On, Sunday, 25th, December, 1936 (Chrismas Day), the brig “Caroline”, of Aalborg, from Shields, laden with coal, was wrecked opposite where the former Coatham Hotel now stands. The crew of ten men left in the ships two boats perished in about ten minutes, before the Zetland got near.

The “Zetland” was manned by twenty two fishermen and pilots, with G. Robinson as coxswain. The huge waves drove the Caroline hither and tither. One of the boats of the doomed vessel, containing part of the crew, came within what Will Guy thought easy distance for hooking or casting line. Whilst in the attempt a hugh wave washed him overboard and he was lost to sight in a moment. The Zetland was smothered in the sea and ran several hundred yards invisible, and was ultimately washed ashore at Coatham sands. Nineteen out of the twenty two oars were dashed out of the crews hands by the huge waves. Will Guy was the only one that was ever lost from the “Zetland”. When the drum was going round to summon the lifeboat crew together, Will Guy was in the primitive chapel, Redcar, and they were singing the hymn of C. Wesley, commencing “and am I only born to die”, when Will Guy was called out to take his place in the lifeboat. Seventeen days after he was drowned, his body was picked up in the vicinity of Staithes and was recognised by the initials in his stockings and under clothing. In Redcar churchyard, a tombstone is erected in his memory as follows

“In memory of Will Guy, Pilot, in his 41st year, was plunged into eternity whilst engaged with others
in a brave but fruitless attempt to render assistance to the crew of a Danish vessel off Redcar”

The storm was from the East North East. One of the heroic crew of the above mishap, Mr Tom Bogey, retired Captain, aged 78 years (in 1897), compared the scene in the lifeboat to a slaughter shop. The crew being so much knocked about.


dean January 9, 2010 Ships