The Gales
Another Storm On The North-East Coast
Vessel Ashore At South Shields

After two or three days of fine weather, another gale, this time from the south-east, broke over this coast yesterday. The wind blew in heavy squalls, and there were frequent smart showers of rain. The sea, which had continued more or less boisterous since last Friday's gale, rapidly increased in violence and broke heavily along the shore. Last night the weather gradually assumed a threatening aspect, and seeing this, the members of the Volunteer Life Brigades at Tynemouth and South Shields, as well as the lifeboatmen on both sides of the harbour's mouth, kept a sharp look-out for vessels making the attempt to enter the river. Although at times the sky cleared and the stars shone out brightly, the night was exceedingly dark. Between ten and eleven o'clock there was a strong gale blowing, and rain was falling heavily. Just about eleven o'clock those on watch noticed the lights of vessel making for the harbour, but dangerously close to the southward of the channel. Soon after this she struck, and the alarm guns went off with a loud report, and, notwithstanding the late hour of the night, hundreds of men and women rushed down to the South Pier to ascertain the cause, On the north side also many persons were attracted to places where a view of the harbour entrance could be obtained. It was then discovered that a vessel was ashore on the Herd Sand, to the southward of the Fish Pier, at South Shields. The coastguardsmen, assisted by the members of the South Shields Volunteer Life Brigade, and a great number of other volunteers, took the cart with the rocket apparatus along the beach, and took up a position opposite to where the vessel was stranded. The lifeboats Tom Perry and Tyne, both of South Shields, had been manned and rowed to the vessel, and the former had succeeded in taking off the whole of the crew, therefore it was unnecessary to fire a rocket. The vessel proved to be the Norwegian galliot Bertha, Captain L. Olsen, of Stavanger, and bound from Christiansand for Blyth, with a cargo of pit props. The crew, consisting of five hands, were taken to the Coble Landing Inn (Mr Graham's), Shadwell Street, South Shields, where they were supplied with dry clothing and the shelter of a comfortable room. Captain Olsen stated that he had experienced a gale off the Naze of Norway, but that for the past two or three days the weather had been comparatively fine. During yesterday afternoon he was caught in the gale off this coast, and as the night advanced, and there was danger in running into Blyth in the dark, he determined to make for the Tyne for refuge. He has been several times in the Tyne previously, and as there were neither pilots nor steam-tugs to be met with at sea, he determined upon sailing into the harbour, He was aware that he was too far to the southward, but he was confused by the lights and could not get the vessel into the proper channel. The vessel is his own property, and is insured. The lifeboat Tom Perry which rescued the crew was in charge of Andrew Harrison and John Landers Burn, the latter of whom was one of the four pilots who were themselves nearly drowned at sea in last Friday's gale. The Tyne was under the command of William Marshall.

The weather is still very boisterous this morning, and a heavy sea is running along our coast. The schooner Bertha still remains intact, but it is stated that there is water in her. the weather moderates there is a chance of her being towed off. Several screwsteamers and sailing vessels have arrived in the Tyne in safety during this morning, but there been no sailings.

Source: Shields Daily Gazette 20 October 1881

The Wrecks At South Shields

The galliot Bertha, which stranded on the Herd Sands, at South Shields, on Wednesday night, is still aground, no attempt to tow her off having been possible owing to the storm, The vessel, however, still remains intact, and is riding head to sea. The wreck of the three-masted schooner Atlantic, which was driven ashore at the South Pier, last Friday's gale, will be sold by auction to-day.

Source: Shields Daily Gazette 21 October 1881