SHIPWRECKS & GROUNDINGS “Pricilla”
Accreditation The Redcar and Saltburn-by-the-Sea Gazette 28/07/188.
SHIPWRECK AT REDCAR – PRICILLA
On Saturday last (21/07) a storm of wind and rain of extraordinary violence passed over the North-east coast, such has never before been witnessed in the month of July. In the morning the wind blew from the East-north east and continued with slight variations during the whole of the day. The rain came down incessantly and increased with the wind. During the afternoon fears were entertained for the shipping, many vessels having been seen off the coast this morning. The Reading Room and Observatory at Capt. Dawson’s Lifeboat House were soon alive with the Lifeboat crew, who were ready to render assistance to any unfortunate vessel which might be blown on this dangerous coast, and during the afternoon several vessels were observed to pass Redcar labouring heavily. About five o’clock a three masted schooner was sighted from the Observatory, to the northward, and was driven so fast leeward that she was soon amongst the breakers crossing the extreme end of East Scar. The Lifeboat crew now knew there was no chance of her clearing the rocks. The lifeboat “Emma” was got ready and sent towards the point at which they expected the ship to strike. In the meantime the vessel fell so much leeward that she got between East Scar and the Artillery targets, when suddenly she wore round, (perhaps through the captain seeing that it would be impossible for him to clear Redcar Pier head, and almost immediately she struck heavily on East Scar, damaged her rudder became quite unmanageable, was driven to the southward and stranded directly opposite the Artillery Battery.
The lifeboat “Emma” was seedily launched and rowed off into the breakers until she fell down almost to the ship, when the stern grapnels were let go. She was then rowed up to the vessel and the crew of eight men, all told, were taken in and safely landed amidst cheers of about 2,000 spectators. The vessel proved to be the “Pricilla” of Cowes, 220 tons burthen, Capt. Swetman, from Cowes to Hartlepool in ballast.
The National Lifeboat “Burton-on-Trent and the Board of Trade apparatus were also brought to the scene of the wreck, but as the “Emma” had already taken the crew off the vessel, their services were not needed and they returned to their stations.
Great credit is due to some of the officers and men of the 4th Durham Militia (encamped at Redcar) for the way in which they assisted the Lifeboat crew. Foremost amongst the crew (which consisted almost entirely of fishermen), was Dr MacKinlay, who on landing went to the Jolly Sailor Hotel, where the shipwrecked crew had been taken, as it was supposed that one of them had been injured by jumping from the ship to the lifeboat, but haply this was not the case.
The vessel became a total wreck, the cabins, boats, &c., being smashed and washed out of her during the night. She had been entirely stripped and only the hull lay on the beach.
October 21, 2011 Ships