Heather Bell

Fog on the North-East Coast
Three Vessels Ashore at South Shields

A dense fog set in at sea off the Tyne, last night, and during its prevalence a barque, supposed to belong to London laden with guano, from Bull River, while making for shields Harbour in tow of the tug Stanley, got ashore on the south side of the Fish Pier, the tug managing to get clear off. Shortly afterwards the screwsteamer Amazonia, of and from Sunderland, bound to the Tyne to load coals in Howdon Docks, in tow of two Sunderland tugs—the Pilot and the Heather Bell—made her appearance off the Tyne, and attempting to enter she also got ashore on the south side of the Fish Pier, a short distance from where the laden barque was stranded. One of the tugs, the Heather Bell, likewise got ashore at the same time, the Pilot managing to get away. Not long after the Amazonia had been stranded, a screwsteamer, of and from London, was making for the harbour, when she too got to the southwards and came in collision with the laden barque, striking her on the port side of the fore-rigging and doing some damage. The steamer touched the ground, but succeeded in getting off, and proceeded into harbour with safety. Endeavours were afterwards made to get the vessels off, but without success. It is fully expected, however, that they will be floated on the rise of the tide. There is little sea on, and the fog is confined to seaward. In the present state of the weather there is no fear for the stranded vessels. Owing to the prevalence of the fog, several screw steamers, coming from the south, have considered it prudent to remain outside until the weather clears up. The South Shields pilots are on the look out, ready to render every assistance possible to vessels making for the Tyne, but up to midnight no further casualties had occurred.

Source: Shields Daily Gazette 26 December 1878