Gale on the coast
Screw-steamer ashore at the Tyne crew saved by the lifeboat

Up to about five or six o'clock last night the weather on the North-East coast was comparatively calm. There was a strong sea on the Tyne bar, owing to the heavy gales which have prevailed more or less since Tuesday last, but the wind had almost entirely subsided, only a slight breeze blowing from the north-east; and appearances were considered so favourable that a large fleet of vessels sailed during yesterday afternoon. About seven in the evening, however, a strong south-east gale sprang up, which increased as the night wore on, accompanied by blinding showers of hail and rain. The sea  rapidly rose and the and as the wind still increased, betokening a gale of unusual force, a look out was kept by members of the Volunteer Life Brigades at Tynemouth and South Shields, and also by lifeboatmen at both places.  During the night nearly the whole the vessels which had sailed in the afternoon, put back in safety into the harbour. The gale in the meantime lost none of its severity, and about day break this morning, the brigadesmen on duty on the South Pier observed a screw-steamer in distress on the bar. The vessel had been seen at the same time by those at Tynemouth, and in a few minutes the alarm gun at the Spanish Battery fired three times. This signal was immediately followed by three guns from Her Majesty's ship Castor. The steamer had by this time drifted on to the Herd sand. The South Shields brigade men then proceeded along pier with rocket apparatus, and with most commendable promptitude fired a rocket to the steamer. This not being successful, a second was fired, which went right across the vessel. It appeared, however, that the crew did not understand how to use the line, and owing to this misapprehension efforts of the brigadesmen were so far rendered valueless. Fortunately by this time, the  Tyne lifeboat (which had been launched on the firing of the alarm guns) under the command of Andrew Harrison and John Smith had reached the vessel, and after strenuous exertions ten of the crew, who had been clinging to the rigging to avoid the heavy seas which swept over her were got on board. In about a quarter of an hour afterwards the Northumberland lifeboat came alongside and the remainder of the crew, seven in number were taken off.  The vessel proved to be the screw steamer Eagle, which sailed, coal laden, from the Tyne yesterday for London. It appears that she was off Whitby when the gale sprang up, and as the captain found that she was making water and that he could not get the pumps to work, he deemed it advisable to run back to the Tyne. When the steamer was crossing the bar she was struck by a sea which broke the steering apparatus and filling the stoke holes, extinguished all the fires. Another sea, which struck her immediately, afterwards, nearly sunk the vessel, and she then drifted on to the Herd. The Eagle was under the command of Mr John Sidde", of London, and the name of the mate is Andrew Murphy, who belongs to Dublin. The portion of the crew brought on shore by the Tyne lifeboat were taken into a public house near the Coble Landing, and there provided with dry clothing and refreshment.  The names of the brigade men by whom the rockets were fired are— Benjamin Birch (captain), George Young, Peter Stephenson, Henry Birch, Thomas Purvis, John Clark, Samuel Hicks (coast guardsman). Soon after the firing of the guns a large concourse assembled on the pier and witnessed the saving of the crew by both lifeboats. From the position of the vessel at present, exposed as she is to the whole force of the sea, she is rather critically situated.

Source Shields Daily Gazette 9th of December 1870

At 7 AM on Friday Dec 9th 1870 the SS Eagle of London returning in distress drove on the Herd Sand. The Boats Tyne & Northumberland both put off & rescued the crew 15 in number 7 in the Northumberland & 8 in the Tyne Wind N East heavy gale tide 2 hours ebb

The Northumberland was manned as follows 20 men

M Lawson                                                                     R Boyle
H Appleby                                                                     J Young
John Watson                                                                  E Burn
Jos Watson                                                                     J Croft
Will Taylor                                                                    J Smith
T Runnison                                                                     Jos Turnbull
R Martin                                                                         Thos Hall
R Armour                                                                        H Lawson
R Armour jun                                                                  R Hardy
D Nicholson                                                                    B Phillips
P Smith
[21 men]

The Tyne was manned by 18 Pilots viz

Andrew Harrison                                                          Robert Chambers
Geo Smith                                                                     Wm Wright
And Purvis 4th                                                              Jacob Harrison
Wm Marshall                                                                Jos Marshall
Wm Tinmouth                                                               Jas Purvis
John Young                                                                   Thos Bone
John Blair                                                                      L Marshall
John Shotton                                                                  Thos Brown
Jos Marshall                                                                   Jacob Bone

Source: Tyne Lifeboat Institute Service Record

FOR SALE BY TENDER, the screw steamer EAGLE, as she now lays on the Herd Sands, at South Shields. Dimensions:- About 200 feet long, beam 26 feet; with engines 90 h.p; boiler supposed to have Back Fire Box Copper,—Tenders received up to March 19, 1872, by M. Hayhurst, Broker, Sunderland.

Source: Shields Daily Gazette 15 March 1872

The Harbour Master drew the attention of the Commissioners to the wreck of the S.S. Eagle now laying inside the South Pier-Notice be given that the vessel must be removed by the Owners or she will be removed by the Commissioners and the Owners charged with the expense thereof.

Source: Harbour and Ferries Committee Minutes 7 April 1873

Blowing Up of the Wreck at the South Pier

Mr Richard Gillard, of the Turk's Head, Tynemouth, who recently purchased the wreck of the screw-steamer Eagle, which stranded near the South Pier, in December, 1870, yesterday made a very successful attempt to blow up the vessel by means of blasting powder. Mr Gillard, who is an accomplished diver of considerable experience, deposited a very heavy charge of 200 lbs. of powder in the vessel, and by exploding it succeeded in loosening a large quantity her machinery. The portions of the engines recovered are in good condition, and quite free from sand, notwithstanding that they have been immersed in water for nearly three years. It is expected that the whole of the machinery and other articles will be recovered. During the time of the operations, the South Pier kept clear of passengers the police under Supt, Richardson, while the river police, under Capt. Lishman (Harbour Master) and Supt. Stephens kept all vessels entering and leaving the harbour out of danger.

Source: Shields Daily Gazette 13 June 1873