STORM – North East Coast

 Accreditation Redcar and Saltburn News 09/12/1874

Shipwrecks and Loss of Life

On e of the most violent storms ever experienced raged of the North East coast on Tuesday night and Wednesday Morning and numerous shipwrecks have occurred, many of them being attended with great loss of life. At South Shields, the ‘Henry Cooke’, of that port, was driven ashore, and the whole crew, sixteen in number, were lost. At Whitby, Scarborough, and Filey several wrecks have taken place, in some instances being attended with loss of life; while at Seaham Harbour and Hartlepool’s numerous vessels are ashore. Much anxiety is also felt as to the safety of the crews of four vessels belonging to Hartlepool. Much damage has been done to property at Middlesbrough, the most serious being at the Britannia Iron Works, where part of the roof of the puddling forge was blown down, killing one of the workmen, and injuring others so badly that their lives are despaired of. In Ireland and the Isle of Man the effects of the gale were most severely felt.


The full effects of the gale were experienced at Redcar and Coatham, and five vessels came ashore. The Coastguard men, and the crews of the lifeboats, assembled shortly after midnight, in full expectation that their services would be required. The sea rose to an immense Height, and the waves dashed over the piers with tremendous force. Nothing serious, however, occurred until nearly four o’clock, when the brig “Griffin,” of Southampton (William Mundy, master), cut through Coatham Pier between the saloon and main entrance, carrying away girders and columns, and making a gap in the promenade about a hundred yards in extent. The “Griffin” left Whitby on Saturday week, with a crew of seven men, bound for Sunderland. She was laden with oak, and had discharged part of her cargo at various ports. She was almost becalmed about half-past nine o’clock on Tuesday night, and at eleven the gale came on, and they shortened sail. From the violence of the wind and rain they could see no distance in front of them, and the ship came onto the Coatham Pier about four o’clock the following morning, as above stated. The crew jumped onto the pier, and the vessel passed right through, the figure head, bowsprit, and bulwark being very much damaged. She then drifted about a hundred yards, and stuck fast in the sand to the west of the pier. – Between five and six o’clock the schooner “Corymbus,” of Dundee (Alexander Petrie, master), ran through the same pier about as far on the north side of the saloon as the “Griffin” had run through the south side. The “Corymbus” was a vessel of 91 tons, and had a crew of five men all belonging to Arbroath. She was bound from Boulogne to Shields, in ballast, and ran into Scarborough last week for shelter. Leaving Scarborough on Tuesday, she encountered the gale off Redcar. The master was at the wheel from the time the gale came on until she stranded, and maintains that he saw no light on the pier, though we understand there was one burning all night. In passing through the pier, the bowsprit and rigging of the vessel were carried away, and the bulwarks were much damaged, but otherwise the hull is intact. She afterwards drifted up the estuary, and grounded immediately outside the Tees breakwater. When the tide had receded, the crew came on shore. – The brig Garibaldi, 196 tons (John Guy, master), from Cowes to Hartlepool, also foundered. During the night when off Redcar, the gale carried away her forehead sail, foretop sail, and stay sail; and the master, finding the ship must come ashore, gave orders to the men to cut away the foremast, which in falling overboard carried with it the main mast and bowsprit. Both anchors were then let go. With 120 fathoms of cable, in an attempt to save the vessel, but the tremendous sea that was running drove her on to the sands, twenty yards east of Coatham pier. The new lifeboat Burton-on-Trent, in putting off to the rescue of the crew, had a hole stove in her side, which rendered her useless; and the crew, seven in number, were taken off with rocket apparatus, by the coastguard, under the direct of Capt. Bates. The brigantine “Express,” of Blyth (Tournoull, master), came ashore on the Lye Dams, a little to the east of Redcar Pier. She is a vessel of 300 tons burden, is owned by Mr Edward Mackenzie, and left Boulogne of Friday for Blyth. The crew were saved. – The brig “Robert and William” is also stranded opposite Redcar Iron Works. – From the mouth of the Tees to Saltburn-by-the-Sea the shore is strewn with wreckage, and since the disaster the Coatham pier has been visited by numbers of persons from the neighbouring towns. The damage to the pier is estimated at over £1500.


The very stormy unsettled weather of the past week has been followed by a strong gale from the north east, which commenced on Tuesday at midnight, causing a heavy sea to roll. About three o’clock on Wednesday morning the Coastguard officers observed a vessel in distress, almost close to shore and with great promptness they had their rocket apparatus in full play; gradually, however, the vessel drifted shoreward, and the tide being high at the time,, she managed to run aground close to Old Saltburn, where she now remains on dry land. All the crew were saved. She is the brig “Caledonia, of Rochester, in ballast, bound from Rochester to Shields (Captain Tindale). About seven o’clock the iron screw steamer “Grinkle,” belonging to Messrs Palmer and Co., of Jarrow, in ballast, from Shields to Port Mulgrave, became unmanageable through heavy stress, and in this instance also rocket apparatus was put in force; but like the Caledonia, she grounded not far from the Promenade Pier without sustaining much damage, all the crew being in safety. The lifeboat was manned and launched, but happily her good men were not required. Whether either or both the vessels will break up or be got off is at present a conjecture. A very angry sea is rolling, with a strong wind, accompanied by sleet and hail. The gale has also caused considerable damage to property, several new buildings have suffered badly, notably the houses in course of erection by Mr Tongs, in Marske Road, and those of Mr Harrison, also in course of erection, in Garnet Street.


dean July 29, 2011 Weather & Tides