- Wells lifeboat disaster
The Wells lifeboat disaster occurred in
1880when the RNLI lifeboat "Eliza Adams", based at Wells-next-the-Seain the English county of Norfolk, attempted to go to the aid of the stricken brig"Ocean Queen" in heavy seas and was lost along with 11 of its 13 crew.
At this period in time, the Wells lifeboat was an open boat propelled by a combination of oars and sail, and based at the old lifeboat house on the quay at the head of Wells harbour. Because of the strong tides in the mile long channel that connects the quay with the harbour mouth, it was common for the lifeboat to use the services of a steam tug to be towed to sea.
October 29, gales were lashing the north coast of Norfolk. The "Ocean Queen", of 171 tons and built in Sunderlandin 1838, was on passage from Southamptonto Seahamwhen she was caught in the storm and sought shelter at Wells. At 1pm, the Wells lifeboat launched to the aid of another brig, the "Sharon Rose", which had run ashore on the beach at nearby Holkham. Seven sailors were rescued from the vessel and the lifeboat returned safely to Wells. However on arrival back to the quay, the "Ocean Queen" was seen close to the harbour entrance, flying a distress flag.
After changing 8 of her 13 crew, the "Eliza Adams" was again towed to sea. By this stage the "Ocean Queen" had been driven ashore on the nearby sands. The lifeboat reached the brig, but was unable to help and so set sail to return to port. In so doing, a heavy wave broke over the lifeboat and it capsized.
Eleven of the 13 crew drowned, leaving 10 widows and 27 children without a father. One crew member, William Bell, managed to stay with the boat until it righted itself. Another, Thomas Kew, was washed ashore alive. A memorial to the members of the Wells lifeboat crew who lost their lives stands adjacent to the old lifeboat house, now used as the harbour offices.
The crew of the "Ocean Queen" remained aboard their vessel, and were able to walk ashore once the storm had abated and the tide receded.
A lifeboat station, housing both an all weather lifeboat and an inshore rescue boat, still exists at Wells. The current lifeboat station is located at the harbour entrance.
* Sunderland Today (
2005). " [http://www.sunderlandtoday.co.uk/mk4custompages/CustomPage.aspx?PageID=51846§ionID=6045 Wells lifeboat disaster] ". Retrieved October 21, 2005.
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
1901 Caister Lifeboat Disaster — Memorial to the lifeboatmen who died The Caister Lifeboat Disaster of 13 November 1901 occurred off the coast of Caister on Sea, Norfolk, England. Events took place during what became known as the Great Storm which caused havoc down the East… … Wikipedia
Wells-next-the-Sea — Infobox UK place country = England latitude = 52.95 longitude = 0.85 official name = Wells next the Sea static static image caption = The quay from the sea wall population = 2,451 (2001 Census) shire district = North Norfolk shire county =… … Wikipedia
Cromer Lifeboat Lester ON 1287 — Lester ON 1287 Career … Wikipedia
Royal National Lifeboat Institution — RNLI logo Abbreviation RNLI Motto Train one, save many … Wikipedia
Cromer Lifeboat Ruby and Arthur Reed II ON 1097 — Ruby and Arthur Reed II Career … Wikipedia
Cromer Lifeboat Ruby and Arthur Reed ON 990 — Career Owner: Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) Builder: Wil … Wikipedia
Cromer Lifeboat Station — Coordinates: 52°56′3.4″N 1°18′5.84″E / 52.934278°N 1.3016222°E / 52.934278; 1.3016222 … Wikipedia
Cromer Lifeboat Henry Blogg ON 840 — Millie Walton/Henry Blogg ON840 Career … Wikipedia
Mundesley Lifeboat Station — Coordinates: 52°52′34.6″N 1°26′28.9″E / 52.876278°N 1.441361°E / 52.876278; 1.441361 … Wikipedia
Cromer Lifeboat Benjamin Bond Cabbell II ON 12 — Benjamin Bond Cabbell II ON 12 Career … Wikipedia