LIFEBOAT – Gallant rescue of ten fishermen

Accreditation The Redcar and Saltburn-by-the-Sea Gazette. 23/11/1877


     On Tuesday a violent north westerly gale prevailed on this coast, having come on very suddenly between nine and ten o’clock a.m., and the beach at Redcar soon became thronged with anxious crowds when it got reported through the town that two fishing cobles were out at sea, the crews of which appeared to be in distress. The boats belonged to John Dobson and David Stonehouse, and one had seven men on board and the other three; they had been to the Tees for the purpose of obtaining bait, and were returning when overtaken by the gale. A third boat manned by three members of a family named Walton had also been to the Tees, but the crew managed to run her ashore apposite the Coatham Convalescent Home, though in doing so they were several times nearly capsized. About ten o’clock it became evident that the two boats above mentioned, which could be discerned at times labouring heavily outside the West Scar rocks, would be unable to reach the land without assistance, as the sails had by this time been hauled in, and, as it appeared afterwards, it was only the most careful handling that the cobles were kept afloat. It was accordingly decided to put off the Free Gardener’s lifeboat to their rescue, and she was soon afloat, not withstanding that a good deal of confusion prevailed during the launch, no doubt arising from the absence of the first coxswain and bow man of the boat, who were both on board the distressed cobles. This being the first time the United Free Gardener had been out on active service, her progress was watched with great interest, and she proceeded well until on gaining the rocks she had to be rowed against the wind, and her progress became so slow that it began to be feared that the lives of the men in the cobles would be sacrificed before they could reach them. The coxswain of the National Institute’s lifeboat (J, Burnicle) who had only just before got home from fishing, was accordingly appealed to, and he decided to launch the Burton-on-Trent, but an unforeseen difficulty presented itself in there not being a sufficient number of seafaring men to man her, which was soon solved by a number of lands men coming forward for the purpose. There being plenty of willing hands to assist, the boat was speedily launched, and having the advantage of a sail soon overtook the United Free Gardener’; a long “tack” had, however, to be made in order to fetch the cobles, and before the Burton-on-Trent could effect this, the men had been taken off by the United Free Gardener. In returning both lifeboats were driven by the wind nearly two miles to the east of Redcar before they could make the shore, and the rescued crews were safely landed at half past twelve o’clock, having suffered much from the extreme cold, but not otherwise any worse for their lengthened exposure. The cobles, which had been abandoned when the crews were taken off, washed up between Marske and Saltburn-by-the-Sea during the afternoon, one being bottom upwards and the other full of water. As the United Free Gardener was being brought back to Redcar, the carriage shafts were smashed and some other slight damage was done, through it being brought into collision with the side of a house in Church Street.


dean July 30, 2011 Lifeboat