SHIPWRECKS & GROUNDINGS – Storm and loss of Life.

Accreditation the Redcar and Saltburn News 17/12/1874

The Hartlepools

            A terrible Gale prevailed during Saturday (12/12) night and Sunday (13/12), and was attended with great loss of life. The wind was from the north-east. The schooner ‘Lady of the Lake and the French barque ‘Francais’ appeared in the offing soon after nine o’clock, when the steamer Thomas and Mary ran out to them, and offered to take the front ‘Francais’ into port, but terms could not be agreed on. The ‘Lady of the Lake’ at two o’clock entered the old harbour safely, after twice striking the bar. The ’Francais’ after refusing the aid of the to, have now approached the Yorkshire side of the bay so closely that it was feared he would drive ashore at Redcar, where the crews of the lifeboats had mustered in full expectation of their services be required, as the vessel was among the breakers; but, to the astonishment of everybody, she wore round, and about four o’clock passed the end of the Longscar Reef safely. The tug ‘Amelia’ (of Old Hartlepool) put off to her assistance and the barque took her tow-line near the bar. This soon snapped, and the barque drove ashore on Middleton beach. Including the captain, there were nine persons on board at the time. To lifeboats pulled out, but the surf was so heavy they could not approach her closely. At dark the first rocket was fired, but fell short; and of five sexy shots, two went right over, but the crew, apparently in ignorance of its use clung helplessly to the wreck. About seven, one of the crew named Ronesong, leapt into the surf, and was rescued. Soon afterwards, a second, supposed to be the captain, and a by aged twelve years, were washed ashore, the former still alive, but he afterwards expired. The remainder of the crew were drowned. During Monday (14/12) two more bodies were washed ashore, on which, with floors of the captain and his nephew, Mr Settle opened an inquest in the evening. There were identified by Mr Ronesong, the sole survivor of the crew as Francois Burgot,, master; Figuel, second mate; Dillet, seaman, and a boy, nephew of the master, name unknown. Evidence was given that the captain opened his eyes after being washed ashore, but died almost immediately. Other three of the crew were quite dead. The inquest was adjourned until Thursday (17/12), when a verdict of “death from suffocation by drowning” was returned, the jewellery recommending an enquiry by the Board of Trade. They also condemned the practice of steam tugs making bargains with vessels in distress. Two other bodies have been cast up since the inquest :- one at Hartlepool and the other at Middleton.


Lol Hansom August 24, 2014 Shipwrecks Part 2