BOATS & SHIPS – The Wrecks Register

Accreditation The Redcar and Saltburn-by-the-Sea Gazette 19/10/1877.


            A perusal of the annual Wreck Register, recently issued, for the year commencing on July 1, 1875 and ending on June 30, 1876, shows that the wrecks and casualties at sea have been more numerous than in any previous year since a record of these disasters has been systematically kept by the Marine Department of the Board of Trade. It is only right, however, to point out here that this large increase is to some extent accounted for by the greater care now shown in furnishing and compiling these returns. For instance, the present register comprises about 850 minor casualties which formally would not be considered of sufficient importance to be included. The number of wrecks, casualties, and coalitions from all causes on board and near the coast’s of the United Kingdom, and in the surrounding seas, reported during the year 1875-6, is 3757, being 167 in excess of the number reported in the previous year. Of this large number 502 cases involved total loss, against 472 and 408 respectively for the previous years. Between 1861 and 1875-6 the number of vessels, British and foreign, which met with casualties attended with loss of life on the coasts and in the seas of the United Kingdom was 2592, involving the drowning of 12,322 persons; and that in the year 1875-6 loss of life occurred in 1 out of every 22 of the casualties. Of the 4554 ships concerned in the casualties, 3602 are known to have belonged to Great Britain and its dependencies; and 152 (with a tonnage of 17,388 tons) were British vessels not registered under the Merchant Shipping Act. Five of her Majesty’s ships, with a tonnage of 11,401 tons that met with casualties are included in this number. 2678 were employed in the British coasting trade, 1076 in the (over sea), foreign and home trade. The disasters are thus classified: 775 collisions, 2982 wrecks and casualties other than collisions. Of these latter 425 were wrecks, &c., resulting in total loss; 851 were casualties resulting in serious damage, and 1706 were minor accidents. Five hundred and twenty-five of the ships were steamers, 139 were rigged as ships, 497, barques, 533 brigs, 505 brigantines, 1317 schooners, and 199 smacks. Of the 4554 vessels meeting with disaster 2024 did not exceed 100 tons burden, and 1561 were from 100 to 300 tons. Of the 502 vessels totally lost, 37, were known to have been built, of iron, and of this number 31 were steamships and 6 sailing vessels.

The localities of the wrecks are those given: East coast, 2119; south coast, 427; West coast, 822;N. and W. coast of Scotland, 83; Irish coast, 275; Isle of Man, 12; Lundy Island, 12; and Scilly Isles, seven. Although the greatest number of wrecks happened on the east coast, the greatest loss of life occurred on the West.

The whole number of lives lost was 778, notwithstanding the determined and ceaseless efforts of the craft of the National Life boat institution. This number is 148 less than those lost in the previous year. Of the hundred and 71 ships, 143 were British, involving the loss of 580 lives, and 28 were foreign, involving the loss of 198 lives.

It is satisfactory to find that 4358 lives were saved during the year 1875-6 by the lifeboats of the National Lifeboat Institution, the rocket apparatus of the Board of Trade, ships’ boats, coastguard and fishing boats, harbour lifeboats, and various other means, the great majority been rescued by the 267 boards of the , National Institution.


Lol Hansom January 15, 2015 Boats & Ships, Lifeboat