea Gazette 02/09/1870
Fatal Case of Drowning at Coatham and
Narrow Escape of Thee Lives
A very distressing accident took place at Coatham on Saturday night last, causing the loss of one life and jeopardising the lives of three others. Three brothers, Jas., William, and Charles G. Walker, and William Liddell, a friend went off to fish in their own boat called “The Four Brothers,” about 5 o’clock p.m. They went about four miles from the shore, and remained nearly an hour on the fishing ground.
Meanwhile the sea suddenly, and before they could get to land the night had become stormy and pitch dark, while endeavouring to reach the shore the boat capsized, and Charles Walker was thrown out, the remaining three clinging to the boat’s keel until she righted when they got into her again, Charles they supposed being lost. As the boat was now full of water and the oars and mast, &c., all swept away they could only try to stick to the boat as none of them could swim. When Charles Walker was swept out of the boat he managed to lay hold of the broken rudder, and after much beating about in the sea was at length thrown upon the beach in a state of great exhaustion. When able to walk he, after great exertion, reached his father’s house for assistance.
The alarm had, however, spread by this time, and the anxious father of the young men had been pacing the beach in search of the boat for more than an hour. At length he thought he heard a faint cry of distress, and rushing into the sea almost up to his neck in water he reached the boat, which he found contained two persons, clinging to her in an insensible condition. By this time many others had come to the rescue, and the two half-drowned men were quickly carried up to Mr. Walker’s home, where every effort was made for their restoration for their restoration, and with complete success. The darkness was so great that the two rescued ones were believed to be Mr. Walker’s sons, but on reaching his house they proved to be William Walker and William Liddell. Every effort was made to discover the missing one but in vain.
It is believed by the others that after holding onto the boat for awhile he, at length succumbed to the violence of the waves and was washed overboard within a short distance of the shore. A strict watch was kept all night on the beach, but up to this time no trace of the body had been discovered. Great sympathy has been manifested for the bereaved and suffering parents and family, who are held in great and deserved esteem in Coatham and a great gloom, was cast over the whole place. The deceased was the eldest son, 37 years of age, and unmarried. A reward has been offered for the recovery of the body. The young men were all accustomed to the sea from their youth, and the melancholy occurrence seems to have been purely accidental.
July 16, 2011 Coatham