Another Wreck of a Brig
Rescue of the Crew
The improved weather which set in last evening has continued. Although the wind did not rise again after dusk the sea remained high and is still heavy. Last night's gloomy haze over both land and water has cleared before a welcome burst of sunshine and a gentle westerly breeze. During the high tide in the early morning the wrecked brig Ann was driven right up the beach to near the stones on the south side of Fish Pier. Her bottom shews much damage and the coals are tumbling out. At low water the vessel is perfectly dry. The on the beach was one of great animation. Hundreds of persons, men, women, and children, were carrying away the coals in anything that came best to hand, before the tide rose again and washed them to sea. No one interfered. Several steamers have proceeded to sea this morning, considerably relieving the tiers, which last night were crowded with refuge craft of all sorts. If the weather holds fair it is expected that there will be a large exodus during the day.
Owing the lull in the gale, a good many of the Brigadesmen, who had been watching during the day, had moved up town for a short respite at dusk. About 7 o'clock the coastguardsman on duty came into the Brigade House and stated that a vessel was ashore on the Herd Sand, close to the Fish Pier. Upon this a blue signal rocket was sent up. A distress signal was shown from the lighthouse on the Groyne. All hands were immediately on the quic vive and the rocket cart and apparatus were speedily hauled out, and pulled first along the pier towards the Recreation Ground, and then along the edge of the Herd Sand. So quickly was this work accomplished that the cart was half way along the sands before the distress guns were fired from the Spanish Battery. There being almost a calm now, the guns were heard in town, and the people came down in hundreds as if by magic. Willing hands joined the Brigadesmen in pulling the cart along towards the stranded vessel. On arriving opposite the craft, a rocket was fired by the Coastguard in a remarkably short space of time, the shot being a splendid one; the rocket stuck and remained in the foretop. The crew immediately began to haul off the line with much rapidity, as to nearly get the line away before the tackle could be bent on to it. Flares were immediately lighted and taken along the rubble jetty, a prominent member at this juncture being Mr Benjamin Heron, who was twice knocked down by waves. There was a sudden cessation of operations on board with the apparatus, and the flares were burned for a considerable time; and it was a matter of conjecture whether the crew had been rescued by the lifeboats who were known to be at hand. The sea was tremendously heavy, and the position was a dangerous one from the stones near at hand. The crowd became intensely excited when three lifeboat oars were washed ashore. The mass of spectators seemed panic-stricken, and reports were circulated that one the lifeboats had capsized, one could be seen which appeared to have no one in her. This happily proved to be incorrect. The Coastguard next fired a rocket from the end of the Fish Pier. This was another excellent shot, and was followed by three ringing cheers from the crowd. There was no response, and after waiting anxiously for some time, the news came that the men had been rescued. The apparatus was at once returned to the Board of Trade quarters, not before a tedious journey had to be accomplished. The work packing the lines was considerably impeded owing to the crowd, who had not overcome their excitement, treading among the lines.
The stranded vessel proved to be the brig Ann, Captain A. Atkinson, of and for Guernsey, and owned by Mr Hamon, of Guernsey. She was coal-laden from the Tyne, which she left last Sunday. She had encountered gales, and had proceeded as far as Flamborough Head, when she was compelled to return and run to the Tyne for shelter. The lifeboats which went to the rescue were the Tom Perry, of South Shields, and the Noble Institution, of North Shields, the Willie Wouldhave having been disabled. The former got three of the crew and the latter four—including the captain. The men rescued by the South Shields boat were taken to the Globe Inn (Mr Rossiter's), Shadwell Street, South Shields, where they were very kindly entertained by the host, and were supplied with a complete change of clothing, the whole three of having been half drowned with the seas breaking over the brig after she stranded. The poor fellows were quite benumbed with the cold and wet ; one, coloured man, seemed to be very bad.
STATEMENT BY THE CAPTAIN
The Captain's statement shews that the brig was driven back, after beating about, to off Whitby yesterday morning, when the gale prevailed, with such fury that he ran for the Tyne. Though the sea was running very high, they got along all right, and about half-past six o'clock last night came over the Tyne bar. When on the bar and between the piers, in spite of the tremendous waves, the brig did not ship any water, but just as they were approaching the Narrows the wind suddenly fell off, and the ebb tide running out very strongly, carried the vessel over the shoal at the end of the Groyne, where she struck.
Source: Shields Daily Gazette 9 February 1883
Shipwrecked Crews Forwarded to Their Homes- The crews of the Guernsey brig Ann, and the s.s. Minnie, were forwarded to their respective homes on Saturday morning, by Mr Geo. French, honorary agent for the Shipwrecked Mariners Society, North Shields.
Source: Shields Daily Gazette 12 February 1883