Frederich Olherich

Stormy weather prevailed off the Tyne yesterday, a strong fitful wind blowing from the north east, and a heavy sea breaking across the bar. Between half-past eleven and noon, the German barque “Frederick Olherich” was proceeding to sea, in tow of a tug, and while passing outside the piers, the tow rope parted. The vessel was left to the mercy of the wind and sea, and drifted rapidly toward the end of the south pier. It was at once apparent, that she would become stranded and Coastguardsman Prior, who witnessed the occurrence, immediately gave the alarm signals, and the guns were fired from the north shore. The members of the Volunteer Life Brigade mustered in strong force, and with such promptitude that almost as soon as the vessel took the rocks, the rocket van was brought to a standstill, opposite the stranded vessel, and the rescue work commenced. Amongst those present were Captains G. R. Potts, George Robson, J. W. Buckland, J. W. Henderson, and the coastguards under the command of Chief Officer Higgins. The pier was crowded with sightseers, but the work of the Brigadesmen proceeded without a hitch. The vessel was stranded high upon the rocks and was so close inshore that communication was established by means of the hand lines. Prior, who was the first to come abreast with the stranded vessel, which lay some 30 feet from the pier, had rendered a valuable service. At the third attempt he succeeded in throwing the heaving line on board the wreck, and in a very short while, the breeches buoy got to work. The first survivor, who proved to be the wife of the Master, Captain Holtz, was dragged safely ashore over the surf. Excepting for a wetting, Mrs Holtz seemed little worse for her fearful experience, and her wants were generally attended to. The seas were making a clean breach over the stern of the vessel, and the crew had to take refuge in the mizzen rigging. Fifteen persons were brought ashore altogether in the breeches buoy and taken to the Brigade house. The last three to reach the shore were the Compass Adjuster, the Pilot and the Master. One of the crew, when brought ashore, was found to have had his leg broken by the sea washing over the vessel. The injured man was carried on the Volunteer Brigade Ambulance stretcher to the watch house, and subsequently, in the same manner to the Ingham Infirmary, by two relays of ambulance men connected with the Brigade in the charge of Deputy Captain Page.

Source: Shields Daily Gazette 2 January 1894

“Always Ready” is the motto of the borough South Shields, and it one which, l am happy to say, is acted up to whenever a ship is in distress at the mouth of the Tyne. The latest example is one which the life brigade and the coastguard especially have reason to be proud of. Coastguardsman Prior did about as smart a piece of work in connection with the wreck of the Frederich Ohlerich as has occurred for a long time past, and he was so promptly supported by his brother coastguards and members of the Volunteer Life Brigade that the record was probably beaten in taking off a ship's crew from a vessel stranded on any part of the North east Coast, ample as are the instances of life-saving associated with its history.

Source: Shields Daily Gazette 3 January 1894

The Wreck at South Shields

The barque Friedrich Ohlerich, of Rostock, which went ashore at the end of the South Pier, South Shields, on Monday, broke up during the night. The greater part of the hull, which is of iron, lies in two pieces where the vessel stranded, but the masts, deck, and other parts were washed away. A considerable part the wreckage floated up on to the Herd Sands, including some the men's clothes chests. Yesterday, there was a sharp breeze from the south-east, and a moderate sea was running.

Source: Shields Daily Gazette 3 January 1894