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Bridlington Lifeboat - Return of Service

Mike Wilson, Local Author and Historian

BRIDLINGTON LIFEBOAT - RETURN OF SERVICE

18th/19th day of March, 1915


Date and circumstances of the case:

At 10.50pm on Thursday, March 18th, flares were seen in the Bay apparently two and a half miles south of Bridlington. I at once proceeded to Life Boat House and had the rocket fired for the crew and horses. We pulled the boat out by hand and proceeded along the South Beach leaving the horses to follow. We took the boat two miles along the beach and then awaited the horses. We then on getting the horses took the boat into the sea. After going so far in we came at a sandbank, and had to cross. When we got into the water deep enough, our launching falls were not halfway to the shore and the men could not pull her off because they could not keep their feet. I had the boat brought in again and fastened more ropes to the falls. We then made another try and went further in. The sea overwhelmed the boat, lifting her off her carriage, carrying away the main carriage wheel (starboard), also washing men off horses and horses off their feet. We saved one rider from the sea. The boat being swept on we proceeded to the wreck. We got to the weather side of the wreck, lowered sail but were swept clean passed the vessel. We did our best to get back but it was impossible and took the beach three quarter miles past her. It was impossible to launch again as we had no carriage. We stayed by lifeboat until 8am next morning when we were compelled to leave her and proceed home on foot.

Questions and answers:

1. Rig, name and port of vessel? Steam mine sweeper.
2. Name of master and owner? Under government employ.
3. Number of persons on board? Twelve.
4. Tonnage, and whether vessel loaded, in ballast, or how occupied, where from and whither bound? Not known.
5. Exact position where casuality occurred? Two and a half miles south of Bridlington.
6. Nature of casualty, collision or stranding. Did vessel become total wreck? If not, state what became of her: Driven on shore by stress of weather. Total wreck.
7. Direction of wind? E.N.E.
8. Force of wind? State whether 'moderate breeze,' 'strong breeze,' 'moderate gale,' 'stronge gale,' or 'whole gale': Hurricane.
9. Condition of sea? State whether 'smooth,' 'moderate,' 'rough,' 'heavy,' or 'very heavy': Worst possible.
10. Condition of weather? State whether 'fine,' 'thick,' 'rain,' 'snow,' 'cold' or 'very cold': Thick snow and bitter cold.
11. Time when signal was first seen or warning received? 10.50pm.
12. State of tide? Nearly low water.
13. Was information of casualty received by telephone or telegraph? If so, attach form containing the messsage, and those containing any other messages: By one of the Life Boat crew.
14. Were the adjacent stations informed of the action being taken by the Life Boat? Yes.
15. Time of launching Life Boat? About 1.00am.
16. Time of reaching wreck? About 1.30am.
17. Time of returning ashore: About 3.00am.
18. Time of returning Life Boat to Boat House? Brought into harbour Saturday afternoon March 20th.
19. Number of lives saved by the Life Boat? None from ship. Saved one horse rider.
20. Number of lives lost? Twelve from ship and one horse rider.
21. Was service done under sails, oars, or motive power: Both sails and oars.
22. How did the Boat behave? Well, but overwhelmed by sea.
23. By whose authority was she ordered out? Coxswain.
24. State how many hours the signalman was on duty: All night.