Just as the last of the men were being landed from the George Clark, the green light of another vessel was seen approaching the beach, a little to the southward of the stranded brig. She continued this dangerous course, the crew apparently not observing their real position, until she struck. She once began to drift towards the George Clark, and finally collided with her, the crashing of timbers being distinctly heard persons on the Pier. At this juncture an heroic act was performed by Fred. Jaggers, one of the Coastguardsmen. Seeing the close proximity of the vessels and the danger of their damaging each other to such an extent that both might break up, he nobly volunteered to be hauled on board the George Clark. This desire was soon fulfilled, and, reaching the deck of the brig, he threw a line on board the other vessel, which was a small one, and by its means the crew of four men got on board the George Clark, and were quickly transferred the Pier in safety. This vessel proved to be the ketch Ida, of Ipswich, owned and commanded by Captain Gibbs, and bound from Ipswich to one of the factories at Hebburn-on-Tyne, with a cargo of burnt ore. The captain states that the night was very dark and thick with rain, and that he mistook the lights. He appears to have mistaken the red light of the George Clark for one the harbour lights. The Ida is a new vessel, having been built this year, and is classed A1 at Lloyds.
The tide was high shortly before the George Clark stranded, The lifeboat Tyne, of South Shields, at present stationed at North Shields, was manned and rowed down towards the South Pier, but the crew finding the brigadesmen were then engaged bringing the men off the ship, they returned to the harbour. When the Ida struck, Robert Wells hoisted three white lights upon the mast adjoining the Brigade Watch House, as a signal that the lifeboat was not required.
Captain Gibbs and his three shipmates, being strangers, were taken to the Brigade House, and supplied with dry clothing and refreshments. Dr Crease, hon. surgeon the Brigade, and Mr Carmichael, his assistant, were in readiness to render any assistance that might be required of them, but fortunately their services were not required, the whole of the men belonging to both vessels having got ashore without the slightest accident. When the tide had ebbed sufficiently, a salvage party went on board the George Clark, and discharged the ballast, with the view of getting her off on the following morning. Three or four tugs made the attempt on the next tide, but the sea was too rough to enable them to get near enough to the vessel to make a towline fast. The attempt was therefore given up, and Mr Ashton, coastguardsman, and the salvage party were brought off by the breeches buoy. Upon the tide again receding, the salvage men once more boarded the brig, and sent down the topgallantmasts, and unbent the sails. Mr Young, the owner, was upon the pier yesterday morning. The George Clark, we are informed, is insured in the South Shields clubs. It is stated that she makes water both fore and aft, but if the weather moderates, it is expected she will be floated and brought into the harbour.
The Ida received damage to her starboard quarter, by colliding with the George Clarke, and the bulwarks at that part were carried away. Beyond this the vessel sustained no damage, and was reported yesterday be perfectly tight. Efforts were also made, but without success, to get her off. It is stated that the owner has agreed with the captain of a steam-tug to tow the vessel off and get her into port for £100.
Source Shields Daily Gazette 28th November 1881
Report of Henry Gibbs master of the ketch Ida, of Ipswich, 136 tons, from Ipswich, Nov. 24,at 2 p.m., for the Tyre (220 tons burnt ore) :- On the 26 ult., at 7 30 p.m., tide high water, weather stormy, wind SSE, a gale with high sea, the vessel being SE by S from Tynemouth Light, under small sail , steering NW by W, deponent saw two lights, which he took be the leading lights into the harbour, He could not see the lights on the north pier, and changed his course to W to enter the harbour, and saw a pier on the lee, which deponent took to be the north pier, but which proved to be the south pier. As soon as deponent discovered his mistake he put the helm down, but the vessel missed stays. He then filled en the vessel again, but she refused stays the second time, drove ashore. The lights which deponent took to be the harbour lights were the lights shown by the life brigade to illuminate the vessel George Clarke, which had stranded about half hour before the Ida.
Source: Shields Daily Gazette 6 December 1881