Storm on the North-East Coast
A Brig Ashore at South Shields


Stormy weather has prevailed since Saturday. There has been gale from the south-east, accompanied by heavy sea, and rain has fallen almost without intermission. There was a fall of snow this morning, but this was soon succeeded by a heavy downpour of rain, and it quickly disappeared. During Saturday night several vessels made for and entered the Tyne in safety, but shortly before midnight a casualty occurred. As the brig Amphitrite, Captain Harris, belonging to James Young, Esq., J.P., of South Shields, was entering the harbour, under canvass, she got too far to the southward of the channel, and took the ground on the Herd Sand, near the Fish Pier. The alarm was immediately given by the coast-guard on the lookout, and the signal guns, announcing a vessel in distress at the south side of the harbour, boomed forth their doleful message from the Spanish Battery and H.M.S. Castor. The lifeboats on both sides of the harbour put out, and were soon alongside the vessel, but, the sea being comparatively smooth where she had grounded, and the beach being sandy, there was no immediate danger, either to the crew or the brig, and Captain Harris and his men decided to remain on board. The members of the South Shields Volunteer Life Brigade mustered in good numbers and offered their services, which were also declined. Yesterday morning, about nine o'clock, the Amphitrite was towed off by two steamtugs, and safely moored in Shields harbour, having sustained no damage. She was bound from Leith for the Tyne, having on board a part cargo of iron ore, and the casualty is attributed to the wind suddenly dying away, and the ebbing tide carrying her to the southward. By a very singular coincidence, it is exactly five years since this vessel stranded a short distance from the spot at which she went ashore on Saturday. The history of the Amphitrite is a remarkably curious and interesting one. She was built in 1776, for Mr Ald. J. B. Dale, of South Shields; but whether her builder was Mr Leslie, of St. Peter's, or Mr Headlam, of Gateshead, grandfather of the late Dr Headlam, of Newcastle, is not definitely known. After having been navigated by the owner and his son, Mr Shalot Dale, she was sold in the early part of the present century to the late Joseph Elder, of North Shields, and on the decease of his son, she passed into the hands of Mr Laing, of North Shields, who in turn sold her to Mr Davison, butcher, of the same town. On the of 21st April, 1872, as already indicated, she struck on the Herd Sand, when she was put up for sale, and purchased by her present owner, Mr James Young, J.P., of Shields. The Amphitrite was also the theme of humorous local song by Mr Robt. Gilchrist. Mr Young is also owner of the Brotherly Love, which is perhaps the oldest vessel known, she having been afloat since the year 1764. The Volunteer Life Brigades at Tynemouth and South Shields were again on the look out but night, but fortunately their aid was not required. The weather continues stormy, with no prospect of a change.

Source: Shields Daily Gazette 23 April 1877